10 February 2011
Valentine's Day "Banned" Again in 2011...
The fact that the crotchety old white-robed backward looking Islamic scholars in various parts of Indonesia take the time to consider Valentine's Day each year is testament to the pervasive nature of the celebration. However, the vast majority of Indonesians have too little time to take stock of fatwas and other edicts issued banning Valentine's Day. The vast majority probably do not do anything out of the ordinary. It is just another day in a busy calendar.
It seems that Valentine's Day falls foul of the defenders of truth and the ways of the Prophet because it is a Western celebration of love. And, that is haram or forbidden in Islam. I wonder if it is dangerous because it is thought to be a western tradition and those western kafirs would do anything they could to undermine Indonesia or is it just that because it is about love it might promote promiscuity and, heaven forbid, free casual sex. I have been told there is no aphrodisiac quite like a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates. But, that said, as Forrest used to say: "life is like a box of chocolates, you never quite no what you're gonna get".
Traditionally, the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (MUI) have banned Valentine's Day on the basis that it is the same as proselytizing.
My guess is that most Indonesians will take no notice of the warnings and go about their daily lives as they would have if no fatwas were issued. I am also thinking that Cupid will not be deterred either come 14 February.