malaysia

Muslim women shouldn’t use emoticons, group says in anti-Valentine’s Day campaign

The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has consistently opposed the celebration of Valentine’s Day among Muslims, claiming it possesses Christian elements. — Picture by Saw Siow FengThe Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has consistently opposed the celebration of Valentine’s Day among Muslims, claiming it possesses Christian elements. — Picture by Saw Siow FengKUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — The National Muslim Youth Association (Pembina) advised Muslim women against using emoticons in text messages or wearing fragrance, ahead of Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

Pembina’s guide published on its official Facebook page today said Muslim women should avoid seven things while dealing with “non-mahram”, or men they can marry, even outside the day commemorating love.

Besides avoiding the use of emoticons and wearing “excessive” fragrance, the guide also urged Muslim women to avoid making their voice sound sweet, and to cover up their “aurat”, or intimate parts.

The Islamist group also warned Muslim women against being alone with “non-mahram” men, and to avoid inappropriate times by dealing with them only in daytime.

It also told Muslim women to keep their text messages simple for “non-mahram” men.

The guide is part of Pembina’s annual anti-Valentine’s Day campaign, claiming the celebration threatens the faith of Muslims and leads to illicit sex.

Earlier today, the group released a list of five things Muslim youths can do to reject the day, such as publicly chastising unmarried couples who are dating.

The group also suggested youths wear Pembina’s anti-Valentine’s Day T-shirt, post its posters in public, and urge their friends to join Islamic or beneficial activities on the day.

The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has consistently opposed the celebration of Valentine’s Day among Muslims, claiming it possesses Christian elements.

The global celebration was banned during the 71st meeting of the National Fatwa Committee for Islamic Affairs in 2005.

An anti-Valentine’s campaign called “Mind the Valentine’s Day Trap” has also been held by Jakim since 2011, where volunteers approach youths to warn them of the celebration’s alleged danger.

In addition, previous sermons had claimed the day originally worshipped ancient Roman deities, or celebrated the fall of Muslim rule in Cordoba, Andalusia, now in modern-day Spain.

Islamic enforcement agencies also regularly hold raids on budget hotels and public parks, detaining and charging unmarried Muslim couples with “khalwat”, or being in close proximity with the opposite sex.

Originally a celebration of a Christian saint, Valentine’s Day has long taken a commercial nuance to celebrate romantic love and is vastly popular in East Asia.

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