SIS heartbroken over Valentine crackdown

By Tashny Sukumaran, Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Religious departments have courted brickbats instead of bouquets from the Sisters in Islam (SIS) for their Valentine’s Day hate campaign.

Speaking to FMT, SIS legal and advocacy officer Nazreen Nizam called the dragnet a waste of taxpayers’ money and urged the authorities to focus on more pressing issues.

“They are morally policing Muslims which violates dignity and privacy. This is forbidden in Islam,” she said.

“They could use their resources to look for fathers who don’t pay alimony or crack down on people who enter polygamous marriages without the consent of the syariah court,” she added.

Nazreen said the funds could also be used to educate religious officers regarding recent developments in other Muslim nations.

“The schools of thought here are very outdated. Do they have so little to do that they want to go after people who are dating?” she asked.

For Muslims here, Feb 14 came with a stern warning from religious authorities to steer clear of the celebration, which was deemed un-Islamic.

Painting a thorny picture, the Selangor Islamic Department (JAIS) blamed Valentine’s Day for the 257,411 births out of wedlock between 2000 and 2008.

Dates on Valentine’s Day, the authorities claimed, would eventually lead to illicit sex.

In the ensuing crackdown, religious authorities detained close to a 100 Muslims for the offence of khalwat (close proximity).

The Christian community was also up in arms when news broke of a video clip depicting a religious teacher urging Muslims not to indulge in the “vices of Christians”.