Valentine's Day is generally considered either a chance for romantics to celebrate, or an exploitative commercial venture. In Malaysia however Valentine's Day has been banned for Muslims since 2005
Now an Islamic group wants to prevent non-Muslim Malaysians, around 40 percent of the population, from celebrating it too. The youth branch of the political party Parti Islam Semalaysia (PAS) believe that the promotion of Valentine's Day encourages immoral activity.
It has urged the government to put greater controls on advertising the occasion, in order to "curb social ills" according to The Malaysian Insider.
Malaysian Muslims are told that asking someone to be their valentine will provoke the wrath of Allah as such a request would be idolatrous. At Friday prayers an official government sermon reminded them that Valentine's Day was against Islamic beliefs.
IOL reported that not everyone is happy with the ban and attempts to spread the anti-Valentine's Day message amongst non-Muslims. Muslim youth group the National Youth Council disagrees with the stance taken by PAS youth, with NYC President council president Mohamed Maliki Mohamed Rapiee saying "It should be the responsibility of non-government organisations and religious institutions to create awareness of immoral activities.”
The ban is supported in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, birthplace of the Prophet Mohammed. Each year the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice do an annual swoop to ensure nothing is for sale that could be connected to promoting romance. As the LA Times reported their sweep extends beyond flowers and candy as the religious police even purge the colour red.