Many Muslim Nations see Valentine’s Day celebration as a controversial celebration, as many Islamic clerics have criticised its Western origins.
In some parts of Indonesia, several conservative Muslims are of the opinion that it promotes pre-marital sex and, therefore, support the decision of the Indonesian authority to limit romantic activities.
In Aceh, a region in Indonesia that forces Islamic law, a government announcement asked for residents not to celebrate the romantic day and to report offenders.
In 2018, StraitTimes quoted Irwandi Yusuf, governor of the Aceh province in northern Sumatra insisted that the day didn’t align with his people’s religious values.
However, in some places like the capital Jakarta, some moderate Muslims celebrate the day with their loved ones, and displays were set up at malls and cafés to mark the day.
Basically, Valentine’s Days in Indonesia don’t go as lovely and rosy as some would expect, or like it happens in several countries around the world.
According to several reports, authorities made a good number of arrests in several major cities.
Some hotels and guest houses were raided a day before the valentine’s day to arrest unmarried partners. Among them are a German National and his Indonesian partner.
Head of the local public order office, Iman Hud, told AFP that they caught the German with his Indonesian partner in a motel and they weren’t husband and wife so that’s why we arrested them.
However, Hud said they were in no time released after a lecture about the evils of pre-marital sex was dished out to them.
In addition to the German, Hud confirmed that five sex workers were caught in the trawl and would be sent to a rehabilitation centre
He said, “These social illnesses must be prevented. We need to remind the public to uphold our culture and ethics”.
Meanwhile, in Makassar, authorities have warned against the sales of condom openly and also guard against underage buyers by checking their Identification cards.
The authorities also did some supervising to ensure that those instructions were adhered to by shop owners.
According to Mr Hud, “Condoms are for married adults. They’re not supposed to be displayed and sold openly, particularly near snacks for kids like chocolate.”
The acting mayor of Makassar, Muhammad Iqbal Samad Suhae stated that the measures taken were essential to prevent his city from being stifled by excessive sex and drug use.
He said, ” Festivities like Valentine’s Day usually attract youth. That’s when they are out of control and doing things which violate our norms and traditions, like consuming drugs and engaging in free sex. We want to prevent that here,” he added.