Police raid homes to stop Valentine’s Day celebrations

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Authorities in Indonesia have conducted raids in Surabaya, and Makassar city on Sulawesi island to snuff out couples indulging in amorous act to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Amorous couples were urged to quit the celebration as the raids were carried out to quash any wayward gift-giving.

About 100 students in the second-biggest city, Surabaya, demonstrated against the chocolates-and-flowers celebration, saying it promoted Western decadence and casual sex.

“Say no to Valentine’s now!” chanted the high schoolers, most of them teenaged girls in hijab head coverings. Some held placards with phrases like “Sorry Valentine’s Day, I am Muslim”.

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School principal Arief Himawan warned that couples giving each other chocolates or other treats can quickly lead to sin.

“We want to remind our young generation not to be caught up in Western culture,” he told AFP.

In conservative Aceh province — the only place in Indonesia that imposes Islamic law — a fresh Valentine’s prohibition was issued, citing religious norms.

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People are publicly whipped in the region for a wide range of offenses including selling alcohol and gay sex and similar bans have been ordered in previous years.

While Valentine’s was off the cards for some, many Indonesians practise a moderate form of Islam and celebrate the day with chocolates and flowers for their loved ones.

 

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