Just sharing a recent release from the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) Youth in what I feel is a most appropriate response to an Ustazah who made such claims whilst trying to discourage Muslims from celebrating Valentine’s Day… The complete article from CCM Youth’s website can be found HERE.
Kuala Lumpur – 10 Feb 2011
CCM Youth issued a press release today expressing concern over the erroneous interpretations attributing Valentine’s Day to Christian teachings and values.
CCM Youth expressed deep disappointment with motivational speakerUstazah Siti Nor Bahyah Mahamood in her derogatory and irresponsible remarks that were aired on national television and subsequently circulated on Youtube®, as having said in Bahasa Malaysia that, “Maksiat, disco, couple-couple bersunyi sunyian, inilah tradisi masyarakat yang beragama Kristian” in her build-up call to discourage all Muslim youth from celebrating Valentine’s Day.
CCM Youth rebuked Ustazah Siti that in her over-enthusiasm, she had based her arguments with unsupported legends and fables and had chosen to use the public sphere to abuse another community’s beliefs with erroneous opinions, which were weakly disguised as facts. Her careless remarks have humiliated the beliefs of others and resulted in creating disharmony by inciting hatred of one community to another.
CCM Youth clarified to the Malaysian public that the commercial practices of Valentine’s Day and Santa Claus have no biblical grounding and basis in Christian teachings. However, just as people of all races and religions around the world celebrated Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day had been equally celebrated, as part of the global culture to remind everyone to love one another. Therefore, it is not just an exclusive celebration between girlfriend and boyfriend but also a celebration of family love.
In fact, CCM Youth urged everyone to go beyond Valentine’s Day by celebrating EVERY day as a day of loving one another because love is central to the Christian faith.
CCM Youth viewed that Ustazah Siti could have advised the young people to be wise and not be exploited by such blatantly commercialized celebration rather than openly attacking another community’s beliefs without well researched facts.
CCM Youth also urged all quarters to respect every Malaysian’s private space and rights, and to refrain from making untoward statements by attributing all social illnesses in Malaysia to be connected with the Valentine’s Day celebration especially the recent allegations that PAS intended to “police” Valentine’s Day in Selangor.
While this was a very hurtful statement, CCM Youth reiterated that they did not hold anything against Ustazah Siti and sought everyone to do likewise, as the Bible has said through 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Therefore, CCM Youth hoped that Ustazah Siti would apologise to the Christian community in the spirit of unity through diversity.
SOURCE: COUNCIL OF CHURCHES OF MALAYSIA YOUTH