Mass Valentine wedding in Malaysia despite warnings from Islamic watchdog
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysian Islamic authorities took their annual swipe at Valentine's Day on Friday, calling it a threat to Muslim values, but 138 couples took part in a mass wedding to mark the date.
In its official Friday sermon text distributed to mosques in the Muslim-majority country, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department blamed Valentine's Day for everything from alcoholism to abortion.
"Social ceremonies such as this are a stepping-stone towards greater social ills such as fraud, mental disorder caused by alcohol, abortion and baby-dumping, and other negative ills that can invite disaster and moral decay among youths," it said.
Known by its Malay-language acronym JAKIM, the department is an official watchdog of Muslim values. It regularly denounces Valentine's Day as encouraging vice and promiscuity.