No Love Lost over Valentine's Day in Malaysia

Topics: Sociology, Islam, Caliphate Pages: 3 (818 words) Published: March 22, 2013
No love lost over Valentine’s Day in Malaysia

Mark Lim Tian Peng

Tutorial Group: D10
Submitted on: 170211
Submitted to: Mr. Thomas Barker


Malaysia’s Islamic government agencies are calling for Muslims not to celebrate Valentine’s Day because they reckon the occasion is a ‘Christian’ tradition. Based on this article, I would like to touch on the issue of power in the sociological context. The type of power we can easily identify here is traditional authority. A system of imperative co-ordination will be called ‘traditional’ if legitimacy is claimed for it and believed in the basis of the sanctity of the order and the attendant powers of control as they have been handed down from the past, ‘have always existed.’ (Weber, 341) In Malaysia, the government has, for a long time now, been pro-Islamic. Most of the laws formulated are very much based on Islamic beliefs. This is made possible due to the overwhelming proportion of the Muslim population in Malaysia, supporting this cause of the state. There has been a rise of the Islamic ethos in Malaysia, since the 1970s. (Mutalib, 17) This goes to say that there is an ever-present Islamic element in the Malaysian state, which the Malaysian society has come to be accustomed of. Now, according to these Malaysian Islamic government agencies, Muslims should not celebrate Valentine’s Day because the occasion honors a Christian priest, Saint Valentine. They assert that Muslims should not have anything to do with Christian or Catholic practices. It can be seen here that the authorities are using a religious argument against participating in the event; and by that, they are attempting to exert their traditional authority. However, it will be interesting to question whether this ban is purely based on religious reasons. One other important implication of this not-celebrating call will be social control. Social control in general refers to all those mechanisms and practices in society by which persons...
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