Indonesia seizes condoms to crack down on ‘immoral’ Valentine’s Day | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Indonesia seizes condoms to crack down on ‘immoral’ Valentine’s Day

Indonesian authorities raided convenience stores and seized condoms in a major city to stop teenagers having casual sex on Valentine’s Day, an official said today, the latest crackdown on the holiday in the Muslim-majority nation.

world Updated: Feb 14, 2017 18:58 IST
A condom rack is left empty at a convenience store in Makassar, South Sulawesi province, in Indonesia on Valentine’s day. Indonesian authorities raided convenience stores and seized condoms in a major city to stop teenagers having casual sex on the day.
A condom rack is left empty at a convenience store in Makassar, South Sulawesi province, in Indonesia on Valentine’s day. Indonesian authorities raided convenience stores and seized condoms in a major city to stop teenagers having casual sex on the day. (AFP)

Indonesian authorities raided convenience stores and seized condoms in a major city to stop teenagers having casual sex on Valentine’s Day, an official said on Tuesday, the latest crackdown on the holiday in the Muslim-majority nation.

The mayor of Makassar, a conservative city on central Sulawesi island, led public order officers in the raids late Monday on the eve of the celebration.

Mayor Mohammad Ramdhan Pomanto said he was not against the sale of condoms but that outlets needed to be careful about whom they were sold to.

“Valentine’s Day is often misused by teenagers to have casual sex, this can destroy the morality of the nation,” he was quoted as saying in local media.

Iman Hud -- head of the local public officers, similar to police but with fewer powers -- told AFP that convenience stores had been failing to check teenagers’ IDs to see whether they were at least 18 years old, the age of consent, before selling them condoms.

“We are doing this to prevent promiscuity,” he said, adding that hundreds of condoms were seized in the raids in the city of 1.3 million.

It was the latest expression of anger at Valentine’s Day in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, where Islamic clerics and some pious Muslims use the occasion to criticise what they see as Western decadence.

On Monday teenage pupils, including girls in headscarves, staged a protest outside a school in the city of Surabaya, chanting: “Say no to Valentine!”

Girls from a local boarding school shout during an anti-Valentine's Day rally in Surabaya, East Java province on February 13, 2017. Conservative Indonesian Islamic groups have denounced Valentine's Day, saying it is un-Islamic, promoting promiscuity, casual sex and consumption of alcohol while other groups described the day as foreign cultural influence. (AFP)

Celebrating the romantic holiday has also been banned by authorities in some parts of the country, as it is every year.

Despite some objections, many in Indonesia mark the occasion, particularly in major cities where cards and chocolates are widely available. Most in the country practise a moderate form of Islam.