Well, this is as good an excuse as any not to work out. I wouldn’t want to arouse any “sexual desires.”
Here’s an article from today’s Jakarta Post, forwarded to me by the lovely Andrea Reichert, with a warning for those headed to the gym or planning to celebrate the upcoming holiday. Yup, this is right in my hometown of Palembang.
I wonder if this will affect my students’ reactions to the Valentine’s Day lesson I already planned. Nothing says debauchery like candy conversation hearts.
Indonesian Muslim Organization Cracks Down on Tight Gym Clothes and Valentine’s Day
The head of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) in Palembang, South Sumatra, has warned people, especially women, not to wear sexy and tight attire when they undertake aerobic exercise as it might arouse sexual desire.
Sodikun said that most aerobic clothing was not in line with Islamic cultural values the issue needed to be resolved.
But leggings and tank tops are not the only sexual temptation at the gym, according to Sodikun. He warned that aerobics class moves could also spark sexual desire.
“Exercise is recommended to maintain physical fitness and health, but it must be conducted in accordance with our existing social norms and culture,” Sodikun said. “Aerobic exercise must also avoid the use of transparent suits as it does more harm than good.”
At the same time, the MUI in Pamekasan, East Java, called on the Muslim community to refrain from celebrating Valentine’s Day, stating that it was not a Muslim tradition.
The clerics issued the call because in past years certain segments of the population in Pamekasan had taken part in activities to celebrate the day.
“After all, Valentine’s Day is not an Islamic tradition,” said Lailurrahman, chairman of the MUI’s Pamekasan branch.
“Also, Valentine’s Day celebrations tend to be marked by frivolous, extravagant behavior or even improper activities,” he added.
He said that filling one’s life with love was actually in accordance with Allah’s commands. But Valentine’s Day, which falls on February 14, had pagan connotations, and therefore celebrating it would be a deviation from the Islamic faith, he said.
In Indonesia, the day is mainly observed among young people living in urban centers.
But Lailurrahman said that when one studied the origins of Valentine’s Day, it was obvious that it had nothing to do at all with Islam and Islamic cultural values.
“So, it is only proper for the MUI to forbid Muslim youths from observing the day,” he said.