Indonesia Seizes Condoms in Major Stores to Stop Teenagers From Valentine’s Day Sex

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 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!”
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.
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