The Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) has backtracked from its declaration on Thursday that Valentine's Day is haram, altering its stance to celebrating Valentine's Day is acceptable as long as it does not involve breaching Islamic teachings.
MUI's edict department chairman Ma'ruf Amin said Saturday that Valentine's Day, which falls Monday this year, should be received as an "ordinary get-together", or silaturahmi.
"The meeting [for Valentine's Day] is like a silaturahmi," Ma'ruf said as quoted by tribunnews.com on Saturday.
"We will forbid it should the meeting go against Islamic teachings, such as by involving inappropriate action, liquor, frantic dancing or casual mingling between different sexes," he said.
Ma'ruf asserted that Islam didn't recognize Valentine's Day, but that the religion respected the value of silaturahmi.
He said it would be no problem if Muslims met on Valentine's Day.
Ma'ruf's statement was more lenient than the MUI's announcement on Thursday, which called on Muslims not to celebrate the traditionally romantic occasion, arguing that it was not a part of the culture of Islam.
Amidhan said Valentine's Day celebrations were linked to Christianity and that celebrating it would be spreading that faith.
MUI's initial call drew widespread derision among Twitter followers. Some even suggested a campaign to send Valentine's cards to MUI's secretariat on Jl. Proklamasi, Central Jakarta, to mock its announcement.