Valentine's Day banned in Pakistan's capital

Feb 16, 2017, 00:36
Valentine's Day banned in Pakistan's capital

On the eve of the special day, Pakistani Justice Shaukat Aziz of the Islamabad High Court ruled that Valentine's Day goes "against Islamic teachings and should be banned immediately".

According to the court order, Valentine's Day-related festivities have been banned in public and official places. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has been ordered to monitor all mediums and send out notifications banning any such promotions.

Although the holiday is celebrated all over the world, it is mostly considered a staple of Western culture and many people from Muslim majority countries reject the appropriation of Western customs.

The court passed its ruling to the ministry, federal government, chairman and chief commissioner, who are obliged to submit a response to the order within ten days.

Islamist and right-wing parties in Pakistan view Valentine's Day as vulgar Western import.

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Last year, President Mamnoon Hussain had urged Pakistanis to forego celebrtating Valentine's Day, saying that it was not a part of Muslim tradition, but of the West.

The Islamic political party "jamat e Islami" objects to the celebrations on February 14.

In Iran and Saudi Arabia, celebrating Valentine's Day is prohibited, and unmarried couples who mark the occasion face punishments that could include jail time. A similar order was in place past year in Islamabad. Social media users in the country are split on the topic, with some tweeting in support of the court's ban and others arguing against it. In recent years, ultraconservative groups have set fire to shops selling Valentine's Day cards and attacked florists who delivered flower arrangements on the holiday.

"If they ban us from selling these tomorrow then it will be a disaster, we simply can not afford this", said Naveed.