Pakistan Isn’t Feeling The Love

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PC: CNN News

Jenny Brotherton, Staff writer

Valentine’s Day is typically known as a loving holiday celebrating romance, affection, and relationships. However, Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, did not seem to think so.

On Monday Feb. 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day, the Islamabad High Court  banned the celebration of Valentine’s Day in government offices and public places. However the ban does not include stores and restaurants, leaving them unaffected, reported BBC News.

Apparently the media and news have been told not to cover this well-known holiday in order to maintain the religious views and integrity of the Pakistan government.

The holiday is viewed as a western tradition with no ties to the Muslim lifestyle. According to the Daily Mail, the court declared the ban after a citizen, Abdul Waheed, submitted a petition claiming that the holiday was immoral and promoted nudity and indecency.

Many in Pakistan claim Valentine’s Day is not part of the Muslim culture, and is contradictory to their beliefs. According to the Daily Mail President Mamnoon Hussain advised citizens to avoid the holiday by not celebrating “Valentine’s Day has no connection with our culture and it should be avoided,” he stated.

While The Washington Post has stated that Pakistan has had an increase in the holiday’s popularity, and businesses have started to utilize the celebration in order to promote their products, many religious organizations have critiqued it, and its relevance to their traditions.

Maulana Niaz Muhammad, Kohat District Administrator told BBC News that, “Valentines Day has no legal grounds, and secondly it is against our religion, therefore it was banned.”

Across Pakistan, groups of people have protested Valentine’s Day. People gathered to denounce the holiday and held signs with phrases such as “No Valentine’s Day.”

However, Pakistan isn’t the only country that has objected V-Day. Muslim students in Indonesia also protested against the holiday, and the opposition to this romantic celebration doesn’t stop there. Over the years Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Iran have also put a stop to Valentine’s Day, according to Conservative Review.