A Pakistani court has officially banned Valentine’s Day because it isn’t a part of Islamic tradition. The Islamabad High Court has also ordered that there can be no celebrations of the holiday in public spaces or government offices anywhere in the country.
Petition to ban Valentine’s Day
According to Dawn, Justice Shaukat Aziz, who’s overseeing the case on banning Valentine’s Day, called for replies from the Islamabad High Commission, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and the Federal Ministry of Information. The court ordered all electronic and print media to immediately halt all promotions of the holiday, and it ordered Pemra to monitor all mediums and issue notifications banning promotions.
The ban was the court’s response to a petition submitted by Abdul Waheed. He had petitioned the court against Valentine’s Day promotions in the mainstream media and on social media because he feels they are “against Islamic teachings and should be banned immediately.” The Pakistani citizen feels that celebrating the holiday in public spaces should also not be allowed because “in cover of spread of live in fact, immorality, nudity and decency is [sic] being promoted which is against our rich culture.”
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Mixed responses to Valentine’s Day in Pakistan
Citizens in Pakistan respond to the holiday in various ways every year. Some support and celebrate the holiday, while others openly criticize it. 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.
Many businesses, especially restaurants, florists and bakeries, advertise promotions for the holiday. In addition to prohibiting advertisements in print and electronic media, the court order also bans sales of products that are related to the holiday. One florist in Pakistan told CNN that the amount of money he earns on the holiday is ten times the amount he earns on any other day of the year. He also said that he had spent about $2,000 buying stock for Valentine’s Day, and he can’t afford to be kept from selling all the flowers he bought.
Others protest the holiday
Meanwhile, some citizens organize public protests of it like “Haya Day,” which is held on college campuses, and other “Say no to Valentine’s Day” campaigns in Pakistan, reports Dawn. Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain urged his nation’s citizens to skip the holiday last year because it’s part of Western tradition and not Islamic tradition.
Also some religious groups in the country, such as the jamat e Islami political party, have protested celebrations for the holiday and rallied against it every year on the day, according to CNN. The Peshawar city government banned celebrations of it last year.