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Happy Valentine’s Day from the Islamic world: Send a card to your sweetie and get arrested

February 14, 2019
Image result for jamaat e islami
Photo: AFP

From Frontpage:

…[E]very year the Islamic Republic of Pakistan bans Valentine’s Day for promoting “immorality, nudity and indecency.” Two days ago, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) sustained its decision to outlaw Valentine’s Day celebrations across the country, ordering authorities to take action on anyone daring to celebrate or promote the Day of Love. Pakistani television and radio stations are disallowed from mentioning the event. No one in society, from an official level to any public place, can even hint that they might be celebrating, let alone thinking about, the day.

Pakistan views Valentine’s Day as an “insult” to Islam. In the past, Valentine’s Day activities in the Islamic country were disrupted by Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan’s main religious party, but in recent years the state and courts have involved themselves. Back on Valentine’s Day in Pakistan in 2013, supporters of Jamat-e-Islami took to the streets in Peshawar to vehemently denounce the Day of Love. Demonizing it as “un-Islamic,” the Muslim protestors shouted that the day had “spread immodesty in the world.” Shahzad Ahmed, the local leader of the student wing of Jamat-e-Islami, declared that the organization would not “allow” any Valentine’s Day functions, warning that if Pakistani law enforcement did not prevent Pakistanis from holding such functions, that the Jamat-e-Islami would stop them “in our own way.” Khalid Waqas Chamkani, a leader in Jamat-e-Islamicalls Valentine’s a “shameful day.”…

[S]everal cities across Muslim-majority Indonesia are prohibiting people from celebrating Valentine’s Day. Two years ago, for instance, in the city of Surabaya, a group of school students, which included many girls wearing the hijab, denounced the day. In Aceh province every year, Muslim clerics issue stern warnings to Muslims against observing Valentine’s Day. Tgk Feisal, general secretary of the Aceh Ulema Association (HUDA), has stated that “It is haram for Muslims to observe Valentine’s Day because it does not accord with Islamic Sharia.” He has stressed that the government must watch out for youths participating in Valentine’s Day activities in Aceh. One can only imagine what happens to the guilty parties.

In Muslim-dominant Malaysia, while Islamic religious leaders and officials warn people against celebrating Valentine’s, the group The National Muslim Youth Association consistently issues a yearly pre-Valentine’s Day message in which it demonizes the day and specifically directs females not to use emoticons and perfume. Malaysia’s State mufti chief assistant Mat Jais Kamos is habitually mindful of issuing warnings about Valentine’s — and that is why, in 2014, a few days beforehand, he ordered young people to stay clear of celebrating the Day of Love: “The celebration emphasizes the relationship between two individuals rather than the love between family members or married couples,” he affirmed, and department officials backed up his command by distributing leaflets to remind citizens of the 2006 ban on Valentine’s Day issued by the state fatwa council.

Valentine’s Day is also also outlawed in Iran and Saudi Arabia. Under the Islamic regime in Iran, any sale or promotion of Valentine’s Day related items, including the exchange of gifts, flowers and cards, is illegal. Iran’s “morality” police consistently warn retailers against the promotion of Valentine’s Day celebrations, sternly ordering shops to remove heart-and-flower decorations and images of couples embracing on this day — and anytime around this day.

In Saudi Arabia, the morality police consistently punish the slightest hint of Valentine’s Day celebrations. The Kingdom and its religious police officially issue stern warnings that anyone caught even thinking about Valentine’s Day will suffer some of the most painful penalties of Sharia Law. Daniel Pipes has documented how the Saudi regime takes a firm stand against Valentine’s every year. Indeed, the Saudi religious police outlaw the sale of all Valentine’s Day items, forcing shopkeepers to remove roses, all red items and numerous other gifts.

Christian overseas workers living in Saudi Arabia from the Philippines and other countries always take extra precautions, heeding the Saudis’ warning to them specifically to avoid greeting anyone with the words “Happy Valentine’s Day” or exchanging any gift that reeks of romance. A spokesman for a Philippine workers group has commented:

We are urging fellow Filipinos in the Middle East, especially lovers, just to celebrate their Valentine’s Day secretly and with utmost care.

Pakistan, Malaysia, Iran and Saudi Arabia are clearly carrying the torch for the Indonesian Ulema Council in Dumai, Riau, and for the Education, Youth and Sport Agency in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, both of which issue a dire warning each year to people against celebrating Valentine’s Day, stating that the Day of Love “is against Islam.” This is because, as the Indonesian Ulema Council 2011 judgment explained, Valentine’s Day takes young people into a “dark world.”

In Islamic Uzbekistan, several universities are very conscious of that dark world, habitually make sure that students actually sign contracts promising not to celebrate Valentine’s.

Typical of this whole pathology in the Islamic world was a development witnessed back on February 10, 2006, when activists of the radical Kashmiri Islamic group Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of the Community) went on a rampage in Srinagar, the main city of the Indian portion of Kashmir. Some two dozen black-veiled Muslim women stormed gift and stationery shops, burning Valentine’s Day cards and posters showing couples together.

And you thought that staging The Vagina Monologues on Feb. 14 was enough of a St. Valentine’s Day massacre.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

From → Uncategorized

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