For the first time, the Islamabad high court has barred the celebration of the day of love, celebrated worldwide as ‘Valentine’s day’. The court order for banning the Valentine’s Day celebration was announced on 13th February, 2017, in which it has been mentioned that, celebration in public spaces and government offices are prohibited across the country ‘with immediate effect’. They have also informed the media that, they should not support or promote any Valentine’s Day events. Pakistani Judge Shaukat Aziz also claimed that celebrating the day of love ‘is against Islamic teachings’.
The court order for banning the Valentine’s Day celebration came after the petition submitted by the local citizen Abdul Waheed, who has also claimed that celebrating the day of love is against Islamic teachings. In addition to this, the court also has requested the ‘Pakistan’s Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA)’ to monitor the media platforms and inform them if they found out that the ban has been compromised in anyway.
Last year, President Mamnoon Hussain has also urged people NOT to celebrate the day of love, since it does not belong to our culture and stating that it is from Western Culture. Ban and resistance against the celebration of Valentine’s Day is not completely unusual in Pakistan. In previous years, the Valentine’s Day celebration has often been disrupted by Pakistani local parties such as Jamaat-e-Islami. However, this year the court has come up with a ban against the celebrations.
Loss for Local Vendors:
Local vendors start selling red colored heart shaped balloons, on the first week of February and prices of the red roses increases the day before Valentine’s Day. In Islamabad’s market, florists are worried that their large heart shaped garland with red roses and jasmine will not sell, due to the ban and they have already invested their money in them. Mohammad Naveed, a roadside florist, has already reported that he has invested close to 2000$ in red roses and Jasmine. They are also worried if they don’t sell by tomorrow, they will be facing a huge loss and they can’t afford it.
Protest in Indonesia and Malaysia:
In effect to this ban, the students from Indonesia have also started a protest against the Valentine’s Day celebration stating that ‘it is a Western tradition that encourages casual sex’. While students from different countries, celebrate this day to reveal their love for their special ones, Indonesian students has slammed that this kind of celebration is unnecessary. The students aged 13-15 have also voiced their protest by chanting ‘Say NO to Valentine’s day’. The Muslim major countries always see the Valentine’s Day celebration as Western decadence. In addition to this, in Malaysia a group called ‘The National Muslim Youth Association’ is also setting guideline for people on how to reject the yearly celebration of Valentine’s Day.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, all the Muslim-majority countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia have joined hands in prohibiting the celebration of Valentine’s Day. After the ban from Pakistani court, people from both India and Pakistan have registered their anger against the ban in twitter. However, we don’t think it will affect the ban in anyways.