Pakistan continues to impose ban on Valentine’s Day
Sheetal Sukhija - Wednesday 14th February, 2018
Pakistan continued to ban Valentine’s Day celebrations
The Islamabad High Court ruled the holiday as ‘un-Islamic’
PEMRA imposed guidelines to its TV and radio licenses to remind them of the ban
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan maintained its ban on Valentine’s Day - claiming the day celebrated by lovers across the world actually promotes “immorality, nudity and indecency.”
The country’s media coverage on Wednesday reminded the public about the ruling passed by the Islamabad High Court, which had declared the holiday as “un-Islamic.”
Further, according to reports, in order to comply with the court ruling, Pakistan's Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) imposed guidelines to its TV and radio licenses to remind people in the country of the ban.
The PEMRA issued a statement that read, "Respondents are directed to ensure that nothing about the celebrations of Valentine's Day and its promotion is spread on the Electronic and Print media. No event shall be held on an official level and at any public place. PEMRA is directed to ensure that all the TV channels shall stop the promotion of Valentine's Day forthwith.”
The ruling by the Islamabad High Court also prohibited any advertising or the sale of merchandise associated with Valentine's Day.
On Tuesday, the Islamabad High Court issued a judgment on a petition claiming that Valentine's Day was spreading "immorality, nudity and indecency" in the society.
The court has reportedly also prohibited the celebration of Valentine's Day in public places and government offices in Islamabad.
The court instructed PEMRA to "ensure that nothing about the celebration of Valentine's Day and its promotion is spread."
However, the decision sparked a heated debate amongst several groups in the country, who are questioning the nature of the ban on Valentine Day's celebrations.
Many even questioned its validity in relevance to Islam, with the hashtag #ValentinesAndIslam emerging from and trending widely in the country.
One user tweeted, “My question: Can Muslims celebrate Valentine's Day? I'm not asking if it is shirk ,as in, Is it shirk for a Muslim to celebrate Valentine's Day? Instead, I am asking if it is permissible to celebrate Valentine's Day. #ValentinesAndIslam.”
Meanwhile, another said, "I reject all the arguments about Valentine. Because in Islam this is nothing more than a simple day... #ValentinesAndIslam.”
And another person wrote, “Islam is the religion of peace and love.Valentine's day destroying our Islamic morals and dignity.”
Another user wrote, "If the Christians have a festival and the Jews have a festival, which belongs exclusively to them, then no Muslim should join in with them, just as he does not share their religion or their direction of prayer. #ValentinesAndIslam.”
According to local reports, the ruling has also affected many businesses across the country.
Last year, when a similar ban was imposed, flower vendors and shops selling Valentine's Day-related merchandise reported a huge drop in sales.
Yet, several religious groups and political parties including Jamaat-e-Islami have openly supported the ban of Valentine's Day celebrations in the country.
Valentine's Day celebrations were prohibited by local authorities in Kohat, a city in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa last year too.
Further, Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain had warned citizens to refrain from celebrating Valentine's Day as it was "not a part of Muslim tradition, but of the West."
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