Valentine Day – A Pakistani high court on Monday banned Valentine’s Day celebrations across the country and its promotion on social media after accepting a petition which argued that it was un-Islamic.
The order was issued by the Islamabad High Court on the petition submitted by a citizen Abdul Waheed, whose political affiliation was not immediately known.
The petitioner had urged the court that the Valentine Day was not part of the Muslim tradition and its promotions on the mainstream and social media should be banned.
The court accepted the petition and ordered the administration to take action to stop the celebration of Valentine’s Day in the country.
It said the order should be implemented with “with immediate effect, ordering the country’s Ministry of Information, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), and Chief Commissioner Islamabad to ensure that ban was carried out in letter and spirit.
The government also warned both the print and electronic media to stop all Valentine’s Day promotions immediately. PEMRA will also ensure that media follows the court orders.
Although Valentine Day has always been a controversial issue in Pakistan and every year zealots religious parties try to terrorize the youngsters celebrating the day, this is the first time that a high court banned its celebrations.
Only a small minority in the conservative country openly observe the day and that too in the big cities.
Last year, President Mamnoon Hussain had also urged the nation not to celebrate Valentine’s Day and said that it has no connection with the country’s culture and should be avoided.
He had urged the people to maintain Pakistan’s religious and national identity.
The Valentine’s Day activities have often been disrupted in the past in the Muslim-majority country by the supporters of hardline parties like Jamaat-e-Islami.
St. Valentine was a priest, who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men.
Valentine felt this was unfair so he celebrated marriages in secret. When the emperor found out he was thrown in jail and sentenced to death.
It wasn’t until more than 200 years later that 14 February was proclaimed St Valentine’s Day. By this time Rome had become Christian and the Catholic Church was determined to stamp out any remaining paganism.
A pagan fertility ritual was held in February each year and the Pope abolished this festival and proclaimed 14 February Saint Valentine’s Day, thus establishing this feast day on the Catholic Calendar of Saints.
So today, Valentine’s day is celebrated across the globe every February 14 and to celebrate this day, people across the world exchange candy, flowers, and gifts with their loved ones.
It is considered to the best day to express your love and care for your special one or even express your feelings to the one you love.