The Islamabad High Court stated that Valentine’s Day celebration was not part of Muslim Culture.
In 2015, Pakistan’s top Islamic clerical body threatened to issue a fatwa against the sale of condoms following reports they were being sold together with chocolate to mark Valentine’s Day.
In 2016, President Mamnoon Hussain urged Pakistan to not observe Valentine’s Day.
This year, the order prohibits all public celebrations in any kind of media. Television and magazines are not allowed to make references to Valentine’s Day celebrations. Furthermore, all the sales of associated merchandise is prohibited in any public space or government building.
The Islamabad High Court order came after a petition submitted by a citizen named Abdul Waheed. He claimed that promoting Valentine’s Day was “against the teachings of Islam and should be banned immediately.”
In the country, Valentine’s Day is seen by some as amoral and an appropriation of Western culture.
And yet that day can be a chance to promote business for some people. The price of heart-shaped balloons and red roses usually increases. Florists who can make 80$ on a classic day can easily double this amount.
Pakistan is not the first country to prohibit Valentine’s Day. Last year, Indonesia banned the celebrations for the same motives as Pakistan.
Russia banned the festivities too. According to Grigory Bolotnov, a spokesperson for the governor’s office, it is “not a Russian tradition and it doesn’t teach good moral values to Russian youth.”
Kevin Hiot, IEJ 3D