Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

In Memory of Jean-Karim Fall, 1958-2017

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Bad diplomacy, brawls & bromance

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Pitch Perfect's Brittany Snow becomes an urban warrior

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US President wraps up world tour in Italy (Part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US President wraps up world tour in Italy (Part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

The battle against illegal fishing in West Africa

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Trump has already quit the Paris climate deal - just not publicly

Read more

#TECH 24

The Ice Memory Project: A treasure trove for future scientists

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Stars dig deep at AIDS gala dinner

Read more

Culture

Iran, Indonesia ban Valentine’s Day celebrations

© Imran Ali, AFP | Pakistani demonstrators in Karachi protest against the celebration of Valentine's Day, on February 13, 2016

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-02-14

Iran and Indonesia have cracked down on Valentine’s Day celebrations, arguing that the commercial observance of February 14 promotes the spreading of “decadent” western culture.

The rising popularity of the annual homage to romance, which tradition says is named after an early Christian martyr, has in recent years become an irritation for some Muslim clerics and officials in a handful of religiously conservative countries.

In Tehran, local media reported that police had informed coffee shops and ice cream parlours that they would be guilty of committing a crime if they encouraged "decadent Western culture through Valentine's Day rituals".

In Indonesia, Muslims in many cities have been banned from observing the celebration, with government officials and Muslim clerics arguing that the observance runs against Islamic teachings.

In Banda Aceh, the capital of Indonesia’s devout Muslim province of Aceh, thousands of high school students on Saturday staged rallies rejecting Valentine’s Day. Banda Aceh’s mayor, Illiza Sa'aduddin Djamal, who took part in the protests along with Shariah officials, said people needed to be made aware that it is not part of Islamic culture.

The influential Indonesian Council of Clerics has repeatedly declared the February 14 celebrations as an observance stemming from another faith, saying that celebrating it would be the same as promoting faiths other than Islam.

‘Not our culture’

In Pakistan, meanwhile, President Mamnoon Hussain said the Western import threatens to undermine the country’s Islamic values.

"Valentine's Day has no connection with our culture and it should be avoided," Hussain was reported by the Reuters news agency as saying on Saturday.

Local media reported earlier in the week that Islamabad had planned to ban any festivities relating to the celebration, calling them an "insult to Islam", but city officials later said such a rule would be unenforceable.

The celebrations have been banned in northwestern city of Peshawar, near the Afghan border, however.

Saudi Arabia has also sought to stamp out Valentine's Day, but it is celebrated widely in nearby places like Dubai.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2016-02-14

  • WEBDOC

    Forbidden Love

    Read more

  • CHINA

    China's Alibaba sets 'anti-Valentine's Day' spending record

    Read more

  • IRAQ - VALENTINE'S DAY

    Video: Iraqis celebrate Valentine’s Day amid daily violence

    Read more

COMMENT(S)