Islamists hold ‘modesty day’ in Pakistan to counter Valentine’s celebration

Islamabad, Feb 14 (EFE).- Pakistani groups on Tuesday promoted a “modesty day” to ostensibly saving “tenets of Islam” from Valentine’s Day, dubbed vulgar in the conservative country despite being celebrated by young residents.

The Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT), the student wing of Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami, held events in universities and other educational institutes apart from holding marches and protests in cities such as Islamabad and Karachi to prevent the youth from celebrating the day of love.

“Valentine’s Day promotes vulgarity which is banned in Islam. so how can such an anti-Islam thing be allowed to flourish in Pakistan?” IJT president Shakeel Ahmed told EFE.

The Islamists called for “thwarting alien ideas of liberality,” while the government passed an order last week banning local media from promoting Valentine’s Day.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority directed all broadcasters and media outlets to “refrain from promoting Valentine’s Day” following an order of the Islamabad High Court.

In 2017, the same court had already banned the celebration of Valentine’s Day in public spaces and government offices across the country.

However, despite the opposition to the celebration, several establishments in Islamabad were selling heart-shaped balloons, teddy-bears, roses and other merchandize related to the Day.

Lovers could also be seen celebrating the occasion in parks and restaurant on Tuesday.

Valentine’s Day has traditionally been a controversial festival in Pakistan, where religious groups have strongly opposed it.

At times, progressive activists have raised their voice against the religious campaigns.

Human rights defender Sabeen Mahmud organized a counter-protest against the Islamists in 2013.

She was assassinated two years later for challenging the Islamists through the event, according to one of the accused in the case. EFE


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