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Valentine’s Day Banned in Tehran, Pakistan Overlooks the Celebration | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Lebanese selling Valentine’s Day gifts in Beirut, Lebanon – AFP

A Lebanese selling Valentine's Day gifts in Beirut, Lebanon - AFP

A Lebanese selling Valentine’s Day gifts in Beirut, Lebanon – AFP

Valentine’s Day was officially added to the list of prohibited practices in Iran by local security forces. Thus the celebration of the event in public areas is completely banned. Media across the country stated that police had circulated a statement of warning for youth of opposite genders gathering in cafés and clubs for the exchange of Valentine associated gifts such as stuffed animals, flowers, and chocolate. The police confirmed that it will be punishing all store keepers in case of registering any violations.

In a defying notion, over the past years, the Iranians have invented a day similar to Valentine’s to celebrate love. They claimed that the origin of the tribute itself belongs to the Persian culture. The day is called “Sbndar Mzghan” and is celebrated 4 days after Valentine’s Day.

Aftab Yazd, a Persian-language daily reformist newspaper publishes in Iran, interviewed the social committee member of the Parliament, Mohamed Bourfatimi. During the talk, he explained that putting the ban into effect will not compel the Iranian youth “en route” for Iranian culture.

Bourfatimi considered that the deficiency in Iranian cultural character among the youth only draws them in the direction of alternatives found in western culture, which is an outcome he deemed inescapable.

While in Islamabad, capital city of Pakistan, President Mamnoon Hussain urged his countries’ citizens not to celebrate Valentine’s Day at all. He considered that Valentine’s Day on Feb.14 is an import of western civilization that also threatens to sap Islamic values in Pakistan.
On the other hand, officials in Islamabad clarified that a decision on banning the occasion is virtually inapplicable.
Local media broadcasted that in Peshawar, a city in Pakistan, all symbols suggesting the celebration of Feb.14 in reference to Valentine’s Day have been banned. However, police forces denied any allegations made on the imposing of any restrictions.