Daily Archives: Tuesday, 12 February, 2008

Valentine’s Day Will Not be Celebrated in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia

This story leaves me with such mixed feelings. On the one hand, I think Valentine’s Day is a wretched holiday that pleases no one except those people who hawk overpriced diamond jewelry and chocolate sold in oversized boxes.
On the other hand, it is worrisome/funny that there’s a National Assembly committee in Kuwait to monitor negative alien practices.
And yet, won’t I refer to the observance of Valentine’s Day as a negative alien practice from today until the day I die? Probably.

KUWAIT: Head of National Assembly committee monitoring negative alien practices MP Waleed Al-Tabtabae said yesterday the panel will meet on Wednesday with the government to discuss ways to ban Valentine’s Day celebrations in the state. The meeting will take place with representatives from the ministries of interior, information and commerce and industry, Tabtabae said.

We want to discuss measures that should be taken by these ministries to prevent such alien events from impacting the Kuwaiti society and spreading corruption among the Kuwaiti youth,” he said. Tabtabae described Valentine’s Day as an occasion that contradicts with the traditions and values of the Kuwaiti society.

Islamist MP Jamaan Al-Harbash, who is a member of the committee, urged the minister of commerce and industry to perform his responsibilities “to prevent the celebration of Valentine’s Day which contradicts with the values and teachings of Islam and do not conform with our traditions”. He said that many foreign nations ban the celebrations because they aim at “spreading moral corruption”, adding that they will closely watch what happens during the next few days to judge if the government is serious over ban
ning the celebrations.

Here’s a similar story about a Valentine’s Day ban in Saudi Arabia.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 11 (UPI) — The virtue police in Saudi Arabia have ordered shops to remove roses and other items that are red to prevent the celebration of Valentine’s Day Feb.14.

Shop workers in Riyadh say agents of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice visited flower and gift shops during the weekend to issue warnings, the Saudi Gazette reported Monday.

Each year on the eve of Valentine’s Day, commission agents conduct raids and confiscate any red items they find.

Islamic scholars preach celebrating Valentine’s Day and other non-Islamic holidays is a sin, especially Valentine’s Day.

“As Muslims we shouldn’t celebrate a non-Muslim celebration especially this one that encourages immoral relations between unmarried men and women,” Sheikh Khaled Al-Dossari said.

I don’t know how they celebrate it there, but there’s no reason the Valentine’s Day revelers can’t be married couples. I think they usually are, in fact.

So Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and I all have bans on Valentine’s Day festivities. On that we agree. But I’m probably the only one of the three of us who enjoys Halloween.

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Filed under arab, arabian, Saudi Arabia