Saudi Arabia's religious police — the much-feared "muttawa" — have launched a campaign to ban the sale of any Valentines Day-related items, including "roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, teddy bears, cards and novelty gifts." They are patrolling shops looking for offending items and threatening punishment for merchants who flaut the ban. Under the country's strict interpretation of Islamic law, the holiday is forbidden because it celebrates the life of a Christian saint and "encourages immoral relations between unmarried men and women." Is Saudi Arabia justified in it's war against V-day?
It's funny what Saudi authorities consider a 'threat': Just think, if Saudi religious police "were as zealous about rooting out 'extremism' as they are about saving souls from the horrors of red roses and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates" the world's terrorism problem might improve considerably, says Marisol at Jihad Watch. Of course, we can be pretty sure that the muttawa won't target extremists — because in that case they "would have to arrest themselves."
"Saudi Arabia launches its annual jihad against Valentine's Day"
Westerners are killing Muslims -- we must not celebrate their decadent holiday: All the gaudy trappings of Valentine's day are merely part of culture "of a people who are involved in the humiliation and killing of our fellow brothers and sisters," says Mariam Anwer, a Saudi school teacher, in the Saudi Gazette. The crimes of the "the Jews and Christians" — the "Gaza Massacre just a year back was a slap on the face of every living Muslim" — need to serve as "a reminder for us to return to our roots." How could "imitating" our enemies on Valentine's Day possibly be what Allah wants?
"Reflections on Valentine's Day"
Make a political statement... by smooching: For whatever reason, there is "something about Valentine's Day that still arouses religious intolerance," says the editorial board of Scripps News. We see it in India, where "radical Hindus and Muslims... are threatening to attack and beat young couples found courting." But the "puritanical" response by Saudi religious police is the "worst" example. What's the best way to protest? "Think of your own Valentine's Day observance as a modest blow for religious freedom and simple fun."
"Why Valentine's Day?"
SEE MORE FROM THE WEEK:
• Do wedding bills kill love?
• Casual sex: Bad for men?
• Loud sex: A Jailable offense?
• Roxxxy: World's first sex robot
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- China's leader is telling the People's Liberation Army to prepare for war
- How I lost all my money
- The religious right isn't retreating — it's reforming
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 10 things you need to know today: December 22, 2014
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- A brief history of the Christmas present
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- How to save money: 12 great personal finance tips
Subscribe to the Week