Less than 24 hours ahead of Valentine’s Day, the Islamabad High Court in Pakistan issued an order banning celebration of the holiday effective immediately.
According to CNN, the order bans Valentine’s Day-related advertisements in digital and print media and the sale of merchandise. The terms of the order also specify that the day may not be celebrated in “any public space or government building.”
Circular in light of order passed by Hon'ble Islamabad High Court regarding stoppage of promotion of Valentine's Day pic.twitter.com/v2cmVjwBaz— Report PEMRA (@reportpemra) February 13, 2017
Although the holiday is celebrated all over the world, it is mostly considered a staple of Western culture and many people from Muslim majority countries reject the appropriation of Western customs.
The court order came after a petition was submitted by a civilian named Abdul Waheed, who said he believes the promotion and celebration of Valentine’s Day go “against the teachings of Islam and should be banned immediately.”
While on the surface banning the day may not seem like a huge deal, its abrupt implementation weighs heavy on businesses and vendors who were anticipating the revenue from sales before and on Feb. 14.
Flower salesman Mohammad Naveed said he invested almost $2,000 on supplies for Valentine’s Day arrangements.
"If they ban us from selling these tomorrow then it will be a disaster," he said. "We simply cannot afford this."
Florists who have been promoting and selling heart-shaped balloons, flower bouquets, and other merchandise will now lose money on everything they didn't sell prior to the ban.
“We spend four to five days making these," Sultan Zaib told CNN. "I've got 40 of them ready to be sold for tomorrow.”
Aside from the ban’s negative impact on businesses, it’s simply unfair to citizens who enjoy the holiday and have already made plans for celebrations.
Twitter users weighed in on the subject with some expressing support for the ban. Most criticized how absurd it seems, particularly in the face of real terror, such as Monday's bomb blast in Lahore that killed more than a dozen people and wounded several others.
Meanwhile, Pakistan is cracking down on public celebration of Valentine's Day https://t.co/Je96Qim9Q5— Kent Atkinson (@kentatkinson) February 13, 2017
Don't worry, the courts are busy crushing real terror: Valentine's Day. #LahoreBlast— NadeemFarooqParacha (@NadeemfParacha) February 13, 2017
It happened. Pakistan just banned Valentine's Day. https://t.co/FwulTk4Luo— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) February 13, 2017
#ValentinesDay is a vulgarity day, be realistic , do not see life with your rose-tinted glasses , it would only lead you to misery & regret.— Mehreen Sibtain (@Mehreen_Sibtain) February 12, 2017
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Reuters