While lovebirds all over the world took time out to profess undying love and treat each other to an unforgettable day, Iranians were banned from taking part in any valentine celebrations. The country says the move is in a bid to crack down on ‘decadent western culture’.
Police released a directive warning retailers against promoting ‘decadent Western culture through Valentine’s Day rituals.’
Police told Tehran’s coffee and ice cream shops trade union to prevent any gatherings in which men and women could exchange Valentine’s Day gifts or they could be found guilty of a crime.
Valentine has become popular in Iran and other western countries but there are attempts to stifle the spread of western culture in the Islamic Republic.
Saudi Arabia has also sought to stamp out Valentine’s Day but it is widely celebrated in nearby Dubai.
Meanwhile in Indonesia officials and clerics banned young Indonesian Muslims from celebrating Valentine’s Day, arguing that the observance runs against Islamic teachings.
In Banda Aceh, the capital of the devout Muslim province of Aceh, thousands of high school students held rallies rejecting the celebration of Valentine’s Day.
The influential Indonesian Council of Clerics has repeatedly declared the Feb. 14 celebration as an observance stemming from another faith, saying that celebrating it would be the same as promoting faiths other than Islam. Nearly 90 percent of Indonesia’s 265 million people are Muslims, with most practicing a moderate form of the faith.