News / Middle East

Valentine's Day Not Loved in Many Areas of the World

An activist of India's opposition BJP party prepares to burst heart shaped balloon during a protest against Valentine's Day celebrations in Hyderabad, India, Sunday, Feb.13, 2011.
An activist of India's opposition BJP party prepares to burst heart shaped balloon during a protest against Valentine's Day celebrations in Hyderabad, India, Sunday, Feb.13, 2011.
Ira Mellman

Monday marks the celebration of Valentine’s Day by much of the world. But it is a celebration that is drawing protests in some areas.

In Southern India, members of a Hindu political party recently gathered to burn Valentine’s Day cards.

One protestor said he is against what he called the "cultural exploitation" of the day. He added people sharing sexual greetings with each other in public in the name of Valentine’s Day should be strongly condemned.

Many Islamic nations, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, have banned the celebration of Valentine’s Day. Iranian officials say they will take action against those who ignore the ban.

In Malaysia, officials have warned Muslims against celebrating. The warning follows plans announced last week by several Malaysian states to crack down on "immoral acts" during Valentine's Day as part of a campaign to encourage a sin-free lifestyle.

The head of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department, which oversees the country's Islamic policies, told state media, "In reality, as well as historically, the celebration of Valentine's Day is synonymous with vice activities."

In Dubai, which has traditionally permitted celebration of Valentine’s Day, the tourism authority has banned the sale of alcohol because of the day's proximity of the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday, which falls on Tuesday, February 15.

VOA initially reported Valentine's Day has been banned in Malaysia. While the celebration is discouraged, it is not banned. VOA regrets the error.

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