Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day- Saudi Style!

If you are a cynical sort who thinks Valentine's Day is only a money grab for florists and candy makers, and that it often puts more strain a relationship than warms might have a group of friends out there.

"There" is Saudi Arabia.

And "they" are the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, aka the religious enforcement police in Saudi Arabia.

This morning I was having a leisurely late breakfast while watching RELIGION AND ETHICS on PBS, and the story came up about how the religion cops in Saudi Arabia are going around busting retailers who are selling Valentine cards, hearts, candies...and even warned about selling anything RED this Sunday.

Meris Lutz wrote this story in The Los Angeles Times about the situation. Below are a few paragraphs.

A spokesman for the Saudi virtue commission, Sheik Ali Qarni, defended the ban on celebrating Valentine's Day on the grounds that Muslims know the true meaning of love -- the love of God -- and behave accordingly throughout the year.

"Muslims are people of love, as evidenced by the fact that this word appears in [the Koran] 83 times," Qarni told the newspaper Al Watan.

The newspaper said Valentine's Day is outlawed based on a fatwa against "pagan holidays."

The commission ran ads this week warning shop owners against selling any merchandise related to Valentine's Day, which is Sunday.

Another newspaper, Al Riyadh, ran articles with headlines such as, "A fifth of adults prefer to spend Valentine's Day with their pets instead of their partners," and "Valentine's Day flavored with cocaine in the Netherlands this year."

Well that does it- I was thinking about spending a relaxing couple of weeks in Saudi Arabia....but if I can't bring my extensive Rutgers Scarlet Knights wardrobe, then I'm afraid that's out.

And I used to think that the Republican "purity test" was repressive!


Sue said...

Hmmmmm. that's all very sad..we all could use some candy and flowers to brighten our day.
Happy V day Hugh!

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Sue- But how can it possibly be a Happy V-Day?

Its the first Sunday with NO FOOTBALL since September?


Well, here's hoping you have a good one, because I'll be in mourning!

Katie Bell said...

I found your blog very entertaining. At our company, we are planning to throw a Valentine's day party this Friday, though we are a little late but hope to have a nice get together for our staff as well as share holders. I am checking sites for some out-of-the-box ideas. Any suggestions...?
Thank you!

TomCat said...

As a Christian Holiday, it's St. Valentine's Day. In the First Church of the Ellipsoid Orb it is the beginning of mourning that lasts until preseaon begins.

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Katie Bell- Your right, that is a little late to be having a Valentine's Day Party.

One thing I'd do....hit the Hallmark stores and see if they have any closeouts on candy and other goodies....but that's just me, a cheapskate.

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