In another step towards a deeply polarized world, Pakistan has banned Valentine’s day. The Islamabad high court passed the ban after a failed attempt to ban the day from being celebrated last year.
Intolerance is on the rise. We as a world are becoming less and less liberal every day.
The president of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain, is clearly against acknowledgement of the day. He has said:
Valentine’s Day has no connection with our culture and it should be avoided.
Much of the objection to the ‘Christian’ day is that it is said to promote promiscuity and casual sex. A petition was led by religious groups in Pakistan to have the day banned. How the ban will play out is yet to be seen, but it is assumed it will now be illegal to give a Valentine’s day card or openly celebrate at all.
Saudi Arabia has also banned the celebration of this lover’s day and this ban is said to have driven festivities underground. Indonesia commonly celebrates Valentine’s day but also faces objections from more Orthodox practitioners of Islam. This is the thing, not all Muslims interpret their faith the same way.
There are moderate and liberal followers of all faiths. Religions have a spectrum between those who believe that religion should modernize and become more tolerant to harmonize with other faiths. Then there are those who follow the scriptures to the letter, fundamentalists who believe theirs is the only way.
In a globalized world we should be able to achieve harmony. We ought to be able to all live side by side respectfully. The current political climate of intolerance is driving people apart.
Thank goodness Trump’s immigration was overthrown by a sound constitution. Thank goodness people are now awake to political injustice. However Gandhi would be so sad to see the world today. He envisioned a united world.
His famous inclusive quote is more poignant now than ever:
I am a Muslim and a Hindu and a Christian and a Jew and so are all of you.
Featured image via YouTube.