Forbidden Love: Valentine’s Day outlawed in Iran

As Israelis celebrated Valentine's Day today, young people in Iran were barred from celebrating the holiday in any way, shape or form: "The barbaric medieval Islamic regime in Iran which hates compassion, love, democracy and freedom makes Valentine’s Day celebrations a crime in a country where 70% of its population is under 30."
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

As young Israelis today bought each other flowers and chocolates, young people in other Middle Eastern countries including Iran are facing a bleaker fate. Lisa Daftari of Fox News recently reported that Iran has outlawed Valentine’s Day celebrations. Any sale or promotion of Valentine’s Day related items is also illegal within Iran, which includes the exchange of gifts, flowers and cards. The Iranian Police warned retailers against the promotion of Western culture via Valentine’s Day celebrations.

This is not the first time that the Iranian regime banned Valentine’s Day and other activities deemed too Western in the eyes of the Iranian regime. In 2011, the Iranian regime announced: “Symbols of hearts, half-hearts, red roses and any activities promoting this day are banned. Authorities will take legal action against those who ignore the ban.” The Wall Street Journal reported at that time that Iran was not only cracking down on Valentine’s Day but the unauthorized mingling of the sexes, rap music, rock music, bright nail polish, people laughing inside hospitals, ancient Persian Nowrooz festivities and even the mention of foreign food recipes. Iran went as far as declaring that pasta was a tool of Western subversion. Last month, Iran also censored the word wine, the names of foreign animals, and the names of foreign dignitaries from books published within the country. Earlier in the year, Iranian school girls were ordered to burn Barbie dolls and to only play with dolls wearing hijab.

“The barbaric medieval Islamic regime in Iran which hates compassion, love, democracy and freedom makes Valentine’s Day celebrations a crime in a country where 70% of its population is under 30. They crack down on Valentines' Day just because it has connections with early Christianity and promotes Western culture,” Iranian human rights activist Shabnam Assadollahi told JerusalemOnline. “The Islamic regime just celebrated its 37th year anniversary. The regime and its followers have been trying hard to revive and better market a dictatorship that has brought so much pain and suffering to Iranian people for 37 years.”

“I wish that Khomeini never started an Islamic revolution (or devolution) 37 years ago let alone try to revive it today,” she proclaimed. “The Islamic Republic of Iran enshrined the clergy and brought over three decades of pain to an entire society and humanity as a whole. They speak of moderation, reform and protecting the establishment yet during the regime’s time in power, they have restricted human rights, engaged in mass executions, taken hostages, and stood in defiance of the world. The reformists who are part of this establishment have blood on their hands.”

“Today it is time for them and the regime which Khomeini was so instrumental in establishing to go,” Assadollahi declared. “Let’s hope this regime is overthrown soon so that our world is set free from this dangerous contamination. I hope that Iranians can live in a free society and have their deserved human rights which this regime has taken away from them completely. The truth about the Islamic Republic of Iran needs to reach the ears and hearts of the world for knowledge is the vessel of constructive change. I believe that many world organizations and politicians have made the Islamic Republic stronger by refusing to hold it accountable for its dubious activities both inside and outside Iran. The regime has become even more brutal and vicious due to the impunity it has been given for the last 37 years by the international community.”

Iran was not the only Muslim country to outlaw and crack down upon Valentine’s Day. Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Pakistan also behaved in a similar manner. According to France 24, Valentine’s Day has been becoming increasingly popular within the Muslim world and this has irritated both radical Islamists and Muslim conservatives who view the holiday to be anti-Muslim. However, many young people across the Muslim world do not view it that way as anything that comes from the West is highly fashionable and they see the Christian origins of the holiday as having no relevance to how it is celebrated today.  

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