The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has banned the celebration of “Valentine’s Day” in the country, according to reports circulating among the Afghans on social media.
The Taliban Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has warned the general public in Kabul to avoid celebrating Valentine’s Day. According to the Taliban officials, this is a foreign culture, therefore, embracing western culture is not compatible with a Muslim community.
Prior to the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021, people used to celebrate Valentine’s Day like every other occasion in large numbers. Shopping malls and stores in downtown Kabul would be decorated with red balloons and roses of all kinds.
Couples and lovers used to hang out and enjoy one another’s company in a relatively peaceful environment and exchanged gifts and sweets. However, now it is all gone, complete silence has come to the ghosted-like city, with no signs of such jubilance and celebrations.
The Taliban officials did not show much opposition to the celebration of this occasion last year. However, this year, they warned the public and showed serious opposition to the celebration of this event.
“The general public does not have a choice but obey the Islamic regime in all walks of life. We have already forgotten such celebrations and events – creating jobs, bringing peace and stability is more important for the people than banning the celebrations of such occasions,” a Kabul resident said.
Similar to Valentine’s Day, the Taliban-run administration has banned the celebration of “Navroz” (New Year), describing it as an outside tradition, though this major event has been celebrated in Afghanistan, Iran, Tajikistan, and Central Asian countries for centuries.