Pakistani daily fumes over intolerance on Valentine's Day
Islamabad: A Pakistani daily on Friday said it was concerned to see a government organisation and the cultural wing of a religious organisation acting as moral vigilantes of the nation on Valentine's Day.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) had issued notices to all TV channels "not to promote the 'un-Islamic' tradition of Valentine's Day by showing any related content", said an editorial in the Daily Times.
It said there was also condemnation on social websites like Twitter and Facebook, "bringing into ugly focus the growing narrow-mindedness of those who are hell bent on demarcating even the innocuous with a line of what is right and wrong, according to their own warped interpretation of what Islam stands for".
The daily wondered as to how any festival that celebrates love "affects anyone's religious or cultural faith..."
"The entertainment-starved youth of a country that is witnessing a growing level of intolerance for all discourse that does not meet certain rigid criteria celebrate Valentine's Day as an occasion where the cards/candy/gifts exchanged are symbols of the importance of their friendships and relationships," it added.
Referring to the Tanzeem-e-Islami organising an anti-Valentine's Day campaign in Karachi, the daily said: "This bears testimony to the simmering rigidity masquerading as religious piety in mainstream discourse."
"It is a matter of great concern to see a government organisation - PEMRA - and the cultural wing of a religious organisation acting as moral vigilantes of a nation that is already smarting under the effects of increasing extremism," it noted.