Those who don’t comply, will be punished.
The above warning, issued by the feared Saudi Arabian religious police, is deadly serious and is aimed at merchants throughout the Kingdom. The Saudi religious police, guardians of Islamic religious traditions and mores in that country, have mobilized once again to crack down on an event that occurs every year at this time, and which threatens to upend Saudi civilization and shake it to its very foundation: Valentine’s Day.
As of today, and until the 15th of the month, it is now illegal in the benevolent Kingdom for a merchant to sell any item that is red, or in any way alludes to that most destructive and decadent of Western holidays. Merchants will be subject to surprise store inspections, and any found to be selling such items as red roses, toys, red clothing (especially dresses), heart-shaped products, candy, greeting cards or any items wrapped in red must destroy them, or face the wrath of Saudi Arabia’s ruthless Wahhabi inspired justice system.
Since getting flogged for buying your wife or girlfriend some roses and chocolate would definitely kill the mood, Christian overseas workers living in Saudi Arabia from the Philippines and other countries have been advised to refrain from greeting people with “Happy Valentine’s Day,” or exchanging presents in public so as not to arouse suspicion.
Said a spokesman for a Philippine workers group:
We are urging fellow Filipinos in the Middle East, especially lovers, just to celebrate their Valentine’s Day secretly and with utmost care.
The Saudi government, after all, must be consistent. How can it allow the celebration of a holiday that extols the virtues of romantic love and thus risk corrupting Muslim youth?
And, as they have already banned every other Western holiday (going as far as to implement prohibitions against celebrating Mother’s day and birthdays), how could the Saudi authorities, as guardians of the birthplace of Islam, risk social upheaval by making an exception for a day honoring St. Valentine, a Christian saint martyred by the Romans in the 3rd Century?
That would be blasphemy against Islam, and in Saudi Arabia, that could get you a death sentence.