Saudi Arabia Bans Red Items in Anticipation of Valentine's Day

I can’t stand Valentine’s Day. It’s a fake holiday created with the sole purpose of selling a bunch of crap that ends up in the waste stream and getting people to spend money on things they don’t need. Like dinner and a movie.

Anyway, as much as I think Valentine’s Day is a racket designed to separate fools from their hard-earned, I am not calling for banning the holiday. I’m not calling for the elimination of the color red from the marketplace. I’m not patrolling the streets with legions of jack-booted thugs enforcing strict separation of unmarried males and females.

But Saudi Arabia is. Our ally in the desert, our buds from OPEC, are trying to obliterate the whole notion of Valentine’s Day from their oil wealthy yet backward country.

“As Muslims we shouldn’t celebrate a non-Muslim celebration, especially this one that encourages immoral relations between unmarried men and women, ” Sheikh Khaled Al-Dossari, a scholar in Islamic studies, told the Saudi Gazette, an English-language newspaper.
Every year, officials with the conservative Muslim kingdom’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice clamp down on shops a few days before February 14, instructing them to remove red roses, red wrapping paper, gift boxes and teddy bears. On the eve of the holiday, they raid stores and seize symbols of love.
This is, of course, the country that, two years ago sentenced a woman who had been raped by seven men to 200 lashes and six months in prison. She was raped by the men because she was seen in public in the company of a man who was not her husband or relative. She was pardoned, but still ….

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