Could it be? Might the color red and the presence of roses at last be non-criminal in the middle of February?
Saudi Gazette reports that the head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice says that there will not be a categoric ban on all things related to Valentine’s Day, a marked change from the past. I’m sure florists, greeting card makers and seller, and a host of restaurants will heave a sigh of relief. Those who might have been harassed for displaying even a symbolic token of affection should be pleased as well.
The head of Saudi Arabia’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) denied on Tuesday plans to close shops selling flowers during Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.
Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Sheikh told the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Jazirah: “This is not our specialty. It is the specialty of other parties. We reject what violates the book (Qur’an) and the Sunnah (the Prophet’s teaching) and Saudi Arabia’s regulations.”
“We deal with issues on a case by case basis, and if there is a violation our role is to liaise with concerned government parties,” he added.
Al-Sheikh’s statements followed widely-circulated reports that the commission is planning to close all shops selling flowers on Valentine’s Day.
Previously, the commission banned the sale of red roses ahead of Valentine’s Day, forcing couples to think of new ways to show their love.