PEMRA approves Valentine’s Day transmission in Arabic after Saudi clerics call it ‘positive event’

PEMRA approves Valentine’s Day transmission in Arabic after Saudi clerics call it ‘positive event’
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ISLAMABAD/RIYADH – After prominent Saudi cleric Ahmed Qassim al Ghamdi on Wednesday endorsed Valentine’s Day, long forbidden in the kingdom, calling it a “positive social event” that was not linked to religion, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) told electronic and print media publications that it was okay to air Valentine’s Day transmission in Arabic 2019 onwards.
The announcement came via a notification issued by the regulatory body on Friday, after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had issued directives in this regard after Friday prayers.
The IHC verdict cited Ahmed Qassim al Ghamdi, former chief of the religious police in the holy city of Mecca, and many other Saudi clerics, to confirm that it was okay to celebrate Valentine’s Day and even promote it in the media, as long as this was done in Arabic.
“It is a positive social event and congratulating people for it is not against sharia (law), if its positivity and all congratulations are exchanged in the Arabic language,” the IHC verdict, a copy of which is available with The Dependent, said.
Leading media houses, including The Dependent, have already started planning for Valentine’s Day 2019, in accordance with the IHC and PEMRA orders.

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