Today is Valentine's Day-- a celebration that has become increasingly popular around the world. As in past years, conservative religious authorities in some countries continue to express their opposition to the occasion. In Coimbatore, India, members of the All India Youth Federation have petitioned police for protection, according to yesterday's Deccan Chronicle. The group says that every year, religious parties and other protesters gather in city parks and elsewhere where young people meet, and try to catch them and force them to marry in public places.
In Indonesia, according to today's Tengri News, the country's largest Muslim organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama, says it does not want to ban Valentine's Day, but it should not be celebrated by teenagers. The Head of the conservative Islamic Defenders Front went further and declared the day "haram" (forbidden) for Muslims, saying it reflects the culture of "infidels."
According to OnIslam, in Pakistan, the head of Jammat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamic party, said: "We are going to observe February 14 as Hijab Day in all over the country, especially in the educational institutions in order to show to the world that the people of Pakistan totally reject this custom, which is a direct attack on the culture of modesty."
Meanwhile, according to Chicago's Daily Herald, in Illinois, supporters of same-sex marriage hope that the state Senate will use today to pass and send to the House a bill permitting same-sex marriage.