Namoos-i-Risalat: Protesters set their sights on Valentine’s Day

Published: February 7, 2011

TNRM spokesman says celebrations will lead Pakistan down secular road.

LAHORE: The Tahaffuz Namoos-i-Risalat Mahaz (TNRM), a grouping of eight Sunni Barelvi parties, has announced a protest for February 14, raising concerns about a potential repeat of scenes five years ago when rioters ransacked Lahore during a Valentine’s Day protest.

TNRM secretary general Muhammad Ali Naqashbandi announced the new protest during a rally in front of Data Darbar on Sunday, but the decision was made at a meeting of the mahaz member parties earlier in the day.

“We will mark February 14 as a black day, contrary to the ‘followers of the West’ who observe the day as Valentine’s Day,” said Naqshbandi. The protesters will also voice support for the blasphemy laws.

He said Valentine’s Day should be discouraged in Muslim countries like Pakistan, otherwise “the so-called modern elements” would convert the country into a secular state.

The Khairul Umam Foundation Pakistan, a TNRM member, will host a seminar on Tahaffuz Namoos-i-Risalat a day before the rally to build momentum.

TNRM spokesman Ziaul Haq Naqashbandi said they would also host a conference at Aiwan-i-Iqbal to raise awareness among the masses about the perils of celebrating Valentine’s Day.

The spokesman insisted that there would be no repeat of the violence that accompanied the 2006 rally, which protested at the blasphemous caricatures of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) that appeared in European newspapers, as well as Valentine’s Day. “There was unrest at the protest but that was created by saboteurs following their own agenda,” he said, referring to 2006. He said that the TNRM would condemn the incidents of 2006 at the Aiwan-i-Iqbal conference. They would also condemn General (retired) Pervez Musharraf, who had introduced various “un-Islamic traditions” to Pakistan during his rule.

Muhammad Musaddaq, a teenager, felt that the TNRM protest would serve to alienate the religious parties from the public rather than bring them closer. “So what if some couples exchange gifts on that day? They are politicising these small events just to project themselves as pious and religious and to make their presence felt,” he said.

City Division SP Shahzad Asif said that the police would draw up a comprehensive security plan for February 14. He said that keeping in view the violence at the rally five years ago, they would deputy additional security on The Mall this yeat.

Two young men were killed and 20 injured during the 2006 protest. The protesters set fire to a number of buildings including the Punjab Assembly, banks, restaurants, a telecom company’s office, a cinema, a theatre, and several shops and fuel stations. They ransacked some 500 vehicles, mainly cars, and burnt at least 75 motorcycles and 10 cars. They also broke traffic signals on The Mall, Hall Road, Lakshmi Chowk, Egerton Road, Bhati Chowk, Ferozepur Road and Multan Road.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (22)

  • zulfikar khader
    Feb 7, 2011 - 1:16PM

    I have an idea. Go through all gardens in LHR on 12th and 13th of Feb. Make sure all all red roses about to bloom are crushed so that it does not reach floor shops !!!!Recommend

  • muhammad amjad bawany
    Feb 7, 2011 - 2:14PM

    The real issue is that these reigious barbarians can’t accept the fact that a woman has the choice of choosing her life partner for herself.This fact is at the core of all the hullabaloo over foreign culture & western influences.We as a society don’t think that a girl should be given a chance to marry of her own free will.
    That is something that simply can not be allowed by our male population.They think it is the right of the men in the family to dictate & decide for their sisters,daughters who’ll they marry.They try to hide this mentality of theirs in labels like ‘beghairat’,'besharmi’,'behayee’.

    All of these are just terms used to deny women their right to choose their husbands themselves & unfortunately a lot of our girls still refuse to think that they are worth equal to their brothers & fathers in life,our girls continue to behave & think as inferior in value & rights as compared to their brothers & fathers.Recommend

  • Feb 7, 2011 - 2:31PM

    hey!! let HATE RULE!!! how dare a Husband show his love for his wife!!! what a dreadful holiday!!!
    LETS KEEP THE HATE ALIVE AND FLOWING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE>.
    hey even better.. lets START a MONTHLY.. LETS GO MURDER INNOCENT PEOPLE DAY MONTHY… oh .. I forgot .. we already have that year round thanks to these mullahs!!Recommend

  • Zubair
    Feb 7, 2011 - 3:41PM

    what about their “wajd” ? Dont they get out of control..way out of control during their wajd ? Why dont we ban their gathering ? These saifis and naqshbandis AKA “Hari topi wala parrots should mind their own business !!Recommend

  • Noreen Shams
    Feb 7, 2011 - 3:51PM

    @zulfikar khader:
    what an idea sir jee Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Feb 7, 2011 - 3:55PM

    To, TNRM,

    I have a better idea, Kill Everyone! If there is no one, you could have EVERYTHING for yourselves, you mortals! Everyone has a right to be Happy! So, sue them!

    From,
    Love.Recommend

  • Peace and Love
    Feb 7, 2011 - 4:00PM

    To, TNRM,

    Why can’t you see people having fun all around. And please consult a good dictionary for the word ‘secular’, because you clearly do not seem to know what it means.

    From,
    Peace and Love.Recommend

  • Peace And Love
    Feb 7, 2011 - 4:08PM

    To, The Express Tribune

    You are an amazing block of people working efficiently!

    From,
    Your friendly neighbour.

    (P.S. You may, now, return to your efficient working!) Recommend

  • hassan
    Feb 7, 2011 - 6:01PM

    mullahs must die..Recommend

  • SH
    Feb 7, 2011 - 6:15PM

    Yet another non-issue brought to “light” but the “pious ones.” Hooray!
    Why can’t these fools just relax, go about their religious beliefs and let the rest of the world live in peace??

    Jinnah’s Pakistan was always meant to be a “secular state”; that’s very clear from pretty much ALL his speeches. An interesting fact is that the Jamaat-e-Islami mullahs of the day were against the creation of Pakistan. Why do we seem to have given them a say in how the state is run now??! I say we put these people in their place and arrest them all for inciting hatred, extremism and violence…all punishable under the anti-terrorism law by the way!!Recommend

  • Asfandyar
    Feb 7, 2011 - 6:25PM

    Yet another reason why Pakistan should be more like Turkey & Egypt and less like Saudi Arabia. Not only do most people in these two countries celebrate Valentine’s Day but the Egyptians have their own Love Day on Nov 4th ;)

    By the way, 90% of all Egyptians and 97% of Turks are Muslim. They just have the good sense not to outlaw harmless fun and, of course, to keep the state & religion separate.Recommend

  • S
    Feb 7, 2011 - 6:56PM

    I think ‘they’ just haven’t gotten to be anyone’s valentine. i suggest pick-a-mullah-for-vday campaign. Let the love flow.Recommend

  • Feb 7, 2011 - 7:56PM

    It just makes me laugh at the local mullahs, don’t they have any other good work to do rather than banning valentines dayRecommend

  • N
    Feb 7, 2011 - 9:16PM

    does it say in the Quran that valentine’s day should be banned!Recommend

  • Mubarak
    Feb 8, 2011 - 5:19AM

    I would suggest that mullahs should be forced to work to earn their livelihood instead of selling religion of Islam as commodity. Right now mullahs have lots of free time to create trouble.Recommend

  • Midnight Drummer
    Feb 8, 2011 - 5:56AM

    Why single out a certain day of the year to show your affection to your beloved?

    I remember a few years ago speaking to a non-Muslim woman who recalled that her partner used to verbally abuse her every other day, come Valentine’s day he would be like an angel to her. When Valentine’s day was over he went back to the verbal abuse. She hated Valentine’s day!Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh
    Feb 8, 2011 - 12:50PM

    Valentines day is a commercialised holiday/event thanks to popular consumerism culture, it should be labeled as Un Islamic and be attacked, next thing you know these barbaric mullah’s are going to say, Stop Celebrating New Years on 31st December, its also a reflection of Western Decadence and should be boycotted. What a Joke!!!!!!!
    LIVE AND LET LIVE, why dont u Mullah’s get it, How would you like it if ordinary people started a revolution against your kind and started meddling in your affairs, and raising objections to symbolic rituals that you people put too much emphasis on. Recommend

  • wahab
    Feb 8, 2011 - 1:53PM

    Oh so the biggest problem for Pakistan is not corruption, not terrorism, not inflation , not extremism but VALENTINES DAY.. WowRecommend

  • AA
    Feb 8, 2011 - 4:51PM

    It would be better if they spend time protesting about inflation, injustice and that american guy who killed three Pakistanis!
    No one is forcing anyone to celebrate valentine’s day, its just an option.
    Sometimes i think as if america is paying our religious cum political armies to act this way. Recommend

  • Feb 10, 2011 - 1:57AM

    Just like Basant festival Punjab government should consider banning the unislamic valentine’s day too. Recommend

  • Feb 10, 2011 - 2:10AM

    Assalamalikum

    This reminds me – early VALENTINES GREETINGS TO ALL!

    As one of the Directors of The Association of British Muslims – I will request my brothers and sisters to see if we can all celebrate the message of LOVE behind Valentines Day!

    Happy Valentines ALL!

    (even to the angry hyperactive backward village mullahs)Recommend

  • Feb 10, 2011 - 9:42AM

    Sufis protesting against the celebration of love!? ah the irony!Recommend

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