Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hamas arrests Valentine's Day celebrants

I didn't want to do any more Valentine's Day posts, but Al Arabiya (Arabic) is reporting that a scheduled festival in Gaza to celebrate the occasion - already approved by the authorities - was canceled at the last minute by Hamas, and the organizers arrested.

The organizers were also warned not to speak to the press about their ordeals.

The organizers felt degraded and shamed as their guests were already arriving at the festival.

Other Valentine's concerts that were going to be held were also canceled on Sunday.

Sermons given the previous Friday railed against celebrating the "Festival of Love," as it is translated, and this might have pressured Hamas into acting against the events.

Although shops publicly displayed items associated with the day, young people were in fear of celebrating publicly, according to the report.