The Islamic State has reportedly banned any red clothing today in the section of Mosul it still controls out of fear residents will celebrate Valentine’s Day — and even beheaded a teddy bear to drive home their edict.
The holiday of hearts and candy is big in Iraq, with vendors stocking up on roses, plush red and pink teddy bears, mylar balloons and other classic gifts.
— فريق التواصل DOS (@DOTArabic) February 13, 2017
Eastern Mosul has been liberated by Iraq forces, who are preparing their assault on the rest of the city west of the Tigris — smaller, but more densely populated with civilians.
According to Alsumaria News, a source in occupied Mosul told the satellite network that ISIS media distributed the alert barring shades of red even on children’s clothes.
The source further reported that an ISIS cleric delivering a sermon days ago ripped the head off a red stuffed bear to underscore the ban.
Chaldean Catholic Bishop Basel Yaldo, meanwhile, posted pictures of a Baghdad Valentine’s Day party attended by Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk and Mosul Louis Sarko.
Valentine’s Party by Church
Baghdad 13 February 2017
احتفالية الكنيسة بمناسبة عيد الحب pic.twitter.com/zP76bnRAO2
— Bishop YALDO (@baselyaldo) February 13, 2017
Valentine’s Day hasn’t been the easiest thing for Islamist governments to control — the handful who try to ban observance of the holiday, anyway.
Islamabad’s High Court banned celebration of the holiday in public places throughout Pakistan on Monday after a citizen argued it was “against Islamic teachings and should be banned immediately.” TV channels and newspapers were told to pull any promotions for V-Day.
Still, the ruling didn’t have an immediate effect.
It seems news of the Islamabad High Court’s decision to ban Valentines Day has not reached balloon sellers in Karachi pic.twitter.com/emyw0cNAZV
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) February 14, 2017
Arab News in Saudi Arabia reported last year that even though the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice bans the sale of Valentine’s gifts, vendors do furtive home deliveries of roses and bears at hiked-up prices.