Roses are blood red

Everyone was expecting some sort of calamity on Valentine’s Day this year considering the extremist mindset that is prevalent in society nowadays. That the hooliganism came from Peshawar University (PU) is not surprising considering that the capital city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is now the main focus of militant ire. A clash erupted on the campus premises when members of the vigilante Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba (IJT) confronted students belonging to the Pakhtun Students Federation (PkSF) because of the observance of the romantic holiday within the university premises. Apparently, the enraged hoards of IJT ruffians could not fathom the fact that the pious youngsters of Pakistan are able to possess feelings of affection for the opposite sex and they therefore interrupted the festivities. This was just too much for the members of the PkSF. It did not take long for matters to escalate from there, leading to the vandalism and burning of hostel blocks by the IJT. 
The IJT, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and others of their ilk have been harping on about the ‘sin’ and ‘immorality’ of Valentine’s Day for some years now, labelling it a western phenomenon and unworthy of Muslims. They have been on a roll trying to substitute this romantic occasion with another one: haya (modesty) day as a substitute. The very proposition is ludicrous. How on earth is the display of affection and love from spouses, partners, friends, family and children anything to oppose? The fact remains that these narrow-minded people see everything related to any sort of human pleasure as atrocious and, mostly, their anger lands on women whom they consider to be the cause of all sin and vice. This allows them to push forward patriarchal attitudes in which women are viewed as nothing but slaves and child bearers confined to their homes. Showing any love for them is strictly forbidden it seems. That is why they wish to promote their own brand of ‘modesty’ in the place of love and compassion. They fail to understand that the innocent mingling of the sexes does not create filth in society — it is the dirty minds possessed by these elements that disperse all sorts of filth imaginable into the minds of the impressionable, where women are shown as little more than sex objects. What a warped mindset and what a warped society that allows it to flourish. The PkSF members appear to have had enough of their lunacy and decided to answer fire with fire. Understandable, yes, but we prefer the adage: ‘Make love, not war.’  *

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