Uzbekistan officials have effectively put a stop to Valentine’s Day by banning a performance from popular pop singer Rayhan, who has been performing on Valentine’s Day for young lovers for the last 10 years.
A source from the government’s Department for Enlightenment and Promoting Values told the BBC they had decided “not to celebrate holidays that are alien to our culture and instead promote Babur’s birthday” – referring to the historic Moghul emperor Mohammed Zahiriddin Babur who was a relative of Genghis Khan.
The state has in recent years tried to avoid Western influences from music and TV in favour of retaining traditions – attempting to steer young people away from the increasingly popular exchanging of cards and presents between dating couples.
The news has been greeted with mixed reactions from residents of the central Asian state.
In Pakistan women from religious party Jamiat-e-Ulama took to the streets shouting slogans as they set fire to a Valentine’s card during a protest against Valentine’s day in Karachi (pictured above)
Meanwhile in Malaysia, Muslim morality police were busy shaming unmarried lovers in raids on hotels and public parks in the city of Selangor.
They could face up to two years in prison for cavorting before marriage. However, non-Muslims in multi-cultural Malaysia are free to celebrate the day of love as they wish.
In 2005 Islamic authorities in Malaysia issued a fatwa against Valentine’s Day.
Main image: Getty