By AL ARABIYA WITH AGENCIES

As many around the world prepared to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Thursday, some Muslims in a number of countries voiced their opposition to the day and denounced it as un-Islamic.

During the week, Some Pakistanis celebrated Valentine’s Day with balloons and flowers, but others denounced the holiday as an insult to Islam.

In the port city of Karachi, home to 18 million people, billboards decorated with a black heart urged citizens to “SAY NO TO VALENTINE’S DAY,” Reuters reported.

“This tradition reflects insensitivity, indignity and ignorance of Islam,” the signs read.

“Teenagers see it as a time to express love and affection and they often end up in sex parties, like in the West.”

According to Syed Askari, a spokesman for Jamaat-e-Islami, “Valentine’s is against Islamic culture. In our view, relationships are sacred. We have arranged marriages in this culture and people don’t get married for love.”

“This is imposing Western values and cultures on an Islamic society,” he added.

The spokesman derided the West, warning that Muslim countries shouldn’t turn like them.

Dozens of schoolgirls wearing headscarves in Indonesia’s eastern Java’s Malang city protested against Valentine’s Day, declaring Feb. 14 “headscarf day.”

With plans to protest in several cities, the girls have distributed pamphlets illustrating how men and women should dress modestly, covered from head to toe.

Local media reported protests in the central Java city of Solo on Wednesday, where nearly 500 elementary school students and teachers marched against youths celebrating the day. They carried signs reading “Valentine, Infidel Culture.”

FRIDAY, 15 February 2013 Al Arabiya News, Pakistan

Blog Commentary: This is a clash of cultures and civilizations coming to your school soon.

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