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Salafists rally against Valentine's Day in Gaza

Salafists in the Gaza Strip have tried to halt Valentine's Day celebrations, condemning them as a forbidden Christian holiday.
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gaza resident Maher Annan gave a red carnation to his wife Umm Mahdi, as their four children Nour, Nagam, Mahmoud and Mahdi stood by smiling. This gesture was blasphemous according to the religious speech given by Sheikh Hamada Jabar on the evening of Feb. 13, directed at the owners of shops selling flowers and other gifts on Al-Wahda Street in Gaza City. Each of these shops was preparing in its own way for Valentine's Day.

"God called upon us to love, so how can celebrating love be considered haram?" asked Annan, as he bought a flower from the Crazy Flower shop. Sheikh Jabar stood in front of the shop, which was decorated with red ribbons, preaching to those who had gathered. He told them that Valentine's Day is a forbidden, Christian practice.

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