Faisalabad University to observe Sisters’ Day on Valentine’s Day
lahore — A university in Punjab province will celebrate Sisters’ Day on February 14 to promote “Islamic traditions”, according to its vice chancellor.
Female students can be gifted scarves and Abayas (clothes) as decided by Vice-Chancellor Zafar Iqbal Randhawa of the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad and other decision makers, DawnNewsTV channel reported.
The vice-chancellor believes it was “compatible with Pakistan’s culture and Islam”, the report said.
According to Zafar Iqbal, ‘Sisters’ Day’ has been conceived with the aim of promoting respect for women.
He underscored the need to create a safe environment for women to avail educational opportunities with freedom.
February 14 is celebrated as Valentine’s Day across the world. On the day, people express their love and affection with greetings and gifts.
The university announced that it will celebrate Sisters’ Day on February 14 to “promote Islamic traditions”, Randhawa said.
While speaking to DawnNewsTV, he said that he was not sure if his suggestion to celebrate Sisters’ Day “would click or not”.
He said that although some Muslims have turned Valentine’s Day into a threat, “My thinking is that if there is a threat, convert it into an opportunity”.
The report quoted Randhawa as saying that women face certain conditions related to their attire which dictate that their body should not be revealed.
“Women are at a very high rank for us. Today the era of gender empowerment is here, Western thinking is being promoted. But the best gender empowerment and division of work is in our religion and culture,” the vice-chancellor said. He claimed that celebrating Sisters’ Day would allow “a soft image to develop”, and that people will realise that this is how much sisters are loved in Pakistan.
“Is there a love greater than that between brother and sister?” On Sisters’ Day, it is greater than the love between husband and wife,” Randhawa said.
Valentine’s Day has been a controversial subject in Pakistan for years, with some celebrating and others protesting against it.
The Islamabad High Court in 2017 and 2018 “banned” all Valentine’s Day celebrations, and print and electronic media were warned to “stop all Valentine’s Day promotions immediately”.
In 2016, then president Mamnoon Hussain urged people to forego celebrating Valentine’s Day, saying it was not a part of Muslim tradition, but a Western innovation.
However, the University came under fire for the decision to celebrate ‘Sisters Day’ in place of Valentine’s Day on February 14.
The announcement sparked a massive outrage on social media with users condemning the decision.
We are enriched in our culture, norms, and Islamic values. We are mulling a plan to distribute scarf, shawls and gowns printed with university insignia among female students on the day
Zafar Iqbal Randhawa, Vice-Chancellor