Anyway, one of the conventional criticisms of Valentine's day is that it is just a made-up holiday meant to guilt men into spending a lot of money on frivolous things that nobody really wants or needs. I doubt that is really true or particularly true; if you think about it, Mother's Day is the real offender in this category. But it is often said and I've even said it myself in certain moods.
But if you ever want to get a grasp on what "liberty" and "liberal democracy" really means, just read this the following:
Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian religious authorities arrested more than 100 Muslim couples on Monday who defied a ban on any activities marking Valentine's Day.Suddenly this artificial, made-up holiday seems to have a lot more gravity doesn't it. That's the thing about liberty, if it means anything it means the liberty to do things that aren't necessarily all that easy to justify or perhaps seem trivial on the surface.
Islamic authorities in Malaysia in 2005 issued a fatwa to warn Muslims against celebrating Valentine's Day, saying that the occasion could lead to vice activities, especially pre-marital sex.
And again, you might want to consider the case of 14-year old Hena in Bangladesh. She was raped by her uncle but was unable to prove her case in Islamic court because it takes four male witnesses or eight female witnesses (since a woman's testimony only counts as half a man under Sharia law) to convict. Not surprisingly, Hena was unable to produce enough witnesses to secure conviction. And then the thing turned around against her because in making the rape accusation she did implicitly acknowledge that she'd had sex before marriage.
The court turned around and sentenced her to 100 lashes for this.
The 80th lash killed her.