With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Islamabad International Medical College has issued guidelines for their male and female students, asking girls to wear hijab and boys to wear white prayer caps while maintaining a distance of two metres from the opposite sex at all times.
The college reportedly issued a circular forbidding students from partaking in Valentine’s Day and associated ‘activities which lead the youth towards the wrong path.’
The protocol states: “All female students should be seen with properly-covered heads, necks and chests with a hijab according to the university dress code. All male students are strictly ordered to wear white prayer caps.”
The circular further warns that twenty staff from the school administration will be patrolling the campus to catch Valentine’s Day violations. Those caught breaking the rules will be fined Rs. 5000, which will be donated to a worthy cause.
People on Twitter had thoughts about the notice, with some incredulous at the rules and others supporting the school’s guidelines.
“This is weird. if someone wants to not celebrate valentine’s [because] they’re a Muslim, more power to them, but everyone practices their religion differently and imposing [your] beliefs on someone else is pure wrong,” said one post.
Others agreed with the school’s protocols.
Since 2017, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has effectively banned the celebration of Valentines Day on public media, issuing an advisory to television channels and radio stations in 2018 forbidding coverage or marketing related to Valentine’s Day on the grounds that it is ‘against the teachings of Islam.’