Some leading Muslim clerics in the self-declared republic of Somaliland have urged their followers not to celebrate Valentine’s Day, saying it is contrary to the teachings of Islam. The clerics made similar appeals in previous years, but have been more vocal in their opposition this year.
Some people disagree with them, arguing that celebrating love has always been part of the culture of Somalis and one of their most celebrated poets, Elmi Bodheri, is said to have died of love.
But the Muslim clerics still object because the day gets its name from Saint Valentine Card, a Christian priest from Rome in the third century AD.
In response, the pope has instructed faithful Catholics not to eat couscous, falafel balls, halva or hummus because of their Arabic connections. Furthermore, a papal bull issued by the Vatican today imposes an automatic excommunication on anybody going for a kebab on their way home from the pub. It is harsh but a price that is surely worth paying to save your immortal soul from spending eternity in hell with all those lovestruck Somali Muslims.