Kuwaiti Islamist lawmakers look to ban Valentine's Day celebrations

A group of conservative Kuwaiti lawmakers who control a sizable bloc in the parliament are looking to amend the country's legislation to prevent any commemoration of Valentine's Day, parliamentarians said Wednesday. The Islamists believe such imported holidays are corrupting young Muslims and stripping this small oil-rich Gulf state of its Arab and Muslim identity. "We are now studying the necessary amendments that would ban celebrations contradicting Sharia (Islamic Law)," said parliamentarian Jamaan al-Hirbish, part of panel examining "alien phenomena" being embraced by Kuwaitis. Despite its Western origins, Valentine's Day appears to have been embraced by Kuwaitis and red balloons can be found all over restaurants, flower shops and stores selling chocolates. Newspapers are filled with advertisements for jewelry and cakes in the shape of hearts.