Armed Groups in Iraq Threatening Violence Against Shopkeepers Selling Valentine’s Day Items

Oppose Popular Celebration of Feast Due to Christian Origins

Armed groups in Iraq are threatening violence against several shopkeepers who are selling St. Valentines day merchandise at their stores.

According to Fides News Agency, Majed Ibrahim, a local merchant in Mosul, said opposition against the feast is due to its Christian origin. St. Valentine of Terni, a 3rd century Christian martyr, is the patron saint of lovers.

Several witnesses said that preachers in several mosques have publicly warned against Muslims participating in the celebrations, which in recent years have shown increasing appeal to young Arabs.

The merchandise that is causing uproar among armed Muslim extremists amount to hearts and red teddy bears, items that bear little to no Christian connotation.