ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has been moved by petitioners to ban the shopping festival ‘Black Friday’ for being ‘contrary to Islamic teachings’.
According to reports, the petitioners have made the federal government a party through information secretary, religious affairs secretary, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) chairman, district magistrate, chief commissioner and Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) chairman.
Black Friday is a shopping festival held particularly in the USA just before Christmas in which various sellers offer large discounts to customers. However, for Pakistan, the concept is new and it has led to several reservations from different parties.
In the petition submitted with the IHC it has been stated that Friday has been named as the chief of all days in the Qur’an, and the expression ‘Black Friday’ was, therefore, disrespectful to what the Almighty has deemed sacred.
“According to dictionary, Black Friday means ill-fated or black day. Hence, the court must ban celebration of Black Friday on November 24 in Pakistan,” the petition reads.
It further demanded that government officials should be barred from attending ceremonies under the banner of Black Friday.
Advocate Azhar Siddique has written a letter to the president, prime minister and all provincial chief ministers to ban Black Friday celebrations and the promotion of western culture at an official level, adding that customers could be facilitated under the banner of ‘Bright Friday’ instead.
Earlier, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Managing Director Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor had expressed his strong reservations against Black Friday.
“It is disgusting that some business tycoons are bringing Friday a bad name of ‘black’ just to blindly follow the West for increasing their business. Friday is a gift for Muslims, and is a holy, blessed, and virtuous day,” he said on Wednesday.
Abdul Ghafoor urged ulema and religious clerics to protest against bringing a bad name to the holy day to bolster their business interests.