A florist prepares a Valentine's Day bouquet of flowers for a Saudi client at a flower shop in Jeddah on February 14, 2018. / AFP / STRINGER
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A prominent Saudi Arabian sheikh told a newspaper Thursday celebrating Valentine's Day did not contradict Islamic teachings, defying the hardline position of the kingdom's religious police on the holiday.The push for a more moderate Islam accompanies efforts by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to modernize the kingdom. He has loosened social restrictions, scaling back the role of religious police and permitting public concerts. Valentine's Day has in the past been usually preceded by a clampdown from the religious police, ordering florists and other shopkeepers to remove items associated with the festival.Sheikh Ghamdi is known for his liberal stances.
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