A Saudi Arabian man leaves a flower shop in Jeddah on Valentine's Day on February 14, 2018. / AFP / STRINGER
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A prominent Saudi sheikh told a newspaper Thursday celebrating Valentine's Day did not contradict Islamic teachings, defying the hard-line position of the kingdom's religious police on the holiday.The push for a more moderate Islam accompanies efforts by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to modernize the kingdom. He has loosened social restrictions, scaling back the role of religious police and permitting public concerts. Saudi Arabia announced plans to allow women to drive this year.Valentine's Day has in the past been usually preceded by a clampdown from the religious police, ordering florists to remove items associated with the festival.But last year, the force was barred from pursuing suspects.
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