A video clip showing a man holding a sign while he was performing Umrah sparked widespread anger and controversy on social media because of the Umrah performer dedicating Umrah to the soul of Queen Elizabeth II, before he was later arrested.
The Saudi security authorities said in a statement on their Twitter account that the Grand Mosque security force “arrested a resident of Yemeni nationality, after he raised a banner inside the Grand Mosque, violating the regulations and instructions for Umrah.”
The statement confirmed that the authorities took the legal measures against the resident and referred him to the Public Prosecution.
The arrested man had appeared in a video clip, which was widely popular on social media, in Ihram clothes, holding a white banner that read in handwriting, “Umrah for the soul of Queen Elizabeth II, we ask God to accept her in heaven and among the righteous.”
Underestimating religious rituals
The clip angered many pioneers of social networking sites, who shared their anger by using the hashtag “#Arrest_Ali_The Punisher”.
Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Abdulaziz Al-Sudais, General President of the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, commented on the incident of raising the banner, saying that the Two Holy Mosques are places of worship exclusively for God alone, and not for raising slogans or carrying banners that violate regulations and instructions.
Al-Sudais stressed that the Two Holy Mosques have their sanctity, and this must be taken into account and glorified, and worship should be performed in them without slogans or expressions outside the true Islamic religion, or regulations.
In this context, many expressed their desire for “Saudi Arabia to issue an immediate and decisive decision to prevent the lifting of any banners and papers inside the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, even those that are not problematic.”
Some of them considered that raising the banner was aimed at “breaking the religious value and prestige of the sanctuary and shaking the value of the sanctuary in the hearts of people.”
Others considered it “a frank and scandalous provocation to the feelings of Muslims.”
Some tended to consider what happened due to the arrestee’s ignorance and exploitation of the event in search of fame.
freedom of expression
On the other hand, some of them expressed their dissatisfaction with the way in which the Yemeni resident was dealt with, and saw that despite the correctness of what the detainee had done or not, the matter could have been dealt with without arresting the man.
Tweeters considered that what the Yemeni resident did falls within personal freedom, and he is “responsible for his actions” and that he should not be held accountable in this way.
The origins of the queen and her relationship to Islam
Some justified the Yemeni resident dedicating the Umrah to the soul of Queen Elizabeth, due to the spread of some accounts that spoke of “the royal family in Britain, whose origins may go back to the family of the Prophet Muhammad.”
Tweeters believed that the Yemeni detainee “was a victim of the fatwa of the former Grand Mufti of Egypt, Ali Gomaa, or of a media coverage that the queen died of Islam.”
Sheikh Ali Gomaa had sparked widespread controversy a few years ago, after statements in which he said: There are historical references that indicate that the royal family in Britain may trace its origins back to the family of the Prophet Muhammad.
But specialists in Islamic genealogy and history told the BBC at the time, “The audit of family origins needs more research based on verified documents.
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