Saudi security arrests Yemeni after ‘pilgrimage for Queen Elizabeth’

Saudi Arabian officials arrested a Yemeni resident after he appeared in a video at the Grand Mosque in the Islamic holy city of Mecca, carrying a banner that said he was performing a minor pilgrimage for Queen Elizabeth II.

Security forces at the Grand Mosque arrested him for “violating regulations and instructions for umrah,” according to a statement late on Monday referring to rules regarding pilgrimages.

He was referred to prosecution, it added.

State TV channel al-Ekhbariya aired the video on Tuesday, but blurred the man’s face and the banner.

In the video, which was shared on social media, the man wrote in English: “Umrah to the soul of Queen Elizabeth II. May Allah grants her a place in the heaven and accepts her among the righteous people.”

Umrah is a minor pilgrimage performed by Muslims and can be undertaken at any time during the year. A pilgrim can perform umrah on behalf of a deceased Muslim.

Saudi Arabia bans pilgrims in Mecca from carrying banners, or any other protest manifestations.

The queen, who died on Thursday at the age of 96, was a staunch Christian. She was the head of the Church of England.

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Categories: arrest, Grand Mosque, Queen Elizabeth, Saudi security, umrah, Yemeni