A ‘hip hop’ dance performance in Saudi Arabia’s Mecca organised by the local authorities for the Eid Muslim holiday has left many Saudis angry over what they said is a ‘desecration’ unbefitting of the sanctity of Islam’s holiest city.
A video of the performance shared by Mecca’s municipality’s official Twitter account was widely circulated by Saudi social media users, drawing angry responses from some who said it was incompatible with ‘local heritage and traditions’.
“I’m sorry, dear municipality of the holy capital, this is Mecca, it is like no other city,” tweeted Fahd al-Rouqi, deputy chairman of Mecca’s municipal council.
“Are these scenes befitting of Holy Mecca? This celebration does not represent Mecca in any way,” he added angrily.
Many other Saudis expressed similar sentiments.
“Where is the sanctity of the holiest spot on Earth? How dare you perform this silly and odd hip hop dance which is strange in our heritage and values, and so close to the Holy Mosque? We demand those responsible held accountable!” tweeted local journalist Meshal al-Zahed.
A spokesman for the Mecca municipality later defended the performance.
“Those upset with the modern art performance are entitled to their personal opinions, and it is difficult to please everyone….but there was nothing indecent or sinful about the performance,” he told local newspaper Sabq.
Mecca is the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad, the Islamic faith and is home to the religion’s holiest site, the Kaaba in the Holy Mosque.
Saudis and Muslims are sensitive about any act or display seen as sacrilegious or disrespectful to the city.
عفواً امانة العاصمه المقدسه هذه مكه المكرمه وليست كغيرها.
هل هذه المشاهد تليق بمكه المكرمه ؟
الهذا السبب اقتصرت الدعوات بموظفين الامانه وبعض الاعيان ؟
شكرا العلاقات العامه بامانة العاصمه المقدسه فقد كفيتمونا وزر مشاركتكم في هذا الاحتفال الذي لايمثل مكه ولايمت لها بصله pic.twitter.com/BvaiGDg7Hm
— فهد محمد الروقي (@fahedmahmed11) June 4, 2019