MAKKAH – According to Saudi authorities, a man has been arrested for allegedly traveling to Mecca on behalf of the late Queen Elizabeth II to perform the umrah pilgrimage.
According to reports, the man, a Yemeni national, published a video clip on Monday of himself at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Islam’s holiest site, which is forbidden to non-Muslims.
During the video clip, he held a banner that read: “We pray to God to accept Queen Elizabeth II into heaven and place her among the righteous.“
The video was widely circulated on Saudi social media, with Twitter users calling for the man’s arrest.
In Saudi Arabia, banners and slogans are prohibited on pilgrimages to Mecca.
However, when it comes to non-Muslims such as the queen, performing umrah on behalf of a deceased Muslim is not permitted. This is because the Church of England, the mother church of the worldwide Anglican communion, was headed by her as its supreme governor.
Earlier today, state media reported that security forces at the Grand Mosque had detained a resident of Yemeni nationality who appeared in a video clip carrying a banner inside the Grand Mosque, violating the rules and instructions for umrah.
As a result, he was arrested, legal measures were taken against him, and he was referred to the public prosecutor.
In addition to the controversial video clip, state television broadcast segments about the incident with the banner obscured.
As opposed to the hajj, which takes place annually and usually attracts millions worldwide, the umrah is an annual pilgrimage that can be undertaken at any time.
It is planned that the queen will be buried on September 19th, following her death on Thursday.