DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi police arrested a Yemeni man this week after he advertised on social media his pilgrimage to Mecca, where he paid tribute to the memory of Queen Elizabeth II.
The pilgrim, who was not identified by name, had posted footage earlier this week that showed him holding a banner honoring the late queen from inside the courtyard of Mecca’s Grand Mosque.
The clip quickly spread online, sparking outrage among devout Muslims and leading to the man’s arrest on Monday for “violating the regulations and instructions” of the holy site. Security forces referred him to the public prosecutor to face charges.
The Grand Mosque, among the holiest sites in Islam, is off-limits to non-Muslims. Saudi Arabia also bans signs and political slogans from the sacred courtyard for fear of offending Islamic sensibilities. Queen Elizabeth, who died last week, was head of the Church of England.