Yemeni man who dedicated his umrah pilgrimage to Queen Elizabeth II arrested by Saudi authorities
The man posted a video to social media where he is seen holding up a banner paying tribute to the late monarch
Security forces in Saudi Arabia have arrested a Yemeni man who dedicated his umrah pilgrimage to Queen Elizabeth II.
The man posted a video to social media where he is seen holding up a banner at the Grand Mosque of Mecca, the holiest site in Islam.
The banner said he was completing "umrah for the soul of Queen Elizabeth II, we ask God to accept her in heaven and among the righteous".
The man appears to have broken two Saudi rules on the conduct of pilgrims in Mecca, one of which being a ban on unfurling banners or chanting slogans while present at the scene.
Pilgrims are also prohibited from dedicating their pilgrimages to deceased non-muslims, Queen Elizabeth II was the former supreme governor of the Church of England.
Saudi state media said the security forces at the Grand Mosque had "arrested a resident of Yemeni nationality who appeared in a video clip carrying a banner inside the Grand Mosque, violating the regulations and instructions for umrah".
It added that “he was arrested, legal measures were taken against him and he was referred to the public prosecution”.
In their reports, Saudi media blurred images of the banner that carried the message deemed offensive.
Unlike the hajj pilgrimage, the umrah pilgrimage can be undertaken throughout the year.
The umrah pilgrimage is also not compulsory for muslims, but it is encouraged.