Video: Man performing umrah on behalf of late Queen Elizabeth arrested

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Queen Elizabeth Umrah

A man who claimed to have gone to the holy city of Mecca to make an umrah on behalf of late Queen Elizabeth II has been detained by Saudi authorities.

The man, a Yemeni national, uploaded a video recording of himself to social media on Monday while at Mecca’s Grand Mosque.

In the clip, he held up a banner saying: “Umrah for the soul of Queen Elizabeth II, we ask God to accept her in heaven and among the righteous.”

The footage was circulated widely on Saudi social media, with Twitter users calling for the man’s arrest.

Saudi Arabia forbids pilgrims to Mecca from carrying banners or chanting slogans. While it is acceptable to perform umrah on behalf of deceased Muslims, this does not apply to non-Muslims like the Queen, who was supreme governor of the Church of England, the mother church of the worldwide Anglican communion.

Security forces at the Grand Mosque “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”, said a statement carried by state media late on Monday.

“He was arrested, legal measures were taken against him and he was referred to the public prosecution.”

State television broadcast segments about the incident that included the video clip, but with the banner blurred.

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