'May Allah grant her peace in heaven': Mecca pilgrim arrested for dedicating journey to Queen Elizabeth II

A video of the man holding up the banner inside the Grand Mosque was the reason behind officials nabbing him

'May Allah grant her peace in heaven': Mecca pilgrim arrested for dedicating journey to Queen Elizabeth II
A Mecca pilgrim was arrested after he dedicated his journey to the Queen (Sean Gallup/Getty Images; MohamadDargalay/Twitter)
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MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA: A man from Yemen was arrested by the Saudi Arabia authorities after a video of him went viral where he dedicates his journey to the holy city of Mecca to Queen Elizabeth II. The unidentified man claimed to have traveled to Mecca in order to perform an 'umrah' pilgrimage on her behalf. 

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The video shows him standing at the Grand Mosque in Mecca holding a banner that reads, "Umrah for the soul of Queen Elizabeth II, may Allah grant her peace in heaven and accept her among the righteous." Following massive outrage, he was arrested and will be facing charges. 

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Following his arrest, the man has been referred to the public prosecutor to face charges, The US Sun reports. Moreover, a statement from the interior ministry of Saudi Arabia regarding the man's arrest can be translated to read, "The special forces of the security of 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 guidelines for Umrah." 

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Notably, the government of Saudi Arabia forbids all non-Muslims from entering the holy city of Mecca at all. In fact, non-Muslims may face strict penalties, including being fined or deported. As per the source, those visiting Mecca are prohibited from dedicating their 'umrah' or pilgrimage to any deceased non-Muslim. The Yemeni National, therefore, committed a crime as he dedicated his journey to the holy city to the Queen, a Protestant Christian. It is unclear what has happened to him. 

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Muslim pilgrims pray at the holy Kaaba at Mecca's Grand Mosque during the annual hajj rituals January 17, 2005 in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Officials say over 1.6 million worshippers have come from abroad for this year's haj, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim.
Muslim pilgrims pray at the holy Kaaba at Mecca's Grand Mosque during the annual hajj rituals, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim. (Abid Katib/Getty Images)

The Middle East Eye describes the 'Umrah' as "the name given to a pilgrimage to Mecca, a shorter version of the annual Hajj gathering." Muslims undertake the 'Umrah' in order to "refresh their faith, seek forgiveness and pray for their needs. "One who performs it is said to be cleansed of their sins," it said. A key difference between the 'Umrah' and the 'Hajj' is that the former can be undertaken at any point of the year while the latter happens once a year in accordance with the Islamic lunar calendar. Moreover, "Umrah is voluntary but Hajj is compulsory for those who are physically well and can afford it."

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