Gulf | Saudi Arabia

Outrage as Saudi policeman rests shoe on Makkah’s sacred Kaaba

Authorities investigate policeman’s offensive behaviour at Makkah’s Kaaba

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 19:49 May 27, 2014
  • Gulf News

Manama: The Governor of Makkah has ordered a probe in the case of a policeman leaning on the Kaaba with his shoes against the wall.

Prince Mishal Bin Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz said that such an attitude could not be tolerated and called for disciplinary action against the policeman for failing to live up to the privilege and honour of serving in such a place.

In Arab culture, displaying the sole of one’s foot or touching someone, or something sacred, with a shoe or with feet is considered highly offensive.

A picture of the policeman leaning on the sacred cube triggered a heated debate on social networks in the Muslim world with reactions ranging from gentle understanding of his condition after hours of confronting challenges to outright condemnation for not respecting the sanctity of the place.

Prince Mishal told the head of the Makkah police Abdul Aziz Al Sooli to hold dedicated workshops and training sessions to educate the security and civilian staff at the Grand Mosque on ways of behaving and of dealing with people in order to offer the best services, local news site Sabq reported on Tuesday.

Officials initially said that the security man was not wearing shoes, but rubber sockets that staff at the Grand Mosque used regularly.

In 2008, in a display of his revulsion to the American occupation of his country, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar Al Zaidi hurled his shoes at then US president George Bush as they conducted a press conference in Baghdad.

Muslims often refrain from allowing their shoes to be turned upside down in order to avoid the sole from ‘facing God’. It is also customary to take off shoes before entering mosques and homes.

Comments (83)

  1. Added 18:47 May 28, 2014

    Please remove this picture thanks

    Tahir, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 18:45 May 28, 2014

    Dear Editor, If you are follower the Islam, have to hide such these type of sensitive issues I humbly request to you please remove this by all sources. May Allah forgive us and give guidance Ameen.

    M, Iqbal Salim, karachi, Pakistan

  3. Added 18:33 May 28, 2014

    Please remove such contents immediatly.

    Andeel, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 18:31 May 28, 2014

    Perhaps the man did not intend to put his feet on the Kaaba and was doing so to prevent himself from falling into the crowd of people and be possibly crushed. I don't think he intended to put his feet on the Kaaba rather on instinct to prevent himself from falling he put his feet back. We shouldn't decide his punishment.

    Muhammad AbdulLatif, Sharjah, Ukraine

  5. Added 18:07 May 28, 2014

    Please remove this picture, immediately

    Mehwish, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 18:06 May 28, 2014

    Dear Editor, Requesting you to please remove such intimating picture as requested my Muslims. IT's totally unacceptable that such a pictured in published and not removed despite so many requests.

    Adeel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 18:02 May 28, 2014

    Its my humble request kindly remove this picture as soon as possible. This kind of picture should not be posted at any cost. It hurts myself and millions to see this picture. Hope admin will remove this picture, the irrespective policeman must be punished & no one can do like this. These kind of employees should remove from their jobs or transfer to them other place which they deserve it. Regards

    Sohail Baig, Dubai, Pakistan

  8. Added 17:34 May 28, 2014

    Dear GN , me also requesting to remove the pics pls ...........pls

    Ameer, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 17:21 May 28, 2014

    It hurts, because this is the most sacred place in Islam visited by millions on daily basis. To display this picture IS even more hurting. STRICT ACTION TO BE TAKEN ON THIS POLICEMAN AND ALL THE OTHER POLICEMAN TO BE MADE AWARE AND TRAINED. This type of behavior spoils the image of your police force as well as your country. May almighty Allah guide him.

    jaffar, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 17:20 May 28, 2014

    Dear Editor, Requesting you to please remove such intimating picture. Allah Knows best the condition of that security guard than all of us. The Job alhamdullah he is doing is Great but mistakes may happen and Allah is rahamn to forgive that Inshaalla. May be that Police man got tired and unconsciously his leg touches the Kaaba Sharif. May Allah Forgive us and Forgive this Man also. No person knows the real feeling on Man's inside heart except Almighty Allah alone.

    Abdul MAjed, Amman, Jordan

  11. View more comments

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