Manama: A picture of four fully-covered women sitting cross-legged at the mosque and playing a board game went viral on social media, triggering a wide array of comments.
“The women were spotted at around 11 pm on Friday playing the board game Sequence at the western square near King Abdul Aziz Gate,” Saudi daily Okaz reported on Monday, citing a source.
“The operation room was alerted and the women’s section at the General Presidency was tasked with dealing with the situation. Supervisors went up to the four women and requested the women to respect the sanctity of the mosque and stop their game. The women complied and left.”
“Regretfully, there are some people who use such incidents to doubt the professional commitment of the staff and question their work.”
The General Presidency for the Holy Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah confirmed that it had told the women not to play the board game at the Holy Mosque.
Most online users condemned the attitude by the four women whose nationality was not known, saying that they should respect the spiritual significance of the mosque.
“The Holy Mosque is for prayers, supplications and devotion, and all people should make sure nothing else disturbs their piety,” one user said.
However, another user said that although he did not condone the “public show” by the four women, he compared it to the use of smartphones by some worshippers.
“Some people, waiting for prayers or for friends, have a tendency to take out their cell phones and use applications for several purposes,” he posted.