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Displaying Any Flag at Masjid al-Haram is Deemed Illegal

Wesam Abo Marq Wesam Abo Marq
24th May 2024
Displaying Any Flag at Masjid al-Haram is Deemed Illegal
Saudi Arabia warned pilgrims from raising flags inside holy places (X)

The Claim

Saudi Arabia prevents public display of the Palestinian flag, because the they know too well what it stands for.


Emerging story

Social media users widely shared a video of a woman raising the Palestinian flag in front of the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site, in the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. Users claimed that Saudi Arabia prohibits the public display of the Palestinian flag due to its significant symbolism. 

An X user circulated the video, claiming, “Saudi Arabia prevents public display of the Palestinian flag, because they know too well what it stands for. But woke students in the West don't know that, and fly it in US campuses after toppling and burning American 🇺🇲 flags.”

A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar investigated the viral footage and found the claim to be a commotion.

Displaying any flag, not only the Palestinian flag, at Islam's holiest site at the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca is illegal.

Saudi Arabia Warns Against Raising Flags Inside Holy Places in Mecca 

Although the footage of Saudi security authorities arresting a female pilgrim inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca for raising the Palestinian flag in February 2024 is real, users exploited the video to express outrage.

It is worth noting that Saudi Arabia prohibits all pilgrims from raising slogans or flags inside the holy places in Mecca and Medina.

A supporting image within the article body
A screenshot of the rassd’s translated article.

Following the incident, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, the Chief Imam of the Grand Mosque, Masjid al-Haram, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, issued a statement urging all pilgrims not to raise any slogans or flags within the holy sites of Mecca and Medina. 

In a broadcast on the Saudi AlEkhbariya News channel, Al-Sudais emphasized the sanctity of the Noble Sanctuary and cautioned visitors against being carried away by emotions. He reminded them of the purpose of their visit, stating, "You have come to worship God, to perform Hajj, and to witness the landmarks of this great house, so do not engage in anything other than worship and refrain from raising slogans." 

Al-Sudais further emphasized, "God Almighty designated the Two Mosques for worship, not for raising slogans, chants, or engaging in activities unrelated to worship. The Grand Mosque in Mecca, the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, and all other holy sites are sanctified for religious purposes and should be treated as such."

The "Prisoners of Conscience" Twitter account, dedicated to monitoring news about prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia, disclosed that Saudi authorities detained a woman during her performance of Umrah in front of the Kaaba after she raised the Palestinian flag. It was reported that she was part of a group of Turkish Umrah performers.

According to reports, opposition groups in Saudi Arabia have recently revealed that pilgrims within the al-Haram have been detained for expressing their support for Palestine and showing solidarity with Gaza during the Israeli massacres. Several pilgrims from various countries were reportedly detained at both Mecca and Medina because they were wearing Palestinian scarves.

Two Indians Detained for Displaying the Indian Flag in Mecca in 2018

In a similar incident in 2018, two Indian nationals from Vadodara were detained by Saudi Arabia's authorities for posing and taking pictures with the Indian flag inside the al-Haram in Mecca.

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A screenshot of the Indian Express’ article.

The Consulate General in Jeddah in a tweet stated, “Please note it is banned to display flags in al-Haram area. Our official has already met Mr Imitiaz Ali and son Mr Uzair Ali at al-Haram Police station. After our intervention, Uzair Ali has been released. We are following the case and all help being extended for early release of Mr Imitiaz as well.”

Developments of Israel's Genocidal War on Gaza 

Since October 7, the toll from Israeli assaults on Gaza has reached a devastating figure, with at least 35,456 fatalities and 79,476 injuries.

Martin Griffiths, the U.N.'s humanitarian chief, has issued dire warnings about the severe consequences of aid shortages in Gaza, emphasizing the significant blockage of crucial crossings like Rafah and Karem Abu Salem.

Verified footage from Al Jazeera has exposed illegal Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank targeting aid convoys destined for the Gaza Strip.

According to the Government Media Office in Gaza, Israeli forces have obstructed the entry of 3,000 aid trucks into Gaza over the past fortnight.

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