Global rights group Amnesty International criticized Saudi Arabia for targeting young Saudi rapper for a video made in Mecca, despite inviting foreign artists to perform in KSA.
Amnesty tweeted it was “deeply concerned by the news of Saudi authorities arresting Saudi rap singer Asayel for her song ‘Bint Mecca’, while the Kingdom sells itself as progressive by hosting major music festivals & international artists. What’s with the hypocrisy?”.
Saudi Officials ordered the arrest of a female rapper who shoot her song ‘bint Mecca’ or ‘Girl from Mecca’. Officials claim that it is offensive to the customs and traditions of the holy city.
أمير مكة #خالد_الفيصل يوجه بإيقاف المسؤولين عن إنتاج فيديو أغنية الراب ( بنت مكه ) الذي يسيء لعادات وتقاليد أهالي مكة ويتنافى مع هوية وتقاليد أبنائها الرفيعة.
.. تضمن توجيه سموه إحالتهم للجهات المختصه للتحقيق معهم وتطبيق العقوبات بحقهم.#لستن_بنات_مكه pic.twitter.com/zVqggEujfh
— إمارة منطقة مكة (@makkahregion) February 20, 2020
Saudi woman, Ayasel Slay made a video in which the rapper raps about herself being in Mecca, a city that holds religious significance for the Muslims.
The video was posted on the rapper’s YouTube channel in which she raps in a café with a group of children cheering as backup dancers. Her video was later removed.
Ayasel Slay sang, “A Mecca girl is all you need/Don’t upset her, she will hurt you,
She also sang, “With her, you can complete the Sunna [get married]/Your life with her will become Paradise,”
Mecca regional authorities tweeted that the governor had given orders that Ayasel and the video production team should be prosecuted.
It was mentioned in the tweet, “Prince Khalid bin Faisal of Mecca has ordered the arrest of those responsible for the Bint Mecca rap song, which offends the customs and traditions of the people of Mecca and contradicts the identity and traditions of its esteemed population,”
Social media users reacted to the song with the hashtag #You_Are_Not_Mecca’s_Girls
One user said, “Enough of this depravity,” “I hope the punishment for this African woman will be imprisonment then deporting her back to her country.”
One user commented, “Immediate deportation is the answer, in addition to holding every foreigner who claims to be from Mecca accountable,”
Another social media user commented, “Including all Somalis living here,”
However, some people spoke in Ayasel’s favor,
One person tweeted, She was covered, she didn’t say anything offensive. Their problem with her is that she is black, they don’t want to be represented by a black Saudi. If a white Arab person from another Arab country claimed to be from Hijaz they would clap.
“The singer is young and has maybe realized her mistake, as Mecca is a holy place and has revered status,” another user-supported.
Here’s Asayel Slay’s video – which has been removed from her YouTube channel. Called Mecca Girl, the song is about her pride in being Black and from Mecca, which is also Islam’s holiest site.
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) February 23, 2020