Saudi prince visits Islam’s holiest site, climbs atop Kaaba

MAKKAH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman drew condemnation from critics on Tuesday after he has been photographed walking on the roof of the Kaaba during a visit to the Grand Mosque in Makkah, the holiest site in Islam.

Mohammed bin Salman, son of the king whose official title is “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques of Makkah and Madina” on Tuesday toured the Saudi’s holy city Makkah Grand Mosque to reviewed the Third expansion progress and renovation work.

Makkah Grand Mosque is being expanded to raise a total capactiy to 2.2 million worshippers.

The Crown Prince accompanied with Sheikh Saad Bin Nasser Al-Shithri, member of the Council of Senior Scholars and advisor at the Royal Court went into the a cube-shaped building, to which Muslims around the world pray five times daily.

He ofered prayer and was also seen kissing the Black Stone, an Islamic relic which according to tradition dates back to the time of Prophet Adam (AS) and Hawa (AS).

The Saudi Prince also went onto the roof of the historic structure looking down on the white circumambulation area, where Muslims walk around as part of Umrah.

A hashtag “Mohammed bin Salman in the Holy Mosque” trended on Twitter and many social media users express their outrage over bin Salman’s visit recalling record leading the disastrous war in Yemen, the detention of scholars, killing of journalist and columnist calling “desecration of the holy sites.”

“(Being in Mecca) will not cleanse him of the blood of Jamal Khashoggi, the torture of female activists, the detention of scholars and activists…and the blood of Yemen’s children,” tweeted Turki al-Shalhoub.

The anger was noticed by an English-language school in Riyadh and decided to offer a free lesson: “Instead of using ‘very angry’ to express your emotions use the correct synonym: annoyed, frustrated, angry, furious or enraged!” it wrote using the MBS hashtag.