Child marriage, honor killings, no big deal; but put your foot on a holy rock and the Islamic world goes crazy.
A picture of a Saudi policeman resting his foot on a holy site infuriated many in the Muslim world last week after the photo went viral.
In the photo, the Saudi officer appears leaning against the Kaaba, which the BBC describes as “a square building at the center of Islam’s most sacred mosque, in Mecca.”
An Arabic hashtag (#عسكري_يضع_قدمه_على_الكعبة) that translates to #SoldierPutsHisFootOnTheKaaba went viral, and was reportedly used more than 17,000 times, with Muslims expressing outrage at the initial act, as well as the publication of the photo itself.
Displaying the sole of one’s foot, or touching someone, or something sacred, with a shoe or with feet, is considered highly offensive in the Arab world. It is also customary to take off shoes before entering mosques and homes. In fact, Muslims often refrain from allowing their shoes to be turned upside down in order to avoid having the sole ‘face God.’