A fight broke out between Saudis and Egyptians attending prayers at a Riyadh mosque on Friday after a Saudi cleric was reported to have blasted Egyptian Defense Minister General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during a sermon.
Pan-Arab newspaper al-Hayat reported the incident at the al-Ferdous Mosque, while a 46-second video of the fight went viral on YouTube showing a Saudi man taking off his traditional headdress and hitting another man, who was reported to be Egyptian.
According to al-Hayat, the Egyptian was initially angered when the Saudi cleric blasted General Sisi, the man who played a leading role in the overthrow of Egyptian Islamist President Mohammad Mursi in July.
The report said the Saudi cleric had been praying for the downfall of both Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and General Sisi, prompting uproar from the Egyptians who were in attendance.
An Arabic hashtag on Twitter “#Ferdous_Mosque_Fight" has attracted users on the microblogging site to voice their views on the incident, reported a blog post on Global Voices Online.
One Twitter user @iar_98, named Ibrahim al-Rasheed, wrote: “The people of Egypt are more knowledgeable of their affairs and it is of bad taste for this preacher to employ himself as a guardian over Egyptians.”
Others attacked the Saudi clergyman for talking politics.
“Next time, those praying should break the preacher's jaw so that he learns his lesson and stops including his political opinion in sermons,” a Twitter user posted.
Another user, commenting on the incident using the hashtag, said the violence was unacceptable.
“No to violence. Political differences should be peaceful, and resorting to violence and excusing it, by any side, is unacceptable.” @WaleedSulais posted.
“Cursing others is unacceptable and beating up whoever objects to that is vile. People have dignity,” he added.
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