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Saudi policeman caught resting shoe on Kaaba, sparks media outrage

The Kaaba is at the center of Islam's most sacred mosque, al-Masjid al-Haram, in Makkah

Published: Updated:

A picture of a Saudi policeman leaning on Makkah’s sacred Kaaba with his shoes against the wall has prompted media outrage on Wednesday.

Makkah governor, Prince Mishal Bin Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, has ordered an investigation into the incident, saying such an attitude would not be tolerated.

Prince Mishal also called for disciplinary action against the policeman for failing to live up to the privilege and honor of serving in such a holy place.

Saudi newspapers reported the news, expressing shock at the image, while on social media, reactions to the picture varied.

Reactions ranged from “gentle understanding of his condition after hours of confronting challenges to outright condemnation for not respecting the sanctity of the place,” according to Gulf News.

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 culture.

The Kaaba is at the center of Islam's most sacred mosque, al-Masjid al-Haram, in Makkah.

Multiple parts of the Hajj pilgrimage requires pilgrims to make Tawaf, circumambulation, seven times around the Kaaba.