A viral video of a mixed-gender concert organized by a resort in Jazan, Saudi Arabia, has prompted outrage on social media.
It was a licensed event and the resort had reportedly sought permission for hosting the concert from the Saudi’s Tourism Authority. Ali Bin Moussa Za'la, the official spokesman for Jazan authorities, confirmed this in a statement:
"We're not 100 percent sure of the event's details and we're currently investigating the incident. However, I believe the event was organized and licensed by an official Tourism Authority."
Bin Moussa Za’la told the media certain ethical violations were noted during the concert.
People came to know about the concert via Jazan Tourism Authority's Twitter account.
Some of the attendees discovered only after reaching the venue that the concert wasn’t “family-oriented” and left early.
The incident set of an online frenzy, evoking mixed reactions. Some were shocked to learn about the incident and couldn’t believe it took place in Saudi Arabia, which is an ultraconservative Muslim country as well as the world's most gender-segregated nation. Public spaces such as restaurants have separate sections for women unaccompanied by a male guardian.
Social restrictions have been eased recently, though. Case in point: For the first time in the history of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh held the first ever mixed-gender national day celebration in September.
“Is it possible that it is happening in Saudia?”
“Who told them music means development! Who told them musical performances and attending mixed events means we’re moving forward or getting better! Things that are Haram (unacceptable in Islam) will never be considered advancement.” [Translation courtesy of StepFeed]
The Prince of Jazan, Muhammad Bin Nasr, issued orders to shut the resort immediately in response to the concerns raised by some people.
“Where is the promiscuity in this? I only saw families and people sitting next to each other, not violating any law. What’s wrong with the person who shot and shared this footage?! He attended the event and then suddenly turned against it!!” [Translation courtesy of StepFeed]
There were some who openly resented the decision taken by Jazan’s authorities.
“People in the footage were dressed modestly if you didn’t notice!!! Where’s the problem if there were songs and shisha, that doesn’t give anyone an excuse to shut the place down. Those who don’t want to attend such events should stay at home and let people live the way they want. You’re depriving people their right to live.” [Translation courtesy of StepFeed]
Investigations are underway to find out the people responsible for the incident.
Thumbnail Credits : Reuters/Faisal Al Nasser