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Oman warns against photos inside holy mosques

In cases where people do not abide by rules, Saudi authorities will confiscate the phones and cameras

Fahad Al Mukrashi, Special to Gulf News
11:45 December 26, 2017

Muscat: Oman’s Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs has warned pilgrims from Oman against taking photos and videos on the premises of the holy mosques in Makkah and Madinah.

The ministry said that in cases where people do not abide by the rules, Saudi authorities will confiscate the phones and cameras used.

“The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Endowment has called upon citizens, residents and hajj operators ... to abstain from filming, taking pictures of all forms within the holy mosques and their premises,” said the notice issued by the ministry.

The ministry added the aim of the decision was to respect the sanctity of the mosques, and to create a convenient atmosphere for worshippers.

“Taking of photos or filming is a cause of confusion and provocation for worshippers,” the statement said.

In November, Saudi Arabia’s ministry of foreign affairs banned indoor and outdoor photography and video recording in the holy mosques.

The statement by the foreign ministry said the ban applied to all visitors, including media representatives. It was imposed to protect and preserve the holy sites, the statement said. The ban also applies to the mosques’ surrounding areas.

Saudi authorities cited disturbance to worshippers at the mosques as another reason for the introduction of the measure.

“In the case of a violation of the ban ... tools used to take photos and videos will be confiscated and legal action will be taken,” the statement said.