Officials in rapper Saudi Arabia are calling for the arrest of a young female rapper after taking issue with the music video for her track Mecca Girl.
Rapper Saudi Arabia Asayel Slay’s Mecca Girl – translated as Girls of Mecca by some – describes women from Mecca City as being ‘powerful and beautiful’, and includes the lyrics, ‘Our respect to other girls but the Mecca girl is sugar candy’.
In the music video, which was released on YouTube last week, Slay can be seen dancing around a cafe alongside men and women from Mecca, which is regarded to be the holiest city in Islam.
On Thursday, February 20, the governor of Mecca, Khaled al-Faisal, ordered the arrest of those behind the track, tweeting that it ‘insults the customs of Mecca’, while using the hashtag ‘They’re not the girls of Mecca’.
The governor goes on to claim the track ‘offends the customs and traditions of the people of Mecca and contradicts the identity and traditions of its high-ranking children’. This is despite both the rap song and the accompanying video being free from any obscenities, drug use or suggestiveness.
Slay’s account has since been suspended, with the video no longer available to watch on YouTube. However, she has since gained plenty of support of social media, with fans using the #Mecca_Girl_Represents_Me to show solidarity.
Many people have taken to social media to accuse the Saudi government of hypocrisy, alleging officials are working to push a modern image to the rest of the world while continuing to suppress the voices of Saudi women.
This is so typical of the Saudi government to do – bring western influencers to artwash the regime but attack real Saudi women who try to artistically express their cultural identities.