A woman rapper from Saudi Arabia is wanted by police in her homeland for posting a song about her hometown of Mecca.
According to Al Jazeera, officials in the Islamic holy city claim Ayasel Slay is offending the “customs and traditions” of Mecca after she posted a music video on YouTube.
The song by Slay is called “Girl from Mecca” and it boasts about the rapper being from the historic city while a group of dancers dance around her in a coffee shop.
A lot of the song’s lyrics compliment women from Mecca and claim they make good wives for Muslim men.
Apparently, these positive messages offended Mecca’s governor, who is reportedly seeking the prosecution of those involved with producing the video, which was removed from YouTube after it debuted last week.
“Prince Khalid bin Faisal of Mecca has ordered the arrest of those responsible for the 'Bint Mecca’ rap song, which offends the customs and traditions of the people of Mecca and contradicts the identity and traditions of its esteemed population,” Mecca authorities wrote in a (translated) tweet.
أمير مكة #خالد_الفيصل يوجه بإيقاف المسؤولين عن إنتاج فيديو أغنية الراب ( بنت مكه ) الذي يسيء لعادات وتقاليد أهالي مكة ويتنافى مع هوية وتقاليد أبنائها الرفيعة.— إمارة منطقة مكة (@makkahregion) February 20, 2020
.. تضمن توجيه سموه إحالتهم للجهات المختصه للتحقيق معهم وتطبيق العقوبات بحقهم.#لستن_بنات_مكه pic.twitter.com/zVqggEujfh
However, not everyone feels that Slay is sending the wrong message. Several supporters have taken to social media to condemn her arrest and support her as a burgeoning leader in women’s rights.
Free Ayasel Slay and all political prisoners. https://t.co/sFZHEWTePs— Jarod 🐝🌈 (@jarodkeith) February 24, 2020
Brought to you by the same country that just spent billions on a music festival & social media campaign to make them look open and progressive to the world. I hope she is safe. #AyaselSlay https://t.co/lDkqDGONe8— Alice Bessonova Weiss (@alicebesso) February 24, 2020
The governor of Mecca has ordered the arrest of Ayasel Slay, a Black Muslim woman from the holy city who released a rap song expressing pride for her hometown, for allegedly disrespecting the city’s holiness (which she did not do). https://t.co/JRJn7fKSEA— Paul Faruq Kiefer (@faruq_kiefer) February 24, 2020
#AyaselSlay and her song #BintMakkah is badass! The only thing offensive about this situation is the Saudi Government's racism (she's black), double standards (Didn't KSA invite a lot of models & artists last December?) & misogyny. #بنت_مكه_تمثلنيhttps://t.co/rHKjELhMKN— Sara Naseem 🎈 (@sara_naseem) February 24, 2020
Much of the condemnation of Ayasel Slay on social media has focused on her blackness, which detractors claim renders her claim to Meccan identity baseless. Let’s all keep an eye on the situation to make sure she remains free In Shaa Allah.— Paul Faruq Kiefer (@faruq_kiefer) February 24, 2020
We stand with this young queen Ayasel Slay. 🙌🙏🧡 https://t.co/xuD35wjlFa— Reform The Funk (@ReformTheFunk) February 25, 2020
Photo: Doaa Shalaby / EyeEm