Nearly eight million pilgrims have visited the Grand Mosque in Mecca in the first ten days of Ramadan, but many of them seem to have irked Saudis by taking selfies at the mosque and creating obstructions.
The footfalls at the holy site in Saudi Arabia have increased by 49% from last year, according to the Haj and Umrah Public Administration in Mecca, local media reported.
However, several pilgrims have reportedly caused 'serious problems' by stopping to take selfies at the Grand Mosque, prompting several Saudis to vent their anger on social media, Gulf News reported.
"We now have people who during the Friday prayers, instead of listening to the imam, prefer to take pictures of worshippers or to indulge in selfies. The problem is that you cannot talk to them because these are the Friday prayers and worshippers must not speak at all," Al Harbi, a blogger, reportedly said, and called for fines on pilgrims taking selfies.
"People can no longer worship in tranquility and peace of mind. You want to walk and you inevitably bump into someone who stopped to take a selfie. We need solutions," another Saudi national said.
However, other netizens said that pilgrims visiting Mecca were justified in taking selfies to record memories.
"Even though taking selfies could stall the movement of the crowds around the Kaaba or between Safa and Marwa, you cannot tell people to drop their mobiles and move on. Some of these people have come from far-away places or have been saving money for years to be able to come to the Grand Mosque, and they have every right to record the auspicious moments. What we usually try to do is to help them move to less crowded areas where they could take their selfies," a volunteer at the Grand Mosque was quoted saying by Gulf News.