Saudi calls to arrest ‘sugar candy’ female rapper draw ire | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 25, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 25, 2020

Saudi calls to arrest ‘sugar candy’ female rapper draw ire

Official calls to arrest a Saudi female rapper who appeared in a music video have sparked an online backlash with many calling the move hypocritical as the kingdom invites Western women to perform.

In the video, the young rapper from Makkah, who identifies herself as Asayel Slay, praises what she describes as bold women in Islam's holiest city.

Wearing a headscarf and sunglasses, she describes the women as "sugar candy" in the song titled "Makkah Girl".

But Makkah governor Khaled al-Faisal has ordered the arrest of those behind the video, saying in a statement on Twitter that it "offends the customs and traditions" of local Saudis.

The move underscores the limits of a recent Western-style liberalisation drive in a society steeped in conservatism.

The statement sparked indignation on social media, with many tweeting their support under the hashtag "Makkah girl represents me".

"I am from Makkah & the only thing I find offensive is your racism, misogyny and your war on a young woman & her artistic expression of her culture & her people," said one Twitter user.

"This is so typical for the #Saudi government -- bring Western influencers to artwash the regimes crimes but attack real Saudi women who try to artistically express their cultural identities," tweeted Amani al-Ahmadi, who calls herself a Saudi feminist.

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