Imam: "Unacceptable behaviour of two foreigners". Public transport will not be authorized to bring tourists to the holy place. Local authorities: "What they considered 'amusing' is actually disrespectful and immoral to Sabah."
Kota Kinabalu (AsiaNews / Agencies) – A ban on tourists to "preserve the sanctity of Islam": the provocative dance of two tourists in skimpy clothes has pushed a mosque in the Sabah State to prohibit entry to visitors.
A viral video on the internet shows a couple (see video below), of East Asian descent and considered foreign, dancing on a wall outside the main mosque of Kota Kinabalu (photo). Residents and local Islamic groups have expressed profound disappointment at the risqué performance in front of the sacred place, famous for its decorated minarets and the blue and golden dome.
Two days ago, the president of the Jamal Sakaran mosque censured "the unacceptable behavior of foreign tourists" and announced the temporary ban on visits to the mosque. The religious added that public transport will not be allowed to bring tourists near the mosque and there will be "further discussions with tourist agencies to prevent similar incidents".
Christina Liew, Minister of Tourism of the State of Sabah, has declared to the local media that no legal action will be taken against the tourists, as they are unaware of the seriousness of their actions. However, the authorities intend to track them down to explain to them that "what they considered" funny "is actually disrespectful and immoral to Sabah".
This is not the first time that the behavior of foreign tourists offends public sensitivity in the State of Sabah. In 2015, four Westerners pleaded guilty to "obscene acts" for taking nude selfies on the sacred Mount Kinabalu. According to a local officials and many residents of the region, such conduct caused the earthquake in the same year in which 16 people died.