Asia

Malaysia mosque bans tourists after provocative dance

The City Mosque, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia, in 2010. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Kota Kinabalu mosque in Borneo is famous for its dome and minarets

A mosque in Malaysia has banned tourists from visiting after a video of two women dancing in front of the site was shared online.

The two women, who were wearing shorts and with bare midriffs, were filmed dancing on a wall in front of the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque on Borneo island.

Authorities are trying to identify the pair, who have been described as foreigners of east Asian appearance.

Footage of the incident has been viewed around 270,000 times on Facebook.

An official from Sabah state's tourism ministry said the video showed a "lack of respect to our Muslim worshippers as well as the hospitality extended" to the visitors.

Image copyright Saba Info
Image caption A local official said the incident showed a "lack of respect"

On Sunday, the mosque's chairman said public transport would not be allowed to bring tourists to the mosque compound, but added that there would be further discussions with tour agencies to prevent similar incidents.

Foreign visitors to mosques in Malaysia are advised to dress modestly.

This is not the first time foreigners have faced trouble for offending public sensitivities in Sabah state.

In 2015, a Malaysian official blamed a group of tourists who stripped naked on top of a sacred mountain for an earthquake which killed 16 people.

Other times tourists have got into trouble abroad

January 2018: Ten foreigners, including five Britons, are charged with pornography in Cambodia, after pictures emerge apparently showing people imitating sex acts at a party

November 2017: Two US citizens are arrested in Thailand after posting an online picture of themselves baring their buttocks at a temple

May 2017: A Playboy model sparks anger in New Zealand after sharing a naked image of herself on Mount Taranaki, which is considered sacred by Maori

April 2014: Sri Lanka deports a British woman because of a Buddha tattoo on her arm. She was later awarded 800,000 rupees (£3,800, $5,000) after the country's Supreme Court ruled her treatment had been "scandalous"

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