Saudi singer criticised for 'disrespectful' Quran dance performance

Saudi singer criticised for 'disrespectful' Quran dance performance
2 min read
18 May, 2019
Saudi singer Rotana Tarabzouni was seen dancing on stage during a set that was controversially concluded with a Quran recital.
The Saudi singer has been praised for smashing stereotypes [Facebook/iamRotana]
US-based Saudi singer Rotana Tarabzouni triggered outrage online after appearing in a video that showed her conclude a dance by reciting verses from the Quran.

Tarabzouni performed the set in Arizona where she danced along to one of her own songs before ending with a recitation of the first verse from the holy Muslim book, al-Fatiha (The Opening), to an audience.

The singer, who has been previously praised for “smashing Saudi stereotypes”, was named as one of the BBC's 100 Most Powerful Women and shortlisted as one of the Grazia Style Awards KSA's nominations for Emerging Talent for her contribution to the industry.

The former international media-relations officer at Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world, moved to LA to pursue her career in music but has maintained close ties with her Saudi homeland.

She boasts more than 50,000 followers on Instagram, where she regularly posts updates of her life in Los Angeles.

But despite her success, the young artist -unsurprisingly - triggered a barrage of criticism after the clip was posted online, prompting her to shut down her Instagram account.

Social media users were quick to comment on the video, with many suggesting the artist had crossed a line.

But despite the backlash, the performance was met with some praise 

Some interpretations of Islam consider music to be forbidden and mixing songs with the Quran is deemed to be highly disrespectful to the religion and its 1.6 billion followers.