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Saudi Musician Arrested for Dabbing at Concert

10 August 2017

In a video, actor and singer Abdallah Al Shaharani - who took part in a musical festival in the city of Taif on Monday night - can be seen putting down his microphone in order to encourage the audience to clap along. The National Commission for Combatting Drugs later banned the dance move-which involves someone nodding their head toward one of their elbows while lifting both arms-after determining it emphasizes drugs in everyday music culture. The committee ruled that it references marijuana and other illegal substances.

With its roots in the Atlanta hip-hop scene, the dance has been unconvincingly tied to weed culture, particularly the act of smoking cannabis oil. After the dance move emerged, it became an internet phenomenon performed by notable figures including Hillary Clinton and Paul Ryan.

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Fans of the Saudi Arabian pop star Abdallah Al Shaharani began a social media campaign supporting the singer and TV host after he was arrested at a recent music festival for dabbing, a dance move considered taboo and recently banned in the conservative nation.

Prior to his imprisonment, Al Shaharani issued an apology on Twitter, stating, "I am most apologetic to our honorable government and my dear president for the spontaneous movement I made in the Ta'if Festival. Accept my apology", the message read.

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Social media reacted strongly to his dabbing, with some users agreeing with his decision to dab, while others criticized it. "Does he think he's challenging authorities with these actions?"

Some considered the move to be an obvious "negative influence" on people.

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Saudi Musician Arrested for Dabbing at Concert