Saudi Arabia music in restaurants, Saudi, Saudi Arabia, Saudi restaurants

On Tuesday, the new chairman of Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority Turki Al Al-Sheikh unveiled a program aimed at making 2019 the kingdom's year of entertainment.

In it, it was announced that restaurants and cafes in the country will now be allowed to host musical events and live performances. 

This particular announcement didn't go down well with some Saudis, who took to Twitter to criticize it via the hashtag "boycott restaurants that play music." However, those celebrating the announcement were quick to shut them down.

"It's not part of our traditions"

"It's one of my rights not to listen to music while eating because my religions prohibits that"

Not everyone is happy about the boycott plans, though

Many Saudis hit back at the hashtag with memes

Others pointed this out

"Here, it's normal to see someone justifying violence but hurting when they hear music." 

"What's so wrong with music?"

"What harm did it cause you? At least it doesn't hurt anyone. It doesn't enforce itself on anyone, it doesn't kill or steal and doesn't cause any harm at all. What's this stupid rhetoric that makes you oppose it and create such a controversy? Just so you can boycott it? You don't like music... don't listen to it." 

"In case you guys have no idea ... it's 2019"

Music has long been a controversial issue in the kingdom

Musical performances of any kind have always sparked heated debates in the kingdom. This is because many in the country believe music is haram (prohibited in Islam). This opinion is also upheld by several of the kingdom's clerics.

Until recently, public education institutions across the kingdom did not offer music classes to students.

Several cities in Saudi Arabia also ban restaurants from hosting live musical events or DJ nights.