Saudi citizens heavily criticized their housing minister after a tweet in which he quoted Prophet Mohammed asking people to be generous to their neighbors, with Saudis insisting the minister should instead focus on supplying housing rather than preaching, Gulf News reported on Sunday.
Saudi Housing Minister Majed bin Abdullah al-Hogail on Friday evening quoted the Prophet, tweeting “He who believes in God and in the Last Day must be generous to his neighbour. Generosity is among the most wonderful aspects of good neighbourliness in Islam.“
Saudis, especially those who had issues with the ministry or are disappointed by the ministry’s progress on providing housing, were enraged by the minister’s remarks, with Saudi news website Sabq quoting replies to the minister’s tweet, including one response that read “You give us homes first so that we can have neighbours.“
The Saudi housing ministry has recently come under criticism for its failure to provide housing to all of its citizens in an ongoing housing crisis despite new construction efforts. On top of that there has recently been a controversy around the official figures about homeownership provided by the Saudi General Authority for Statistics, which had reported that 63% of the general Saudi population own houses. This figure came under severe criticism by industry representatives, economists and citizens.