Oh it does make us giggle…recent paperwork reveals that way back in the early 80’s the Sunni Mufti of Beiruit was calling our beloved Mecca Bingo "blasphemous" for using the name Mecca – number one hot spot for religious Muslim devotees. Oops!
The British ambassador to Lebanon didn’t take the complaint as seriously as the Sunni Mufti would have liked and neither it seems did the minister at the time who said he was “highly amused and didn’t mind if there were a brothel in London called ‘The Vatican’ ”
The issue started with a story that appeared in the Arab News press in May 1981 that reported the Muslim World League had condemned the “immoral” act of naming an gambling centre after the holy city of Mecca.
Within a matter of weeks complaints began to pour in from other sources until the Brits were informed by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that a royal command had been announced informing that the spelling Makkah rather than Mecca should be used in English signs and ads.
The Brits agreed that “Makkah” should be used in all official correspondence made with the Saudi Arabian government but that on all other occasions “Mecca” should be used.
Well, how’s that for scandal! And what do you know - for some of you Mecca Bingo is the holiest of holy sites!
Bow down and have a tipple…