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Hajj observation committee condemns Saudi ban on Qataris and Syrians

June 23, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Muslim Hajj pilgrims try to touch Kaaba stone as they circumambulate around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site, located in the center of the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on 22 August, 2017 [Fırat Yurdakul/Anadolu Agency]

The International Committee for Observing Hajj Administration has condemned Saudi Arabia’s ban on Qatari and Syrian citizens performing the pilgrimage, reported on Friday. The Saudis have prevented Syrians from performing the Hajj for seven years, and Qataris for the second year running, for what are said to be purely political reasons.

According to Al-Quds Al-Arabi, the committee added that such a ban is against the Shari’ah, as well as international law.

The committee called for the participation of other organisations and Islamic governments in administering the Hajj given Riyadh’s alleged lack of transparency in the role. The Saudi government has prevented thousands of Muslims from performing one of the five pillars of Islam. The pilgrimage is obligatory at least once in a lifetime for every Muslim who can afford to take part.

A source in the Religious Endowment Ministry in Damascus said that a deal should have been signed between Saudi Arabia and Syria to resume its citizens’ performance of the Hajj, but this has not happened. “Everything remains as it has been for seven years,” he said.