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Hajj and Saudi Arabia’s inexperienced crown prince

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For many years, the Al Saud family in Saudi Arabia has been claiming to serve pilgrims partaking in the Hajj ceremony. In such a situation, the Al Saud family calls itself “servant of the holy shrines”, and behind this name, they take actions that are neither Islamic nor familiar with the Prophet’s tradition.

In March 2015, Riyadh launched a military campaign against Yemen, another Muslim country, killing thousands of people and putting millions of children and civilians on the verge of death due to famine and lack of medicine.

The war means that Riyadh’s claims of serving Muslims cannot be considered as realistic, under any pretext.

On the other hand, the Saudi family does not allow pilgrims from a number of countries that oppose its policies to partake to in Hajj.

Indeed, due to Saudi Arabia’s hostile attitude towards pilgrims, many believe that the kingdom’s actions are against the religious principles of hospitality.

Mehdi al-Mashat, head of the Yemeni political council, said last year in his Eid al-Adha message: “Unfortunately, one who considers himself the servant of the Holy Shrines, exploits divine rites for political gain and division of the Ummah, and uses all methods to eliminate the central issue of the Ummah, Palestine.”

However, the Saudi government has never denied this dual approach and, on the contrary, continued its paradoxical behavior under young and inexperienced Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

It is bin Salman’s dual policies regarding Islam’s teachings and other Muslims that are most worrying.

Bin Salman ranks low in terms of global public opinion and in Western media after it became clear that he was linked to tge ghastly murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The unpopularity is so damaging that there are rumours that Riyadh is considering removing him altogether.

He has since tried to mend the damage by inviting Western musicians to hold concerts in Saudi Arabia.

 

These concerts are being organized while Muslims from all around the world are arriving in Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage and spiritual activities ordered by Islam.

The controversial behavior of bin Salman in his bid to change the appearance of the Saudi society has also worried religious supporters of the Al Saud family, and many speakers and imams of the Grand Mosque of Saudi Arabia have condemned this action and accused the Prince of destroying the country’s culture.

Last year, speaker of al-Nakhil mosque was arrested by Saudi soldiers for criticizing bin Salman.

Over 100 Saudi citizens have also been arrested and executed this year because of their opposition to the Saudi government, according to news reports.

By the end of this year, it is estimated that 170 other Saudi citizens will be sentenced to death by beheading.

It seems that the iron fist policy in a velvet glove has become bin Salman’s favorite in the past few months.

On the one hand, it is shown to the world that Saudi Arabia is a cradle of change in the Middle East, and bin Salman is looking for tolerance and leniency by holding a concert in the spiritual days of Hajj, and on the other hand, with an iron hammer, punishes every form of criticism inside the kingdom by death andon the outside, kills hundreds of Yemeni citizens every day.

It remains to be seen that how long the prince can continue his this dual-polict and whether his attempts at holding outrageous cultural events during the time of Hajj fuels the conflict and ongoing tensions in Saudi Arabia or not?

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