Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Thieves in the Sacred Mosque! | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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As we have always regarded Mecca and Medina as holy, due to our upbringing, visitors to these cities impose strict controls upon themselves; for fear that their actions may disturb the serenity of the visit and its purity. Even deviant individuals, who find themselves within the sanctity of the two cities, act as others do in terms of manners, commitment and good conduct. As time has passed, our vision towards these two holy cities has always remained in our souls. Therefore, we find that we feel a great deal of resentment and contempt towards any shameful act committed by a visitor of the Two Holy Mosques. These are natural feelings, for it is difficult to imagine a visitor committing an act in contrast with the morals and virtues of such a place.

Today, unfortunately, we read in the media about news of pickpockets being arrested at the Sacred Mosque during the month of Ramadan! If theft is outcast, despised and reprehensible at all times and places, then it raises the utmost contempt, disgust and anger when it happens in the vicinity of the house of God, and in the holy month of Ramadan. It was committed by immoral people without a shred of religion, enlightenment, or conscience. Especially considering that these thieves came via pilgrim visas to Saudi Arabia, which opened its entry ports, treated them like guests of god, and finally exposed them and revealed their true intentions!

Well done to the security forces, which are on the lookout for thieves such as these, to catch them red handed in their crimes, shame and humiliate them. I wonder what kind of punishment they face, having been caught in the most sacred places, during the most sacred of days. Is a thief in the Sacred Mosque treated like a thief anywhere else? A crime in the Sacred Mosque during The Holy Month would only be committed by the lowest of the low, rotten to the core. This honest country, which protects even the birds in its trees, justifies inflicting maximum penalties upon these deviant individuals who have inflicted theft upon pilgrims and visitors to the house of God.

I am confident that taking the fingerprints of those we have deported, namely the thieves, beggars, and violators of current residence regulations, will prevent the possibility of them returning again, as they used to in the past. There is also the possibility that the areas which these criminals came from can play a positive role in checking records of arrivals, so that their parties of honest pilgrims are not infiltrated by those with criminal records or deviant intentions.