Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Council of Senior Scholars Source: Khamenei Statement Politicizes Hajj | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Muslim pilgrims pray around the holy Kaaba during their final circling at the Grand Mosque during the annual hajj pilgrimage for this year in Mecca October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Riyadh- Once again, Iran is in a quest to cause a clash between Muslims, tension over Hajj and damage to the public interest through an offense carried out by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saudi Arabia.

The statement issued by Khamenei brings nothing new; just the same Iranian demands to export revolution and transform Hajj from a spiritual, religious act to a political source of conflicts and revolutions. Iran aims to undermine the efforts exerted by Saudi Arabia to serve the pilgrims coming from all over the world.

A source from the Council of Senior Scholars told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the council has already issued a statement to focus on the importance and holiness of Hajj and to banish any intentions to cause conflicts. The statement denounced announcements that cause riot and harm pilgrims.

The source continued that the timing of the Iranian statement indicates that the regime does not respect the holiness of this ritual and seeks to confuse everyone but the security efforts will defy these attempts.

On 31 May, the Council of Senior Scholars issued a statement denouncing the Iranian practices that are triggering riot and wars and disuniting Muslims, hence disrespecting the holiness of Hajj.

“The Council supports the consistent policy of Saudi Arabia that serves the two Holly Mosques and it promises to prevent any attempts to cause riot among Muslims and to manipulate the pilgrims’ security. The council thanks the Saudi government for taking all strict and decisive procedures to maintain the security of the country and people whether residents or citizens,” according to the statement.

Instructor at Al-Azhar University Hamid Mustafah al-Maccawi said that Iran has implicit political expansion goals including attacking Saudi Arabia. “Iran is known for blood shedding and occupying countries as well as stealing fortunes,” added Maccawi.