Mina, Asharq Al-Awsat – The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz called for internal dialogue within Islam in a speech delivered Tuesday at the royal palace in Mina during the annual reception for leading Muslim dignitaries attending Hajj.
“Today we are in need of dialogue within the Muslim Ummah itself,” pointing out that “sedition, ignorance, and fanaticism constitute obstacles that are threatening the hopes of Muslims,” said King Abdullah.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdulaziz, stressed that terrorism, which is threatening the entire world, and which is being attributed to Muslims alone, “is caused by extremists who represent no one but themselves even if they put on an Islamic character. Islam is innocent of their acts.” He stressed that this is what makes internal dialogue within Islam necessary so as to achieve a unified stand, promote moderation, eliminate the causes of conflict, and stamp out extremism.
King Abdullah stressed that the goal of the call for interfaith dialogue, for which a conference was set up in Mecca and attended by Muslim scholars, is to further empower Islam and serve humanity. He said, “The fair reception and success the idea has enjoyed makes us more optimistic that its future march will be as successful, God willing.”
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques also received a report from the Minister of Health, Dr. Hamad Bin Abdullah Al Manee regarding the health status of pilgrims. The report emphasised the absence of any epidemic or quarantined case among pilgrims.
Pilgrims were performing the symbolic stoning of the devil rite Tuesday, which occurred without major incident thanks to the security and regulatory agencies present at the Jamarat Bridge. The Jamarat Bridge is a platform bridge surrounding the three ancient walls in Mina that symbolize the devil towards which Muslims throw pebbles as part of the Hajj pilgrimage symbolizing their rejection of evil. Another important decision made by the Hajj Security Force was to prevent pilgrims from resting or laying down in the area so as not to obstruct the movement of pilgrims on their way to the bridge, or on the bridge itself.
Iranian Vice President Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei met with the Saudi Minister of the Interior, Prince Naif Bin Abdulaziz in Mecca, and expressed thanks for the care that the government of King Abdullah had provided to pilgrims, as well as the developments that had been made to the Holy Sites and the facilities provided to the pilgrims there.