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Tuesday, July 25, 2017
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Muslim Scholars Blasts Saudi Government over Mina Crush

Muslim scholars slammed the Saudi regime for the tragic Mina crush, and said that the Riyadh government should admit that it is incapable of running the Hajj ceremony.
Publish Date: 2015/09/27
 

"The Saudi officials should acknowledge their mistakes and mismanagement in this incident," Sharif Shahateh, member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars said on Saturday.

Shahateh noted that the Saudi government should fully reshuffle its Hajj presiding board, specially because over 5 million pilgrims will go on Hajj pilgrimage next year.

"If Saudi Arabia cannot handle the Hajj ceremony, it can seek help from other Muslim countries," the Muslim scholar said.

And also Shia Marja’ also wished speedy recovery for those injured in the incident. They  further called for necessary measures to be taken in order to prevent such tragedies.

Ayatollahs:  sayyed Ali Sistani, Naser Makarem Shirazi, Safi Golpaygani, Sayyed Ali Khamenei, Javadi Amoli, Noori Hamedani, Sayyed Moosa Shobeyri Zanjani, Muhammad Taqi Sobhani, Bashir Najafi, Sayyed Saeed Hakim, Sayyed Muhammad Taqi Modarresi and many others gave their separate declarations for the disaster.

The tragedy happened when a large crowd of pilgrims were on their way to participate in one of the last Hajj rituals.

The disaster has raised questions over the Saudi regime’s ability to manage the large influx of pilgrims into the kingdom during the Hajj pilgrimage season every year.

 

A stampede during one of the last rituals of the Hajj season killed more than 2,000 people and left 2,000 wounded.

The stampede occurred during the ritual known as "stoning the devil" in the tent city of Mina, about two miles from Mecca.

Some 136 Iranians have also lost their lives in the incident, while 150 others have been wounded.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei declared three days of national mourning over the death of the pilgrims.

In his message on Thursday evening the Iranian Leader expressed condolences to the bereaved families of all those killed in the incident, specially the Iranians, and declared three days of national mourning in the country.

Meantime, Ayatollah Khamenei blasted the Saudi government, saying that Riyadh should accept its responsibility for "mismanagement" and adoption of "improper measures".

"Mismanagement and improper measures that caused this tragedy should not be overlooked,” he said, stressing that "the Saudi government is required to accept its heavy responsibility for this bitter incident and meet its obligations in compliance with the rule of righteousness and fairness".

Sources revealed that the convoy of Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud caused panic among millions of pilgrims and started the stampede.

"The large convoy of Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, the King's son and deputy crown prince, that was escorted by over 350 security forces, including 200 army men and 150 policemen, sped up the road to go through the pilgrims that were moving towards the site of the 'Stoning the Devil' ritual, causing panic among millions of pilgrims who were on the move from the opposite direction and caused the stampede," several Arab papers, including the Arabic language al-Dyar newspaper, disclosed on Thursday evening.

"That's why the ruler of Mecca has distanced himself from the case, stressing that the issue should be studied and decided by the King," it added.

No other source has yet confirmed the report, but observers said the revelation explains why two of the roads to the 'Stoning the Devil' site has been closed.

Eye witnesses said earlier that the Saudi police and security forces had closed two of the few roads to the stone column that were to be used by millions of pilgrims to do the 'Stoning the Devil' ritual on Thursday.

Eyewitness accounts said that even after incident the Saudi security and military forces closed all paths leading to the scene and the bodies of pilgrims have piled up on each other.

Others blamed Riyadh for mismanagement of Hajj ceremony, adding that many of the wounded pilgrims are dying of the hot weather conditions, which reached 46 degrees centigrade on Thursday, while police and the army have closed access roads to the site of the incident making the relief and rescue operations and trafficking of ambulances very difficult.

Pilgrims present on the scene are also complaining about insufficient number of medical teams and centers. Reports said hospitals are overwhelmed by the large number of the wounded.

Twelve hours after the incident, the dead body of hundreds of those killed in the stampede are still piled up out in the streets.

Head of the Iranian pilgrims Qazai Askar in an interview with the state TV on Thursday evening complained that the Saudi officials do not allow other countries' relief and rescue squads to help.

"They have even prevented us from aiding our own pilgrims," he complained with surprise.

This is the third incident in the Hajj rituals this year.

In the first incident, a crane crash over the Grand Mosque of Mecca killed over 100 and injured hundreds more two weeks ago.

Ten days before the start of Hajj this year, a construction crane crashed through the roof of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing 107 people. At least 238 others suffered injuries when a powerful storm toppled the crane.

A week later, a fire incident at a Mecca hotel claimed the lives of several other pilgrims.

A Saudi analyst said on the condition of anonymity for the fear of his life that the two stampede and crane crash incidents were the result of rivalries between a part of the Saudi police and security service and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to display that the Saudi king and crown prince are incompetent and unable to handle the Hajj ceremony.

Rivalries are tough and deep among different royal families who are all descendant of the Al-Saud and see themselves entitled to the thrown. The present king is the first from Sodayri family of Al-Saudi to have ascended to power.

This is not the first time that hundreds die during the Hajj rituals.

The ceremony was the scene of stampedes and hundreds of deaths in the 1980s and 1990s as pilgrims passed a crowded bottleneck area leading to the small pillars on the ground.

 

The growing number of incidents and deaths during the Hajj rituals, including three this year, have caused increasing criticisms from the public and various Muslim states officials and elites who believe that Riyadh is incapable of running the Hajj ceremony, stressing that the Muslim site should be run by all the Muslim states and through a global Muslim world body such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Also after the crane crash in Mecca two weeks ago, several Egyptian religious figures joined the growing number of Muslim world elites and politicians demanding the change of authority in charge of running Hajj rituals from Riyadh to a collection of Muslim states.

"Many mistakes have been made during the Hajj ceremony in recent decades and the bloody Friday incident was not the first case and will not be the last either; therefore, unless a revolution doesn’t take place in the administration and management of the Hajj ceremony in Saudi Arabia, we will witness such incidents in future too," Sheikh Salman Mohammad, the advisor of Egypt's ministry of endowment, told FNA.

Also Ashraf Fahmi, a professor at Egypt's al-Azhar university, said that Saudi Arabia should admit its mistakes in handling the Hajj ceremony and take serious measures to correct the way it administers the ceremony.

Storms were lashing the Saudi city of Mecca when strong winds reportedly brought down the crane that was part of construction works.

Tons of rubble and debris crashed to the ground on top of scores of people gathering in the mosque for 6:30 prayers when a section of the crane crashed through the roof.

At least 107 people were killed and 238 more were injured when the crane collapsed on to the Grand Mosque during storms.

The crane operated for a company owned by Saudi Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, Arab media disclosed following the incident early in September.

Meantime, other media sources claimed that the crane belongs to a German crane company operated by the Bin Laden family's consortium, who are heading the expansion of the Holy Mosque.

Incidents during the Hajj

September 2015

At least 453 killed and over 700 injured in crush outside Mecca

January 2006

364 pilgrims were killed in a stampede at the entrance to a bridge leading to the stoning site in Mina, outside Mecca

February 2004

251 pilgrims were trampled to death during the stoning ritual

February 2003

14 Muslim pilgrims were crushed to death performing the stoning ritual

March 2001

35 pilgrims killed in stampede

April 1998

Around 180 pilgrims were trampled to death when panic erupted after several fell off an overpass at al-Jamarat

April 1997

343 pilgrims were killed and 1,500 injured in a tent fire at the overcrowded Mina camp. At a result, the tents are now fireproof and gas cooking cylinders are banned

May 1994

Around 270 were killed in a stampede

June 1990

1,426 killed in a stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel leading out from Mecca towards Mina and the Plains of Arafat

July 1989

Two bombs exploded, killing one and wounding over a dozen others.

July 1987

Over 400 killed during clashes between Saudi security forces and Iranian demonstrators in Mecca

December 1975

A fire in a tent city at Mina killed around 200 people. The fire was reportedly started by an exploding gas tank.
Source: Fars News Agency
Keywords: 

Muslim-Scholars , Saudi Regime , Mina Crush , Mecca


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