All Muslims must perform a holy journey to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, once in their lifetime to fulfill a mandatory religious duty Commanded by Allah (swt). Elderly, frail and people with little or no financial means are of course exempted from this very sober and sacred requirement. Once present at the sites of this most pious activity, the Hujjaj are mandated to behave in the most righteous and noble manner , never straying from a total control of their demeanor as well as their discourse. A minimal deviation from these rules must be compensated with a Kuffarra, a form of punishment. Also, the holy Quran pounces through numerous verses that the sanctity of the tradition of Hajj and its proper completion can only be be accomplished by manifesting religious etiquette. No arguments and discussions of disparaging and deleterious nature are permitted by Allah (swt) at any time during this glorious journey.
For the past several years, all Hujjaj in general. and the Shia Hujjaj in particular have been experiencing an onslaught of outright nasty and nefarious treatment by the Saudi governmental authorities. The religious police, also known as Shurtas are planted a few yards away from each other monitoring even the manner with which a Haji sneezes. The purpose of this pinpoint surveillance is to not only control the crowds, but to suppress the wishes of those Mo’mineen who engage themselves with offering Fateha and other supplications at the grave sites of the Prophet (pbuh), his companions and the members of his progeny. The believers are pushed and shoved, cursed and humiliated, and at times arrested by these shameless Shurtas at almost every phase of this pilgrimage.
This year’s Hajj turned out to be the most dangerous and horrific experience, particularly for the Shia Hujjaj hailing from Europe and North America. According to the personal accounts provided by several Shia Hujjaj groups, and to a large extent, substantiated by certain Arab print and broadcast media oulets, a vicious and vindictive gang of almost 115 Salafis from Lebanon, most of whom are now expatriates in Australia, began taunting and scolding Shia Hujjaj for being Kafir and Najis. When Shia Hujjaj reacted to this unexpected abuse, acts of violence perpetrated by these Satanic Salafis ensued. Saudi intelligence apparatus on the ground started looking in the other direction simply because their gutless goons from Lebanon were doing their job — avenging “rafidoons” for their alleged crimes in Syria and Lebanon — and doing it with better efficacy. Shia Hujjaj who were impacted by these acts of violence at the hands of Lebanese hoodlums filed complaints with the Saudi authorities but to no avail.
As if the cruel and criminal treatment, exhibited so consistently by the Saudi authorities towards the Shia Hujjaj community was not enough, that now the global Salafi terrorist gangs are being infused at the holiest places of Islam — ShiaPAC is extremely concerned at this development as it is clear that the Saudi authorities are attempting to intimidate the Shia in to forgoing their religious right of pilgrimage to Mecca and their obligation of performing Hajj. Entities such as Arab League, and Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) as well as the United Nations must be contacted to address this blatant attack on religious freedom of Shia Muslims in the holiest of cities.