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Saudi continues to politicise Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage: AHW

After putting obstacles for pilgrims from Qatar for performing Hajj and Umrah, Saudi Arabia is now doing the same with the pilgrims from Yemen and Morocco.

The International Commission to Watch Saudi Administration of Muslim places “Al Haramain Watch” (AHW) has said Saudi Arabia is continuing to politicise Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage. 

It said the Saudi authorities are preventing dozens of Yemeni pilgrims from entering Saudi territory for Umrah.

A Yemeni source said the Saudi authorities have returned many residents and pilgrims and most of those stranded in the port stayed on buses. Some of them were staying in hotels in the area, while others returned to Sayoun. Some of the stranded people live in difficult conditions. The source said more than 72 buses carrying pilgrims and expatriates were not allowed to enter.

The continuation of this situation for a longer period may push many pilgrims to return. 

The money they have is barely enough for them to perform Umrah and return. The situation for many pilgrims, including women and children, continues to be dire. 

AHW said the Saudi government has no right to take decisions that violate the right to worship for all Muslims.

AHW has called on the administration of Riyadh to allow all Yemenis to enter for performing Umrah and not to involve Muslims in their political differences and use them in the ongoing war in Yemen.


AHW also urged Islamic countries, institutions and governments to immediately intervene in the administration of the Islamic Holy Places in the Two Holy Mosques to ensure their neutralisation after the failure of the Saudi authorities to ensure the neutrality of places of worship.

AHW said Saudi Arabia has also threatened Morocco’s Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs to reduce Morocco’s Hajj quota.

AHW said it has witnessed a crisis between the Saudi Embassy in Morocco and Ahmed Tawfiq, Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs of Morocco, where Tawfik blamed the Saudi authorities for the negligence of the Moroccan pilgrimage mission last year. 

He said Morocco is responsible for the travel and housing expenses, while Saudi Arabia manages the accommodation and transportation in Mina and Arafat.

Tawfiq held the Saudi authorities responsible for the organisational and management problems in camps of Mina and transportation and relief in the holy sites.

AHW warned that the Saudi authorities had failed miserably to run the holy sites during the Hajj and Umrah seasons.

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