Thursday, May 12, 2016

Iran Declines to Take Part in Hajj Over Dispute With Saudis

Iran tentatively decided that it would not partake in the hajj to Mina this year. Last year 2,426 people were killed in a crush and stampede during the hajj with 464 pilgrims from Iran. Also, “Sunni-led Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Saudi Shiite cleric on Jan. 2.” Shiite-led Iran views itself as a protector of Shiites around the world. Violent protests erupted outside Saudi diplomatic posts in Tehran. Riyadh cut diplomatic relations with Tehran. There have been many deadly disasters during the history of the hajj. “Iran called for an independent body to take over planning and administering the five-day hajj, but the kingdom’s ruling Al Saud family is unlikely to give up its role in administering the holy sites.” Oil wealth is a major influencer in the Muslim world.

Rebecca Goeders

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