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The Emergence of the Viral Hashtag #AlSaudHijacksHajj

After the Iranian Supreme Leader’s speech, titled Ayatollah Khamenei’s Hajj Message 2016 {I will post it here in case anyone cares to read an Enlgish translation.} calling out the Saudi government for their reckless endangerment of pilgrims–who take part in the annual Hajj–the Islamic community has jumped on the Iranian Leader’s bandwagon by creating the hashtag #AlSaudHijacksHajj, an expression of their unified anguish over Saudi Arabia’s failure to protect the peaceful traditions of Hajj.

Moreover, after voices were raised against Saudi Arabia’s totalitarian behavior, concerning Hajj–pleading with Al Saud for some form of retribution or justice for the several thousand pilgrims martyred last year in Mina–Saudi took their position of overseeing Hajj to another level; a level which contradicts some of the very beliefs that serve as the foundation of Islam and attracts many people to the faith: namely, Islam’s anti racist principals and staunch rule that no Muslim be blocked from entering Islam’s holiest site housing the Kabba. Regardless of Islamic jurisprudence, the Wahhabi nation has now called for the banning of particular ethnic groups from Hajj, particularly those of  Persian ethnicity. Muftis, who cater to Al Saud, are justifying this stance by claiming the Iranian people–whether shia, sunni or sufi–are simply “not Muslim”. The stance goes against the many virtues of Islam that protects race, Muslim communities, and ethnic groups from being targeted by the simple minded and backwards ideals stemming from racism and ethnocentrism. “ISIS” was the first thought that popped to mind, after I read about Saudi’s decision to ban Iranians and their leading Mufti’s words labeling an entire ethnic group as “non-Muslim”. It would seem that this reactionary and extreme behavior is the result of someone who, most logically and understandably, disagreed with Saudi’s poor management of the annual Hajj Pilgrimage, in which every year hundreds of deaths are typically reported; however, last year the death toll exceeded 2,000–a number some experts say is too small, while the actual number is close to 7,000. And it would seem, as of now, this illogical and brazen act to further marginalize Shi’a, Iranian, and empathetic Sunni alike, resulted from the Supreme Leader’s cry for truth and justice regarding last years Mina cataclysm. Of course, the Saudi government and their representatives will rarely react to critical thought by way of abstraction–in any case–often their reaction includes action–like bombing the living daylights out of any nation who dare confront them over their human rights violations. The only thing Saudi government has been known to do–when facing well deserved critique–and the only way they know how to react is by collectively punish the people: banning Muslims from hajj is only one example.

I, like many Muslims, was once eager to perform my Islamic obligations via Hajj, now I will have to put this fantasy towards the back of my mind or at least until Saudi can argue words with words, rather than punishing the innocent who dare to speak. I guess you can say for now, I stand with those who claim #AlSaudHijacksHajj, since my duty as a Muslim has been unfairly stripped from my heart. My apologies to my Creator, may He forgive me; especially, if my duties to be the best Muslim are failing Him.

Dedicated to my Iranian MUSLIM friends who I stand beside in their struggles, my Husband, and my Family. Below you will find an English translation of the Supreme Leader’s speech, to help readers better understand the situation.

Ayatollah Khamenei’s Hajj Message, 2016:

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. May Allah’s greetings be upon our master Muhammad, upon his immaculate household, upon the chosen companions, and upon those who follow them aright, until the Day of Judgment.

Khamenei: Dear Muslim brothers and sisters, for Muslims, the season of Hajj is the season of pride and glory in the eyes of God’s servants; it’s the season of enlightened hearts; it is the season of humility before the Creator; furthermore, it is a time of solemn prayer.

Hajj is a heavenly, earthly, and communal obligation, all at once. In fact, the commands “then remember Allah as you remembered your fathers, rather a greater remembering” [the Holy Quran, Sura al-Baqara, Ayah 200] and “remember Allah during the appointed days” [the Holy Quran, Sura al-Baqara, Ayah 203] and the declaration “whoever shall incline therein to wrong unjustly, We will make him taste of a painful chastisement” [the Holy Quran, Sura al-Hajj, Ayah 25] shed light on its infinite and diverse dimensions.

During this unparalleled obligation, temporal and spatial security bestows tranquility on the hearts of humanity; like a clear sign, or rather a brilliantly bright star, it draws Hajj pilgrims out from a siege of insecurity, inflicted by domineering oppressors–who perpetually threaten humanity; thus, Hajj relieves muslims with a pleasurable taste of security, during this particular period of time.

Abrahamic Hajj, which Islam has offered up to Muslims–as a gift–is the manifestation of pride, spirituality, unity and glory. To the antagonists it demonstrates the greatness of our Islamic Ummah and its reliance on God’s everlasting influence. Hajj highlights the distance between Muslims and the cesspool of corruption, humiliation and tyranny that international oppressors impose on societies.The Islamic and monotheistic Hajj is the manifestation of becoming “firm against the unbelievers, and compassionate among themselves” [the Holy Quran, Sura Fath, Ayah 29]. It is the stronghold of renouncing disbelievers, in turn promoting friendship and unity among all believers.

Those who have reduced Hajj to a mere “spiritual-tourist trip”, hiding their malevolence towards the faithful and revolutionary people of Iran, by way of “politicizing hajj”, are but insignificant satanist–whom tremble in fear of jeopardizing the interests of the Great Satan, the USA. Saudi rulers, who have obstructed the path of Allah and Masjid ul-Haraam this year, by blocking the faithful Iranian pilgrims’ pathway to the Beloved’s House, are disgraceful and misguided. For they believe their survival, on the throne of oppression, depends upon vindication of arrogant global powers by fulfilling the demands of Zionist and U.S. alliances; and on this course, they have no shame for their actions.

Today, almost one year has passed, since the horrifying events in Mina, which resulted in the tragic martyrdom of several thousand pilgrims–under the scorching sun with lips dry from thirst; this cataclysm happened on Eid, while the martyrs were dressed in threads of Ihram (pure white garments). Shortly before this (cataclysm), another group of people were crushed and bludgeoned to death in Masjid ul-Haraam, while they were worshiping and praying. Saudi rulers are to blame, for both disasters; observers who were present and technical analysts agree on this. Moreover, some experts maintain that the events were premeditated. The hesitation and failure to rescue the near-dead and injured victims–whose enthusiastic souls and enthralled hearts were accompanying their praying tongues on Eid ul-Adha–is also obvious and indisputable. The heartless and murderous culprits of Al Saud sealed, in containers, the injured victims with the dead, instead of providing medical treatment or at least quenching their thirst; thus they (Saudi) martyred them.

Several thousand families, from many different countries, lost their loved ones and their nations were anguished. From the Islamic Republic of Iran alone, close to five hundred people were among the martyred. The hearts of their families are still broken and bereaved; our people remain grief-stricken and angry.
Instead of an apology, any sign remorse, or judicial prosecution of those who were directly at fault in the horrifying tragedy, Saudi rulers–with utmost shamelessness and insolence–refused the formation of an international Islamic fact-finding committee. Rather than being tried as the accused, they behaved as the victim with increased malice and vileness. They revealed their long-standing enmity towards the Islamic Republic, and any other raised flag of Islam that dared to confront their scornfulness.

Mouthpieces of propaganda: from the politicians–whose behavior towards the Zionists and U.S. is a source of disgrace for the world of Islam; to impious and haraam ingesting muftis–who blatantly issue fatwas against the Quran and Sunnah; and to media slaves–who are not even deterred by the ethics among professional conduct in spreading falsehoods–are making futile efforts to accuse the Islamic Republic of depriving Iranians from this year’s hajj pilgrimage.

The fitna-promoting rulers, behind the forming and arming of immoral takfiri groups, have plunged the world of Islam into civil wars; they are slaughtering and harming innocent lives, spilling blood in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Libya and other countries. The godless politicians–who have extended a friendly hand towards the Zionist regime–have shut their eyes on the Palestinians’ sufferings and heartrending tragedies; they have sprawled outward, with oppression and betrayal, into the cities and villages of Bahrain. The irreligious and unconscionable rulers, who gave rise to the great tragedy of Mina, disguised as servants of the two holy places, sacrificed divine sanctity and guests of God, on the day of Eid in Mina and in Masjid ul-Haraam. These very same people are now claiming it’s “necessary to avoid the politicization of hajj”.Moreover, they (Al Saud) accuse others of the vast sins that they have committed and manifested.

They are the perfect depiction of the enlightening Quranic ayat: “And when he turns his back, his aim everywhere is to spread mischief through the earth and to destroy crops and cattle and Allah does not love mischief. And when it is said unto him: Be careful of your duty to Allah, pride takes him to sin. Hell will settle his account, an evil resting-place” [the Holy Quran, Sura al-Baqara, Ayahs 205-206]. Based on reports this year–asides from barring the participation of Iranian and hajjis (pilgrims) from certain other countries—they have placed pilgrims from other participating countries under unprecedented surveillance with the help of US and Zionist spy agencies. They have made the divine sanctuary unsafe for everyone.

The world of Islam, including Muslim governments and the people, must familiarize themselves with the behavior of Saudi rulers, in order to correctly understand their blasphemous, faithless, dependent, and materialistic nature. They must grab hold of those rulers for their crimes, committed throughout the world of Islam, and prosecute them.  Because of these rulers’ oppressive behavior towards God’s guests, the world of Islam must, fundamentally, reconsider the management of the two holy places and the event of Hajj. Negligence, in this regard, will confront the Islamic Ummah with more serious problems in the future.

Muslim brothers and sisters! This year enthusiastic and sincere Iranian pilgrims are absent from the hajj ceremonies; however, they are spiritually present among pilgrims from all over the globe. They are concerned about them; they pray that the progeny of the taghut (tyrant) do not succeed in harming any more pilgrims.
In your duas, worship, and prayers please remember your Iranian brothers and sisters; pray that further suffering is eliminated from Islamic communities; pray that the Islamic Ummah is liberated from the hands of disdainful powers–the Zionists and their followers.

I commemorate those who were martyred in Mina and Masjid ul-Haraam last year, and the martyrs of Makka back in 1987. I pray to our Glorious God, “please bestow clemency, mercy, and the highest rankings of Jannah upon them.” I extend my greetings to Imam Mahdi (ag)–may my soul be sacrificed for his sake. I ask Allah (swt) that the accepted prayers of the honorable Imam (ag) improve the Islamic Ummah, and save Muslims from fitna and malevolence created by the enemies.
Providence belongs to Allah and reliance is on Him.

Sayyid Ali Khamenei
Dhu al-Qa’dah,1437–Sept. 2016

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