Visit ArabTopics.com

Saudi Officials Indicate Hajj Pilgrimage May Be Canceled This Year


A Last day of Hajj – all pilgrims in Mecca for farewell circumambulation of Kaaba (Photo by Omar Chatriwala at Wikicommons)

One unprecedented outcome of the global coronavirus panic, is that for the first time in human history, most of the world’s governments have outlawed religious gatherings. This has included the cancellation of the worshiping services of various faiths, the closure of religious schools and prayer meetings, as well as the cancellation of major pilgrimages. Most of the world’s churches, mosques, temples and synagogues have been forced to offer ‘virtual’ services instead, via livestreaming, or on television.

One of the world’s largest pilgrimages is The Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The Hajj is regarded as a mandatory religious duty for Muslims which must be carried out at least once during their lifetimes. This year, it may not happen due to public health fears over the coronavirus.

Mustafa Abu Sneineh from Middle East Eye reports….

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday laid the ground for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to be cancelled, calling on pilgrims to defer preparations and travel bookings due to fears of the coronavirus pandemic.

Around two million people visit Mecca to perform the annual pilgrimage, which this year was set to begin in July, but plans have been thrown into doubt as the kingdom has recorded 1,563 coronavirus cases and 10 deaths.

Like many countries, Saudi Arabia has enforced a lockdown and curfew in an attempt to stem the outbreak, and entry to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina has been severely restricted. Riyadh has already suspended the lesser Umrah pilgrimage.

Muhammad Salih bin Taher Banten, minister of Hajj and Umrah, told a Saudi TV channel that Muslims – who are expected to perform Hajj at least once in their lives – should “wait before concluding contracts”.

“We have asked our Muslim brothers around the world to wait before making contracts until things become clear,” Banten said.

“Under the current circumstances, as we are talking about the global pandemic, from which we have asked God to save us, the kingdom is keen to protect the health of Muslims and citizens,” he added.

Banten said that the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has refunded the fees of Umrah visas to travel agencies after visits to Mecca were suspended late in February.

Though Hajj has been cancelled several times over the centuries, since the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s foundation in 1932 it has never missed a year, nor even during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1917-18 that killed millions of people worldwide.

But if Saudi Arabia cancels 2020’s Hajj, it will be added to a list of almost 40 dramatic cancellations since the first in 629. Middle East Eye takes a look at some of the most striking cancellations in history…

Continue this story at Middle East Eye

READ MORE CORONAVIRUS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Coronavirus Files

SUPPORT OUR INDEPENDENT MEDIA PLATFORM – BECOME A MEMBER @21WIRE.TV

Source: 
21 Century Wire

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
Please Stop the Ride 26
The Infectious Myth 26
Lockdown Skeptics 47
Sam Husseini 33
Dr. Andrew Kaufman 3
Swiss Propaganda Research 33
Off Guardian 131
Cory Morningstar 10
James Bovard 68
WWI Hidden History 51
Grayzone Project 448
Pass Blue 393
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 17
John Pilger 426
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 29
Need To Know News 3464
FEE 5489
Marine Le Pen 418
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 1253
Mohamed Omar 404
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 40
Angry Foreigner 19
Fritte Fritzson 12
Teologiska rummet 36
Filosofiska rummet 148
Vetenskapsradion Historia 197
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 265
Les Crises 4061
Richard Falk 224
Ian Sinclair 137
SpinWatch 61
Counter Currents 12734
Kafila 678
Gail Malone 45
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 95
The Duran 11584
Vanessa Beeley 226
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 6162
Paul Craig Roberts 2637
News Junkie Post 75
Nomi Prins 27
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 6301
Sir Ken Robinson 82
Stephan Kinsella 123
Liberty Blitzkrieg 888
Sami Bedouin 65
Consortium News 2685
21 Century Wire 4211
Burning Blogger 324
Stephen Gowans 103
David D. Friedman 167
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1543
Tom Dispatch 644
Levant Report 18
The Saker 5214
The Barnes Review 610
John Friend 538
Psyche Truth 160
Jonathan Cook 173
New Eastern Outlook 4984
School Sucks Project 1833
Giza Death Star 2212
Andrew Gavin Marshall 28
Red Ice Radio 696
GMWatch 2625
Robert Faurisson 150
Espionage History Archive 35
Jay's Analysis 1192
Le 4ème singe 91
Jacob Cohen 224
Agora Vox 19948
Cercle Des Volontaires 458
Panamza 2636
Fairewinds 122
Project Censored 1262
Spy Culture 631
Conspiracy Archive 85
Crystal Clark 18
Timothy Kelly 657
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 1088
Independent Science News 91
The Anti Media 6895
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 317
The Mind renewed 462
Natural Society 2627
Yanis Varoufakis 1163
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 114
Web of Debt 168
Porkins Policy Review 458
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 647
Libyan War Truth 381
DeadLine Live 1916
Kevin Ryan 69
BSNEWS 2133
Aaron Franz 275
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 126
Dr. Bruce Levine 162
Peter B Collins 1813
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 12141
Climate Audit 227
Donna Laframboise 519
Judith Curry 1200
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 2783
Syria Report 84
Human Rights Investigation 94
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 13794
Laura Wells Solutions 51
Video Rebel's Blog 488
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 23203
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 3439
Northerntruthseeker 2997
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4910
AntiWar.com Blog 3452
AntiWar.com Original Content 7753
Corbett Report 2703
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1306
Webster Tarpley Website 1160

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public