Saudi Arabia has not been sitting quietly even since it led the blockade on Qatar along with three other Arab countries accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism. From trying to turn Qatar into a vassal state, trying to provide fake proof that Qatar has direct links with “terrorist” entities and blocking the Qatari Riyal it has tried it all. And now by trying to block Qatari citizens from entering Mecca, it seems as though has been trying everything in its power to try and damage Qatar.
Recently, the Saudi monarchy has banned Qatari Muslims from entering Mecca and praying in the Holy Mosque in the month of Ramadan and has banned them from performing Hajj in the future.
Saudi Arabia has denied reports that it had banned Qataris from performing Umrah as “untrue and lacked credibility.”
Later it was reported that Qatari citizens faced restrictions while trying to enter the country to perform hajj. Qatar’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said on Saturday that Qatari citizens have been told they can only enter Saudi Arabia through two airports, and that they must travel via Doha to be allowed in.
This would be challenging for Qataris who do not live in Doha, such as those studying abroad.
The NHRC said it has filed a complaint with the UN special rapporteur on freedom of belief and religion over the restrictions, which it said were in “stark violation of international laws and agreements that guarantee the right to worship”.
“Pilgrims from Qatar who have Hajj permits … can come directly from Doha or through any other transit place,” the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said in a statement cited by the official SPA news agency on Sunday.
Now Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister is accusing Qatar of trying to “internationalize” of the Muslim hajj pilgrimage. He says that this “move” by Qatar the Muslim hajj pilgrimage is a declaration of war against the kingdom, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said on Sunday, although it was unclear whether Qatar had actually made any such demand.
Saudi Arabia has proved every accusation against it right with this one statement “Qatar’s demands to internationalize the holy sites is aggressive and a declaration of war against the kingdom,” Adel al-Jubeir was quoted saying on Al Arabiya’s website.
“We reserve the right to respond to anyone who is working on the internationalization of the holy sites,” he said.
Saudi Arabia is not the owner of Mecca or the deciding head for performing Hajj. Mecca is a holy site for all Muslim and The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all able bodied adult Muslims.
Every year, millions of pilgrims come to Mecca to walk around the Ka’ba, the cubical shrine believed to have been built by Abraham to honor God, and restored by Mohammed to His worship. Since this is a mandatory pilgrimage Saudi Arabia has no right trying stop any Muslim, without any intention to harm, to enter Mecca.
If their problem with Qatar is political it has no right to use that on a holy site. This is the lowest any one can stoop to get their way. They are using Hajj to blackmail Qatar.
Anyone’s faith must never be compromised due to a political rift. Saudi Arabia is trying to use their influence as hosts to Mecca to try and punish Qatar for opposing it.
If going about it the rational way, by consulting concerned regulating bodies is considered “internationalizing” the right to enter Mecca then Saudi Arabia’s approach to any solution is to avoid peaceful methods first and go right to aggression. Also there is no proof for this statement.
Their argument is silly and not well thought out. All their actions have backfired and their intention is to try and get as much out of the limited options they possess to punish Qatar, and are angry that even the restriction to enter Mecca is not working. Their retaliation is like a child repeating an insult back because it does not know what else to say.
Saudi Arabia is trying to use any and all means within its powers to try and hurt Qatar but without success. Although they have been threatening to impose more sanctions on Qatar, with respect to visiting Mecca, it can be predicted that Saudi Arabia will somehow try to find (or cook up) reasons why Qatar must not have access to Mecca. But it can also be predicted that this too will fail.