Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Abdul-Aziz al-Sheikh alleged Iranians are “not Muslims”, after Iran’s supreme leader launched a fresh outburst over the kingdom’s handling of the Hajj pilgrimage.
Mufti also stressed on the importance of understanding the fact that these are not Muslims, they are children of Magi and their hostility towards Muslims is an old one. Especially with the people of Sunna.
Grand Mufti Abdul-Aziz al-Sheikh told one of the Saudi Daily newspaper, referring to pre-Islamic beliefs in Iran and to the Sunnis who make up the main branch of Islam.
The grand Mufti commented a day after Iran’s AyatollahAli Khamenei Statement On HAJ
The verbal scuffling, ahead of the Hajj which this year starts on Saturday, follows months of tension between Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia and its Shia regional rival Iran.
Earlier Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wrote on a website, “Because of Saudi rulers’ oppressive behavior towards God’s guests, the world of Islam must fundamentally reconsider the management of the two holy places and the issue of Hajj.”
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reserved some of his harshest words for Riyadh’s response to last year’s Hajj stampede which killed 2,297 pilgrims, according to a toll compiled from foreign officials. Iran said its nationals accounted for 464 of the dead.
Khamenei said the Saudis did not impeach those at fault for the charge, accused them of showing no regret and said Riyadh had “refused to allow an international Islamic fact-finding committee”.
After reviewing security forces assigned to protect the Hajj, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef said later Monday that the kingdom had “spared no effort to provide state-of-the-art services for the safety, comfort and security of all pilgrims”.
Iranians will not participate in this year’s pilgrimage to Makkah as Grand Mufti talked hard on the issue
For the first time in almost three decades, Iranians will not participate in this year’s pilgrimage to Makkah after talks on logistics and security fell apart.
Riyadh said Tehran had made “unacceptable” demands, including the right to organize demonstrations “that would cause anarchy”.
He charged that Iran was making “efforts to politicize Hajj and convert it into an occasion to violate the teachings of Islam, through shouting slogans and disturbing the security of pilgrims”.
Sheikh said such efforts would fail “because all Muslims trust what the (Saudi) government is doing” in providing services for pilgrims and with its work to improve facilities at the holy sites.
Saudi Arabia says Iranian pilgrims are still welcome if they travel from other countries.