Netanyahu Promises Direct Flights to Mecca then Changes His Mind

February 20, 2020

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used his Facebook profile to promise direct flights from Tel Aviv to Mecca, but then changed his mind by deleting the post.

“We are working to create direct flights from Tel Aviv to Mecca for the benefit of Muslim pilgrims who are fulfilling the Hajj,” the Israeli PM wrote on his Facebook account, Maariv reported on Wednesday.

The post, written in Arabic and Hebrew, was deleted moments after being posted, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Earlier on Tuesday, Netanyahu posited, in an interview with Israeli Arabic-language channel Hala TV, that in the coming years, there will be direct flights from Israel to Saudi Arabia, dramatically reducing the cost of completing the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca for Israeli Muslims.

Source: Israeli media

Iran’s Envoy in Damascus: Mecca Conference Last Arrow Shot by Conspirators at Al-Quds & Iran

By Staff

Damascus – The Iranian ambassador to Syria, Javad Turkabadi, explained that those who took part in International Quds Day commemorations shouted the slogan: “Towards al-Quds” in a call for rights.

According to Turkabadi, this is the main slogan of this great day.

“It is the slogan that has brought us all together in one march, God willing, towards liberation,” he added.

Imam Khomeini initiated International Quds Day. It is held on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan to express support for the Palestinians and oppose Zionism and “Israel”.

In an exclusive interview with al-Ahed news website, Turkabadi emphasized the symbolism of unity among all Muslims on this acclaimed day.

“The symbolism is that we are united and agree on one approach and that we are victorious because we are right,” he said.

The Iranian diplomat made the remarks while taking part in International Quds Day marches through the streets of Damascus. The processions were widely attended and included Sayyed Abu al-Fadl Tabatabai, the representative of Imam Khamenei, and various factions of the Palestinian resistance in Damascus.

Regarding the conference in Mecca, which held the Islamic Republic of Iran responsible for instability in the region, Turkabadi attributed the declaration to weakness and desperation.

“They know that they have failed,” he said. “They are shooting their last arrows. They cannot succeed in such a conspiracy, the so-called the ‘deal of the century’.”

“Did they succeed in their previous agreements, such as the agreements signed with some Arab regimes, which came up with proposals that asked for peace, or did they think that Oslo would bring reconciliation among themselves and the enemies of the nation?” Turkabadi wondered, pointing to the failure they suffered throughout history.

The Iranian official confirmed to al-Ahed that “after every failure, those conspiring against the nation and their accomplices try harder. But every time, they fail.”

He pointed out that “this time they brought Trump who thinks he can do whatever he wants.”

“He tries to impose his will everywhere. But this will is shattered by the nation and the good people who have confirmed that they will not surrender to evil and will continue on the path of Imam Khomeini and Imam Khamenei.”

(Video): How British Empire & America gave rise to Kings of Saudi Arabia – English subtitles

Description:

Senior Arab political analyst and writer Anees Naqqash recounts how the British Empire played a decisive role in the creation and regional rise of the modern state of Saudi Arabia, and how the Americans later provided protection in exchange for control over Saudi oil.

According to Naqqash, who is a prominent feature on Lebanese and Arab media, the Saudi royal family has for decades been used by the British and Americans due to their political and economic expediency.

Naqqash was speaking at an event promoting his new book ‘A look at the course of future transformations to the Gulf’.

Source: Al-Wafa’a Islamic Party (YouTube)

Date: 6 October, 2018

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Mecca or Las Vegas? Why Saudis destroyed Islam’s holiest sites – English Subtitles

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إبن سلمان يفجّر السعودية

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مارس 5, 2018

د.وفيق إبراهيم
Image result for ‫د.وفيق إبراهيم‬‎

يُمارس ولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان سياسات مجنونة لا تشي بأي احتراف، زاجّاً بلاده في أتون محارق هائلة، بصراعه مع ستة بلدان حدودية: العراق الذي دعم فيه الإرهاب والفتن المذهبية والعرقية واليمن الذي يجتاحه فاتكاً بعشرات الآلاف من إبنائه.

أما قطر فيحاصرها مانعاً عنها حتى الهواء، والأردن الذي يحاول الاتقاء من الجنون السعودي بعلاقاته الغربية والإسرائيلية، يمكن إضافة الكويت وعُمان اللتين تتحفظان في العلاقة مع إبن سلمان فتمثلان دور المؤيد حيناً والمحتمي بالله والأميركيين حيناً آخر.

سورية بدورها لم تنجُ من جنونه الذي تجسَّد بدعم غير مسبوق لكل أنواع الإرهاب بالمال والسلاح والسياسة، إنما من دون نتيجة لأن الدولة السورية تعاود يوم تحرير كامل أراضيها على جثث الإرهاب وداعميه.

هناك جزء آخر من سياسات إبن سلمان الطائفية لا يقل ضراوة وتعسفاً. فتراه يحارب الاخوان المسلمين في مصر ويتحالف معهم في اليمن حزب الإصلاح وليبيا. ويقبل بقتل الأتراك للسوريين، لكنه يرفض أي دور سياسي لهم خارج زعامته. يؤيد الرئيس عبد الفتاح السيسي، لكنه يمنع مصر من إعادة تكوين دورها العربي والإقليمي بأسلوبين: التقنين المالي، وإهانتها بالإصرار على فبركة أدلة تشير إلى سعودية جزيرتي صنافير وتيران المصريتين منذ آلاف السنين، لا سيما أنه يُعدُّ لهما مستقبلاً سياحياً بالتعاون مع «إسرائيل» التي أصبحت حليفته وبالتالي شريكته في الاستثمار في هذه المنطقة «المقدسة» التي قد تعجّ بأندية الليل والحانات.

ولم ينسَ إبن سلمان جارته قطر، فحاصرها إلى حدود منع الهواء عنها، لأن حكامها تجرأوا على التصرف باستقلالية. فبدلاً من اعتمادهم خط قطر ـ السعودية ـ اميركا ـ «إسرائيل». ابتدأوا بالمقلوب مهرولين على خط قطر ـ اميركا ـ «إسرائيل» ولم يصلوا إلى الرياض بعد.

فأصيب الولي بجنون، لا سيما أن آل «خليفة قطر» يمتلكون غازاً يضعهم في المرتبة الثالثة عالمياً في إنتاجه… لكن يبدو أن إبن سلمان حظي بتغطية من حليفه و«شبيهه» ترامب، لحصار قطر التي يوجد فيها أيضاً أكبر قاعدة أميركية برية في العالم العُديد . ما فتح مجنون البيت الأبيض فرصة لاستنزاف كامل أعضاء بلدان شبه جزيرة العرب وجوارها بصفقات بيع أسلحة هائلة. هذا الجنون لم يوفر علاقات الرياض بكل من تونس والجزائر والمغرب والسودان… فبدا أنه يريد دولاً على طريقة «المطاوعة» في الولاء. وهذه الدول تريد شيئاً من الاحترام، أثار له إشكالات مع كل بلدان العالم باستثناء لبنان بلد الأرز الذي يقدم له فروض الطاعة مهما وجّه إليه من إهانات.

ما يمكن استنتاجه هنا، يتعلق بتدهور مكانة السعودية عربياً وإسلامياً ودولياً فلم يعد بإمكانها جذب الدول بطرفة عين متقاطعة مع رش ملايين الدولارات.

ولم تعد قادرة على التباهي بوصايتها على الحرمين الشريفين، لأن الجميع يعرف أن وجودهما يسبق تأسيس السعودية بأكثر من ألف عام ونيف… والجميع يعلم ان هناك مطالبات بسحب رعاية آل سعود للحرمين، وذلك لسوء أداء إدارة مسيرات الحجيج وتسييس الموسم. وهذا يؤدي دائماً إلى مقتل المئات بالتدافع والتزاحم حتى أن رافعة ضخمة سقطت نتيجة الإهمال على زوار المدينة وأوقعت مئات القتلى… هذا بالإضافة إلى ان الدين الحنيف يمنع الاستغلال السياسي للحرمين ويحذر من تحويلهما وسيلتين لتوسيع النفوذ السعودي عبر طريقة منح وتقديم موافقات أكبر وأكثر عدداً لحجيج كل دولة تؤيد السياسات السعودية. وهذا يعني تسييس الحج وجعله أداة في خدمة توسيع النفوذ السعودي في العالم الإسلامي.

يمكن هنا إضافة ملاحظة بسيطة وهي أن الرياض لم تعد قادرة على دفع رشى بملايين الدولارات لدول كثيرة في العالم الإسلامي وذلك بسبب انخفاض أسعار النفط… ما يجعل آل سعود مجرّدين من الأهمية المالية التي يستعملونها لجذب الدول، مع تراجع تأثيرهم في مسألة موسمي الحج والزيارة.

دولياً، ترتبط أهمية السعودية بإنتاج النفط وعقد الصفقات الدولية لكسب حماية حلف الناتو وواشنطن، لكنها وسعت بعد استشعارها بتراجع الاهتمام الأميركي بها، علاقاتها، بمحورين هامين: روسيا و«إسرائيل»، فاستعملت الأولى لخلق إجماع في مجلس الأمن حول حرب الإبادة التي تشنها ضد اليمنيين.

عقدت معها بالمقابل سياسة استقرار في أسواق الطاقة إلى جانب عقد صفقات اقتصادية وأخرى قيد الإعداد لشراء منظومات دفاع جوي ومفاعلات نووية لإنتاج الطاقة.

أما «إسرائيل» فلها قصب السبق… لأن محمد بن سلمان اعتبرها البديل المناسب للغياب النسبي الأميركي والمقبول أيضاً، من واشنطن… لذلك انقلب على علاقات اسلافه «العبرية» معها متبنياً السياسات الأميركية الجديدة الرامية إلى القضاء على قضية فلسطين، ناسجاً علاقات عسكرية وأمنية مع الكيان، مرجئاً الإعلان السياسي الدبلوماسي إلى مرحلة انهيار سورية والعراق وسقوط اليمن بين يديه.

هنا تكشفت له مأساة بلاده الناتجة من سياساته المتهوّرة اليمن صمد، وسورية شبه منتصرة على المشروع الأميركي، والعراق أباد الإرهاب على أرضه ويتحضر لمرحلة أداء دور إقليمي بعد تمرير الانتخابات الداخلية في أيار التي تُعتبر الأداة لإنتاج نظام سياسي للعراق كله، يمكنه من العودة إلى المسرح العربي والإقليمي. هذا ما دفع إبن سلمان إلى محاولات التعويض بثلاث وسائل: تصعيد التوتر مع إيران، والعودة الى الإمساك بلبنان إلى حدود خنقه وتفجيره، والتلاعب بموضوع الغوطة الشرقية.

فالموضوع الإيراني أصبح لازمة على ألسنة آل سعود وصغيرهم الجبير، لا يهجسون الا بالخطر الإيراني وأدواته في المنطقة، والطريف ان رئيس الأركان السعودي الذي أقيل مؤخراً، اعترف بأن خطوة نقل السلاح بين طهران وصنعاء مقطوعة تماماً، أي ان اليمنيين يحاربون بمخزونات قديمة، يمتلكونها، ما يسقط فرضية الدعم الإيراني للحوثيين الذي تستند إليه الرياض ومجموعات الناتو و«إسرائيل».

لكنه يتعرّض اليوم لإصرار إسرائيلي على ضرورة تحويل علاقات السعودية السرية مع تل أبيب علاقات سياسية علنية تستند إلى اعتراف دبلوماسي متكامل بين البلدين، يسمح للكيان الإسرائيلي بدعم السعودية في اليمن ولبنان وأي مكان آخر.

لعل هذا الطموح السعودي ـ الإسرائيلي يحمي آل سعود في مملكتهم كما يتوهّم ولي العهد. وهذا دونه، القضاء على القضية الفلسطينية وإيران وحلفائها في لبنان واليمن واستنزاف سورية والعراق.

فهل هذا ممكن، كما استدعاء رئيس حكومة لبنان في النهار وهرولته ليلاً إلى الرياض يؤشر إلى تطوير سياسة سعودية بالضغط على لبنان من خلال الانتخابات النيابية المرتقبة في أيار المقبل، وركيزة هذه السياسة هي استعمال النفوذين الأميركي والفرنسي لإعادة تجميع قوى معادية لحزب الله بالاستناد إلى دعم مالي سعودي مفتوح؟ وهذا يؤدي كما يطمح المخططون إلى النجاح في الانتخابات وطرح سلاح حزب الله على أساس انه غير شرعي ينتقص من السيادة اللبنانية، ما يؤدي إلى توتير الأوضاع الداخلية وقد ينقل الصراع إلى الشارع كما تشتهي الرياض، مؤدياً إلى عرقلة الدور الإقليمي المقاوم لحزب الله وتقليص النفوذ الإيراني وتلبية الشروط الإسرائيلية للعلاقات السياسية الكاملة مع العرب.

هذا جزء من جنون إبن سلمان الذي يجهل أن حزب الله قوي في لبنان بعلاقاته المباشرة مع جمهوره وليس بعديد المقاعد النيابية… وحزب الله الذي انتصر على «إسرائيل» لن تؤثر عليه ألاعيب ولي عهد غير مجرّب، يحتمي بالمال فقط.

بالإضافة إلى ان إيران نجحت بالصمود في وجه حصار غربي وإسرائيلي وخليجي منذ 1980، وتمكنت من إنتاج ما يقيها من الجوع ويجعل منها دولة صناعية. وهذا يعني ان هلوسات إبن سلمان لن تصيبها بسوء وضرر.

ومع علاقات متوترة للسعودية مع كل هذه البلدان، يجوز التساؤل عن مدى قدرة السعودية على مقاومة التحلل والانفجار الداخلي، خصوصاً مع تراجع أسعار النفط وبداية عصر الغاز.

فهل يكون سلمان آخر ملك للسعودية؟

تدفع هلوسات ولي العهد إلى الاعتقاد بأن تفكك السعودية لم يعد بعيداً تحت وطأة سياسات بلد يتوهم أن باستطاعته السيطرة على لبنان بسعد الحريري وسمير جعجع والريفي وسعيد وغيرهم، وتدمير إيران بخطب إبن الجبير و«إسرائيل» وأدعية الإرهاب؟

Who Killed theTunisian singer Thekra?

Who dare to Say مين يجرا يقول

Her Last Song Tells

 

Singer killed because she made a song against Saudi Arabia kingdom and the political system in KSA

Thikra’s family accuses Jamal Mubarak of her murder

Family of the late Tunisian singer Thikra has exploded a bomb stating that they possess solid evidence proving that Jamal Mubarak, son of ousted Egyptian President Husni Mubarak, is involved in her murder.

Tawfiq Al Dali, Thikra’s brother, has made a call out to all those that have any information about Thikra’s murder to come forward. Forensic reports have shown that Ayman Al Suwaidi, Thikra’s husband and who is accused of killing her while being intoxicated, suffers from stomach problems and therefore was not drunk during the time the murder happened.

Thikra’s family doubts her husband shot her and then committed suicide, but rather strongly believes Jamal Mubarak had a strong hand in the murder of both. The family assured that it holds vital evidence that the former overthrown Tunisian and Egyptian governments fabricated evidence and placed the blame on her husband.

It is said that there was a relationship between Thikra and Jamal. Thikra’s family has called on all members of the press and lawyers from Tunisia and Egypt to help in uncovering all the fact. In addition, Thikra’s family has released phone numbers, emails, and created a page on the social network Facebook for people with information to contact them.

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From religion to politics, Saudi Arabia feeling chill of isolation

Sharmine Narwani
Sharmine Narwani is a commentator and analyst of Middle East geopolitics. She is a former senior associate at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University and has a master’s degree in International Relations from Columbia University. Sharmine has written commentary for a wide array of publications, including Al Akhbar English, the New York Times, the Guardian, Asia Times Online, Salon.com, USA Today, the Huffington Post, Al Jazeera English, BRICS Post and others. You can follow her on Twitter at @snarwani
15 Sep, 2016 11:06

From religion to politics, Saudi Arabia feeling chill of isolation

At the end of August, a meeting of Muslim clerics and scholars convened in the Chechen capital of Grozny to forge a consensus on the subject of ‘who constitutes a Sunni.’

Sunnism, the 200 or so Sunni clerics from Egypt, South Africa, India, Europe, Turkey, Jordan, Yemen, Russia warned, “has undergone a dangerous deformation in the wake of efforts by extremists to void its sense in order to take it over and reduce it to their perception.”

The Muslim world is currently under a siege of terror, led by a deviant strain that claims religious authority and kills in the name of Islam. So the Grozny participants had gathered, by invitation of the Chechen president, to make “a radical change in order to re-establish the true meaning of Sunnism.”

If their final communique was any indicator, the group of distinguished scholars had a very particular message for the Muslim world: Wahhabism – and its associated takfirism – are no longer welcome within the Sunni fold.

Specifically, the conference’s closing statement says this:

“Ash’arites and the Maturidi are the people of Sunnism and those who belong to the Sunni community, both at the level of the doctrine and of the four schools of Sunni jurisprudence (Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi’i, Maliki), as well as Sufis, both in terms of knowledge and moral ethics.”

In one fell swoop, Wahhabism, the official state religion of only two Muslim countries -Saudi Arabia and Qatar – was not part of the majority Muslim agenda any longer.

The backlash from the Saudis came hard and fast, honing in on the participation of Egypt’s Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb of Al Azhar, the foremost center for Sunni theological study in the Islamic world.

Saudi Arabia has, after all, subsidized the flailing Egyptian economy to the tune of billions of dollars in the past few years, alongside its Wahhabi neighbor Qatar, which has in turn bank-rolled the Muslim Brotherhood – a group also excluded from the Grozny meeting.

While Tayeb did not single out the Saudis in his conference speech, his elevated position in the global Sunni hierarchy lent a great deal of weight to the proceedings. And Al Azhar’s prominence in the Sunni world is rivaled only by the relatively new role of the Al Saud monarch as the custodian of the two holy sites, Mecca and Medina.

Just last year – in Mecca, no less – Tayeb slammed extremist trends during a speech on terrorism, lashing out at “corrupt interpretations” of religious texts and appealing to believers “to tackle in our schools and universities this tendency to accuse Muslims of being unbelievers.”

It is Wahhabism that is most often accused of sponsoring this trend globally.

The radical sect, borne in the 18thcentury, deviates from traditional Sunni doctrine in various ways, most notably sanctioning violence against nonbelievers – including Muslims who reject Wahhabi interpretation (takfirism).

Saudi Arabia is the single largest state contributor to tens of thousands of Wahhabi-influenced mosques, schools, clerics and Islamic publications scattered throughout the Muslim world – many of them, today, feeders for terrorist recruitment. By some accounts that figure has reached almost $100 billion in the last three decades or so.

In Grozny, conference participants made reference to this dangerous trend, and called for a “return to the schools of great knowledge” outside Saudi Arabia – in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen.

Saudi officialdom took to social media to express their outrage. Saudi royal, Prince Khalid al-Saud, warned that the event represented “a conspiracy that openly targets our country and it’s religious standing, specifically.”

بالأمس القريب ، واليوم
..
مؤامره على المكشوف تستهدف بلادنا، و مكانتها الدينية ” تحديداً ” …

And Adil al-Kalbani, the imam of Riyadh’s King Khaled Bin Abdulaziz mosque, ominously cautioned:“The Chechen conference should serve as a wake-up call: the world is getting ready to burn us.”

ليكن منبِّها لنا بأنَّ العالَمَ يَجمع الحطبَ لإحراقنا!

For the Saudis, the bad news kept on coming. On Friday, at the start of the annual 5-day Hajj pilgrimage, Lebanese daily Al Akhbar published online a shocking database from the Saudi Ministry of Health.

The leaked documents list, in painstaking detail, the names of 90,000 pilgrims from around the world who have died visiting Mecca over a 14-year period. If there was ever any question about the authority of the Saudi king as “custodian” of Islamic holy sites, this revelation should have opened those floodgates.

But even before these documents became public, calls for the Saudis to relinquish their administration of the Hajj were coming from Iran and elsewhere. Exactly one year ago, a stampede in Mina became the deadliest disaster in the history of the Hajj. Instead of tending to the dead and wounded as their utmost priority, the Saudi authorities went into lock down – concealing casualties, downplaying the death toll, blocking international efforts to investigate, forcing Hajj families to pay for the retrieval of bodies, denying wrongdoing and refusing to apologize for the disaster.

According to official Saudi government figures at the time, the total casualty toll stood at 769 dead and 934 injured. The leaked database now shows those numbers to be false. According to the Ministry of Health’s own statistics, the Mina death toll was in reality more than 10 times higher, with over 7,000 killed.

Iranians, who appeared initially to have suffered disproportionate losses – including from the collapse of a crane 12 days earlier at the Grand Mosque in Mecca where 107 died – lost around 500 citizens. Included in that number was senior foreign ministry official, Dr. Ghazanfar Roknabadi, Iran’s former ambassador to Lebanon and a key figure in regional geopolitical affairs. Saudi authorities initially denied he was even in the country and then took months to identify and repatriate his body.

But most disturbing of all was the manner in which the Saudis treated the dead and injured. Pictures that emerged from Mina in the aftermath of the disaster showed authorities shoveling up bodies in digger-like vehicles, then dumping them in piles as if they were sacks of sand. There appeared to be no care taken to even ascertain whether the victims were dead or alive.

The Iranians were justifiably outraged, but the Saudis politicized that reaction and turned it into an affront to Sunni authority by a Shia authority in Tehran. The Al Akhbar stats, however, tell another story. It was mostly Sunnis who were killed in Mina – from Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia and other countries – with victims from some states surpassing even the Iranian death toll.

One year on, Iran is not letting this issue lie. The Iranians have boycotted the Hajj this year, claiming that Saudi Arabia was unprepared to assure them of basic security requirements during lengthy negotiations between the two nations.

In his most confrontational address to the Saudi state yet, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei last week – during his annual Hajj message – railed against the injustice:

“The heartless and murderous Saudis locked up the injured with the dead in containers — instead of providing medical treatment and helping them or at least quenching their thirst. They murdered 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 issue of hajj.”

And then Khamenei went to the heart of the matter:

“The fitna-promoting rulers who by forming and arming wicked takfiri groups, have plunged the world of Islam into civil wars, murdering and injuring the innocent and shed blood in Yemen, Iraq, the Levant, Libya and other countries.”

In one short month, the Saudis have been challenged by Islam’s two mainstream sects – by the Sunni and by the Shia, equally – striking out at the religious authority claimed by the Saudi state and challenging the destructive, divisive, violent sectarianism of their Wahhabi faith.

Geopolitical losses

As if to prove Khamenei’s point – and the Grozny consensus – Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Abdulaziz Al Sheikh shot back, describing Iranian leaders as nonbelievers: “We have to understand that they are not Muslims. … Their main enemies are the followers of Sunnah (Sunnis).”

But, with that last sectarian sling, it seems the Saudis may have finally hit their limit. Within days of his statement, citing “health reasons,” the Mufti was removed from delivering the Hajj sermon he has delivered for 35 years straight.

Why stop now? It isn’t like the Saudis don’t have the appetite for a fight with the Iranians.

That fight has been playing out throughout the Middle East and beyond, in various battlefields and media outlets, to the detriment of millions.

What may have started off as Riyadh’s desire to thwart the success of a populist Islamist revolution that dethroned a neighboring king – Iran, circa 1979 – has spiraled into an existential Saudi battle to claw onto hegemony and legitimacy in every sphere.

The Saudis have long lost the ability to engage in cold, hard calculation, and have thrown themselves headfirst into ‘winning by all means.’ This has meant releasing the demons of takfirism throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Wahhabi funded and enabled jihadi foot soldiers have sprung up in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and any other place where Saudis and their fellow co-religionists/ideologues have sought out hegemonic interests.

And the lack of coherent strategy has drawn the Saudis into a number of unnecessary quagmires that have now encircled their borders (Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen), wiped out their strategic depth and emptied the state coffers.

What was meant to be a swift aerial blow to Yemeni rebels for daring to defy Saudi authority, has morphed into an entrenched, 18-month-long, money-pit of a war, with 10,000-plus deaths, war crimes accusations, proliferation of jihadist terror and enemy encroachment into Saudi territory.

Riyadh’s leading role in the destabilization of Syria and Iraq has unleashed sectarian mass murder that has gutted the Muslim world, unmasked Saudi complicity, and galvanized its adversaries into historic cooperation.

These wars have drawn in powerful benefactors like Russia and China as buffers against Saudi overreach, and has reshuffled the balance of power in the region – against Saudi interests.

All of which has chipped away at Saudi political, economic and religious clout on the international stage.

In 2010, Saudi Arabia was crossing borders peacefully as a power-broker, working with Iran, Syria, Turkey, Qatar and others to troubleshoot in regional hotspots. By 2016, it had buried two kings, shrugged off a measured approach to foreign policy, embraced takfiri madness and emptied its coffers.

The hundreds of thousands dead in the wake of this ‘Saudi madness’ are mostly Muslim and mostly Sunni. As the Muslim world wakes up to this atrocious state of affairs, like the Sunni scholars of Grozny, they will not look to censure Tehran, but to disengage with Riyadh.

And to write the final chapter on an aberrant sect called Wahhabism.

Wahhabi

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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شهيدُ مجزرةِ منى السفير غضنفر ركن ابادي يبقى حياً في ذاكرةِ لبنان ، والرئيس اميل لحود يتذكرُ خصالَ الدبلوماسي الايراني الذي وقفَ على مسافةٍ قريبةٍ من كلِّ السياسيين.

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Iran’s Leader issues message on 2016 Hajj pilgrimage

(Saker note: note the *very* harsh words of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei against the Saudi Wahabis)
Imam Khamenei issues message on 2016 Hajj pilgrimage

 In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful And all praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and Allah’s greetings be upon our Master, Muhammad (PBUH), and upon his Immaculate Household and chosen companions and upon those who follow them rightfully until the Day of Judgment.Muslim brethren and sisters all over the world,

For Muslims, the Hajj season is a period of honor and glory in the eyes of [all] human beings, and a period for the illumination of hearts and humility and supplication before the Creator. Hajj is a sacred and mundane and divine and communal obligation. On one side, [the Quran] commands “Then remember Allah as you remember your forefathers, or with [much] greater remembrance” and “Remember Allah during [specific] numbered days” and on the other side, the declaration [that] “[Masjid al-Haram is a placIran’s Leader issues message on 2016 Hajj pilgrimagee] which We made for the people; equal are the resident therein and one from outside,” shed light on its infinite and diverse aspects.

In this one-of-a-kind obligation, temporal and spatial security bestows serenity upon the hearts of human beings like a clear sign and a shining star and frees the Hajj pilgrim from the siege of factors of insecurity [created] by hegemonic tyrants, which have always threatened all humanity, and let him taste the pleasure of security during a specified period.

The Abrahamic Hajj, which Islam has bestowed upon Muslims, is the manifestation of dignity and spirituality and unity and glory. It shows off the greatness of Islamic Ummah and their reliance on the eternal divine power to ill-wishers and enemies, and highlights their distance from the quagmire of corruption and humiliation and oppression, which international bullying powers impose on human societies. Islamic and monotheistic Hajj is the manifestation of [the Quranic verse, which describes the faithful as being] “firm against the unbelievers, [and] compassionate among themselves.” It is a venue for disavowal of polytheists and [promoting] friendship and unity with believers.

Those who have reduced the Hajj to a mere pilgrimage-tourism trip and have hidden their enmity and grudge against the faithful and the revolutionary nation of Iran under the title of the “politicization of the Hajj” are puny and belittled devils, who shudder as soon as the ambitions of the Great Satan, America, are put in jeopardy. Saudi rulers, who have obstructed the path to Allah and the Masjid al-Haram this year and blocked the way of the fervent and faithful Iranian pilgrims to the House of the Beloved, are disgraced misguided people, who tie their survival on the throne of [their] oppressive power to defending global arrogant powers and [forming] alliance with Zionism and America and making efforts to meet their demand, and they do not shy away from any act of treason to that end.

About one year has passed since the horrible Mina incidents in which several thousand people, on the day of Eid and attired in the Ihram [garment], lost their lives tragically under the [searing] sun and with thirsty lips. A short while before that at the Grand Mosque, a group [of pilgrims] were killed while they were in worship and circumambulation and [saying] prayers. The Saudi rulers are to blame in both incidents; this is something on which all attendants [in Hajj] and observers and technical analysts agree, and some experts [even] speculated the intentionality of the incident. Dawdling and negligence in saving the half-alive injured people whose enchanted souls and eager hearts were busy with dhikr [mention of God] and whispering the divine verses [of the Quran] on [the day of] Eid al-Adha are also definite and proven facts. The ruthless and criminal Saudi men locked them up along with the dead in tightly closed containers and martyred them instead of providing treatment to them and assisting them or even supplying water to their thirsty lips.

Several thousand families from a variety of countries lost their beloved ones and their nations were rendered bereaved. From the Islamic Republic, there were nearly 500 among the martyrs. The families’ hearts are still hurt and bereft and the nation is still in grief and enraged.

However, instead of offering apology and expressing regret and prosecuting those directly behind this horrible incident, the Saudi rulers even refused to set up an international Islamic fact-finding mission in ultimate shamelessness and impudence. Instead of taking the stand as defendant, they took the seat of claimant and brought further to the fore their age-old enmity with the Islamic Republic and with any Islamic flag, which stands against blasphemy and arrogance, with more wickedness and insolence.

Their propaganda mouthpieces, ranging from politicians, whose behavior vis-à-vis Zionists and America is a source of disgrace for the Islamic world, to non-pious muftis living on haram [prohibited] income, who openly issue fatwas against the [holy] Book and [the Prophet’s] Sunna, to media footmen, who cannot be kept from fabricating and spreading lies even by professional conscience, are making a futile attempt to hold the Islamic Republic responsible for the denial of Iranian pilgrims this year’s Hajj.

Seditionist rulers, who have embroiled the Muslim world in civil wars and the carnage of innocents and who have stained Yemen, Iraq, the Levant, Libya and some other countries with blood by forming and equipping Takfiri and evil groups; godless politicians, who have extended the hand of friendship to the occupying Zionist regime and have turned a blind eye to the heart-wrenching suffering and plight of Palestinians and have broadened the extent of their oppression and treason to cities and villages in Bahrain; [as well as] unfaithful and unconscientious rulers, who created the great tragedy of Mina and under the guise of [being] Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques flouted the sanctity of the safe divine sanctuary and slaughtered the guests of the Compassionate God on the Eid day in Mina and before that at the Grand Mosque, are now speaking about non-politicization of the Hajj and accuse others of the big sins they have themselves committed or caused to happen. They are a flagrant example of the clearly enlightening expression of the Holy Quran [where it says]: “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 [what an] evil resting-place [it is].”

This year too, according to reports, in addition to blocking the Hajj pilgrims from Iran and some other nations, they (the Saudis) have subjected Hajj pilgrims from other countries to unprecedented surveillance with the help of espionage agencies of America and the Zionist regime and have rendered the secure House of God unsafe for all. The Muslim world, including Muslim governments and nations, must know the Saudi rulers and truly realize the reality of their sacrilegious, unfaithful, dependent and materialistic nature; they must not let them go with impunity after [all] the crimes they have caused across the Muslim world, [but] in response to their unjust treatment of the guests of the Merciful God, they must think of a fundamental solution for the management of the Two Holy Mosques and the issue of Hajj. Shirking from this duty will expose the Islamic Ummah to bigger problems in the future.

Muslim Brethren and Sisters! This year, the eager and devoted Iranian pilgrims are missed in the Hajj ritual, but they are in attendance with their hearts and they are standing along Hajj pilgrims from across the globe and are concerned about them and pray for them to be spared any harm from the accursed tree of tyrants. Remember your Iranian brethren and sisters in your prayers and acts of worship and invocation, and pray for the Muslim communities to get rid of their troubles and to have the hand of arrogant powers and Zionists and their stooges cut off the Islamic Ummah.

I personally honor the memory of last year’s martyrs of Mina and the Grand Mosque and the martyrs of Mecca in [the Hajj pilgrimage in] 1987 and I pray to the Almighty God to bestow His forgiveness and mercy upon them and reserve them high positions [in the Heavens]. I salute Hadhrat Baqiatallah al-A’zam (Shall our souls be sacrificed for him) and request that venerable figure’s accepted prayer for the exaltation of the Islamic Ummah and salvation of Muslims from sedition and malevolence of enemies.

And providence belongs to Allah and reliance is on Him.

Dhu al-Qa’dah, 1437-September 2016

Seyyed Ali Khamenei

Al Saud... The Cursed Tree!

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The Debate – Israel-Saudi ties

 

Date: 24.7.2016

The entangled webs we weave perhaps could be a very appropriate phrase regarding the relationship between the Saudis and the Israelis. On the one hand the Saudis like to project themselves as the keeper of the holy places, referring to Mecca and Medina which include some of Islam’s holiest sites. On the other hand the Saudis have done everything to propagate a negative image of Islam by supporting extremists and terrorists. They have not been productive in helping the Palestinians be free from Israeli occupation, which has been taking place for more than 7 decades. Israel is considered the main enemy of freedom loving people in the region and of Muslims, so why is it that increasingly the Saudi regime has more in common with its Tel Aviv counterparts than those in the region resisting the occupation of Palestine?

Ibrahim Mousawi
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العار العظيم .. في مكة قريبا… – بقلم: نارام سرجون

بقلم: نارام سرجون

العار الاسلامي العظيم .. في مكة قريبا

———————————————–

شكرا لجميع الاسلاميين على امتداد العالم العربي والاسلامي الذين تهافتوا زرافات ووحدانا لتدمير العدو الرئيسي لاسرائيل المتمثل بالشعب السوري والمقاومة .. والذين بذلوا الغالي والنفيس من أجل أن يهاجروا مع أبنائهم وعائلاتهم وزوجاتهم وسباياهم وفتاواهم .. فقد احتفلت اسرائيل في عهد ثوراتهم الميمونة بعيد ميلادها دون أن ينغص عليها مسلم واحد احتفالها وفرحها .. ودون ان ترميها مئذنة واحدة من بين مئات آلاف المآذن بدعاء هلاك كالذي خصص للدعاء لاهلاك الشعب السوري وجيشه وقيادته واهلاك روسيا وايران ..

لم تقترب لحية واحدة من اي سفارة اسرائيلية لا في استانبول ولا مصر ولافي الأردن ولا في أي دولة خليجية فيها مكاتب واستثمارات للاحتجاج على وجود اسرائيل وارتفاع راياتها في بلاد المسلمين .. ولم تقترب منها حرّة من حرائر الثورة المؤمنات المنقبات لأنهن منشغلات بجهاد النكاح والتكاثر ..

ولم يصل الى أي سفارة اسرائيلية رصاصة واحدة أو حجر واحد أو أسطوانة غاز من مدفع جهنم أو صوت تكبيرة واحدة من تكبيرات الاسلاميين لأن كل الحناجر استهلكت كل التكبيرات أثناء الذبح والاعدام وتطبيق الحدود ورجم الزانيات .. ولم نسمع أن أحدا رأى طيف ملاك يطوف حول سفارة اسرائيلية أو يمر بجناحبه بجانب علم اسرائيلي في عاصمة عربية أو اسلامية لأن الملائكة مشغولة برمي اسطوانات الغاز على الحلبيين ومعركة بدر في طرطوس ..

‎بقلم: نارام سرجون‎'s photo.

هذه الصورة المرفقة هي من واجهة السفارة الاسرائيلية في الأردن بكل أناقتها الزرقاء وأبهى حلتها واحتفاليتها وعرسها في عصر الاسلاميين الميمون .. الورود التي وصلتها بمناسبة قيام اسرائيل في 15 أيار من كل العرب والسفارات العربية والاسلامية لم يتسع لها مبنى السفارة فتم صفّها على طرفي الدرج الخارجي كحرس الشرف .. أمان واسترخاء وعصائر وحلوى ونبيذ وشموع ورقص وأضواء .. حتى أن تل أبيب حسدت السفارة الاسرائيلية في الاردن على هذا الأمان .. رغم أنه على بعد عدة كيلومترات يحتشد ثوار درعا ومجاهدون مسلمون من كل فج عميق بكل مالديهم من لحى ويسمع المحتفلون في السفارة الاسرائيلية صوت همهماتهم وتلاوتهم القرآن في الصلوات ومعهم اسلاميو الاردن وحماس لاقتحام خطوط الجيش السوري لتحرير درعا .. ولم تتذكر لحية واحدة أن خلفها سفارة اسرائيل وعلى شمالها حدود فلسطين .. بل ربما اعتقدوا أن السفارة الاسرائيلية هي سفارة جبهة النصرة .. وأن العلم الاسرائيلي هو أستار الكعبة الزرقاء الجديدة ..

الصورة الاخرى طبعا هي للسفارة السورية في الأردن حيث يقف رجال الامن كي يبعدوا عنها غضب الاسلاميين وثورات اللحى التي قد تمزقها اربا ..

‎بقلم: نارام سرجون‎'s photo.

منذ سنوات قليلة كان المنظر على العكس تماما .. رجال الامن يحيطون كالبنبان المرصوص بالسفارات الاسرائيلية القلقة وتشدد أمني يفوق الوصف والتصور وكاميرات وأجهزة رصد والتي تمر بها العيون السوداء العربية متوعدة .. وفي ذلك الوقت كانت السفارة السورية بالكاد يقف أمامها حارس أو رصاصة أو هراوة ..

هذا المشهد المعكوس سيتكرر في كل عاصمة وصلتها صرخات الله أكبر وارتفعت فيها رايات الاخوان المسلمين ورايات حزب العدالة والتنمية بنسخها الداعشية وجبهة النصرة والجيش الحر ..

‎بقلم: نارام سرجون‎'s photo.

ونبشركم أن هذا المنظر ستكتحل عيون المسلمين به في مواسم الحج القادمة حيث ستصل السفارات الاسرائليلية الى الرياض ومكة والمدينة كما وعدنا عهد سلمان وعواصفه .. وافتتاح السفارات والقنصليات الاسرائيلية سيكون تحت ذريعة رعاية شؤون “المسلمين الاسرائيليين” .. بالنسبة للمسلمين ولأهل مكة اليوم وأهل الخليج عموما هو أن تسقط راية الحسين في الشرق التي اتجهت نحو القدس عبر حزب الله .. وأن تسقط الراية السورية .. وترتفع رايات اسرائيل في كل الشرق ..

فقد فقدت الكعبة كسوتها وأستارها السوداء التي مزقها الاسلاميون ليصنع كل فصيل منها رايات سودا يكتب عليها لااله الا الله لترتفع في كل مدينة يصل اليها أبو محمد الجولاني وابو بكر البغدادي أو الاخوان المسلمون ..

وربما لاتجد الكعبة مايسترها بعد اليوم الا علم اسرائيل الأزرق الذي سيهديها اياه المجاهدون .. تكريما لبني اسرائيل الذين فضلهم الله على العالمين وفق أدبيات الوهابية الجهادية ..

‎بقلم: نارام سرجون‎'s photo.

ملاحظة: الصورة الأخيرة ليست تخيلية ولاهي لاستفزاز مشاعر أحد أو لتهين مسلما .. بل هذا ماسيراه المسلمون يتدلى على جدران الكعبة في ظل مملكة وهابية لم تعد تبالي بمشاعر أحد .. لأن من يسامح اسرائيل على سرقة الأقصى سيترك لها الكعبة أيضا .. ومن يريد اسقاط راية المقاومة فسيرفع راية اسرائيل .. فترقبوا بدء العلاقات الديبلوماسية الرسمية بين تل أبيب والرياض .. وتطبيع العلاقات بين الكعبة وخيبر ..

كلمة شكرا لاتكفي من اسرائيل لكل لحية جاهدت في سورية ولكل فتوى حملت معها دما مسلما وشرقيا فدى به الله جنديا اسرائيليا .. ولكن بعد أن نوصل الشكر العبراني للاسلاميين ونعترف بفضلهم نقول لهم ان راية الحسين وراية سورية والمقاومين وكل راية وطنية رفعت واتجهت نحو القدس لن تعود حتى تسقط أورشليم .. وسدنة أورشليم من العرب .. طال الزمن أم قصر .. ليس لدينا شك في ذلك .. ومايعده الجيش السوري وحلفاؤه قريبا لن يسر تل أبيب .. ورعايا تل أبيب من الاسلاميين الاسرائيليين ..

 

Iran to Miss Hajj after Saudi Sabotage to Deal

Local Editor

In a new show of tension in the region, Iran announced that it failed to reach agreement with Saudi Arabia on arrangements for the pilgrims to join the annual Hajj in September following the severing of ties.

Iran to Miss Hajj after Saudi Sabotage to Deal


An Iranian delegation held four days of talks in Saudi Arabia last month aimed at thrashing out a deal but with Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran closed since January and Iranian flights to the kingdom halted they hit deadlock.

According to the Iranian culture minister, Ali Jannati: “The arrangements have not been put together and it’s now too late. The sabotage is coming from the Saudis.”

“Their attitude was cold and inappropriate. They did not accept our proposals concerning the issuing of visas or the transport and security of the pilgrims.”He further said: “Saudi officials say our pilgrims must travel to another country to make their visa applications.”

Iran has been insisting that Saudi Arabia issue visas through the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which has looked after Saudi interests since Riyadh broke off ties in January following the ransacking of its diplomatic missions by protesters after it executed a leading Shiite cleric.

Another contentious issue has been security, after a n incident at last year’s hajj killed more than 2,000 foreign pilgrims, including 464 Iranians.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

12-05-2016 | 12:22

Death Toll of Hajj Tragedy Tops 2200: New Figures

The death toll from last month’s hajj stampede has topped 2,200, according to tallies given by foreign officials, making it by far the deadliest disaster in the pilgrimage’s history.

Hajj stampedeSaudi Arabia has yet to provide an updated death toll after saying 769 people died in the tragedy near Mecca, home of Islam’s holiest sites.

But figures given by more than 30 governments around the world show that at least 2,223 foreign pilgrims died, according to an AFP tally.

Saudi authorities have not given a toll for any deaths among their own nationals.

The loss of life in the September 24 disaster far exceeds the 1,426 pilgrims who died in the hajj’s worst previous incident — a tunnel stampede in July 1990.

Here is a breakdown of the dead from foreign governments:

– Iran: 464 dead

– Mali 282

– Nigeria: 199 dead

– Egypt: 182 dead

– Bangladesh: 137

– Indonesia: 129 dead

– India: 116 dead

– Pakistan: 89 dead

– Cameroon: 76 dead

– Niger: 72 dead

– Senegal: 62 dead

– Ethiopia: 53 dead

– Chad: 52 dead

– Ivory Coast: 52 dead

– Benin: 52 dead

– Morocco: 36 dead

– Sudan: 30 dead

– Algeria: 28 dead

– Burkina Faso: 22 dead

– Tanzania: 22 dead

– Ghana: 17 dead

– Libya: 10 dead

– Somalia: 8 dead

– Kenya: 8 dead

– Tunisia: 7 dead

– Mauritius: 5 dead

– China: 4 dead

– Afghanistan: 3 dead

– Burundi: 1 dead

– Iraq: 1 dead

– Jordan: 1 dead

– Netherlands: 1 dead

– Oman: 1 dead

– Malaysia: 1 dead

 

Source: AFP

23-10-2015 – 00:34 Last updated 23-10-2015 – 00:34


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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Mina Tragedy Death Toll at Least 2,177: AP

The crush and stampede that struck the hajj last month in Saudi Arabia killed at least 2,177 pilgrims, a new Associated Press tally showed Monday, after officials in the kingdom met to discuss the tragedy.

The toll keeps rising from the Sept. 24 disaster outside Mecca as individual countries identify bodies and work to determine the whereabouts of hundreds of pilgrims still missing. The official Saudi toll of 769 people killed and 934 injured has not changed since Sept. 26, and officials have yet to address the discrepancy.

Mina Hajj stampedeCrown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz, who is also the kingdom’s interior minister, oversaw a meeting late Sunday about the disaster in Mina, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

The agency’s report did not mention any official response to the rising death toll.

“The crown prince was reassured on the progress of the investigations,” the SPA report said.

“He directed the committee’s members to continue their efforts to find the causes of the accident, praying to Allah Almighty to accept the martyrs and wishing the injured a speedy recovery.”

King Salman ordered the investigation into the disaster, the deadliest in the history of the annual pilgrimage. It came after a crane collapse in Mecca earlier that month killed 111 worshippers, and the twin disasters marred the first hajj to be overseen by the king since he ascended to the throne at the start of this year.

Riyadh has rejected a suggestion by Iran to have an independent body take over planning and administering the five-day hajj pilgrimage, which is required of all able-bodied Muslims once in their lifetimes.

Iran has repeatedly blamed the disaster on the Saudi royal family, accusing it of mismanagement and of covering up the real death toll, which Tehran says exceeds 4,700.

“The lying and hypercritical bodies, which claim to (be promoting) human rights, as well as the Western governments, which sometimes make great fuss over the death of a single person, remained dead silent in this incident in favor of their allied government,” Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei said Monday, according to a transcript on his website.

“If they were sincere, these self-proclaimed advocates of human rights should have demanded accountability, compensation, guarantee for non-recurrence and punishment for the perpetrators of this catastrophe.”

At least 465 Iranian pilgrims were killed in the tragedy with many other are still missingg. Many of the dead also came from Africa. Mali said it lost 254 people, while Nigeria lost 199, Cameroon lost 76, Niger lost 72, Senegal lost 61, and Ivory Coast and Benin both lost 52.

Others include Egypt with 182, Bangladesh with 137, Indonesia with 126, India with 116, Pakistan with 102, Ethiopia with 47, Chad with 43, Morocco with 36, Algeria with 33, Sudan with 30, Burkina Faso with 22, Tanzania with 20, Somalia with 10, Kenya with eight, Ghana and Turkey with seven, Myanmar and Libya with six, China with four, Afghanistan with two and Jordan and Malaysia with one.

The previous deadliest-ever incident at hajj was a 1990 stampede that killed 1,426 people

.

Source: Agencies

20-10-2015 – 12:30 Last updated 20-10-2015 – 12:33




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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Leader Urges Assertive Follow-up of ’Bitter’ Tragedy of Mina

 

Local Editor

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei stressed on Monday that the latest Mina tragedy during Hajj must be unforgotten, urging the Iranian staff to spare no effort in their investigations.

Addressing a meeting of Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization officials in Tehran, Ayatollah Khamenei criticized the western powers who claim to be defenders of human rights for their silence on Mina incident in favor of the Saudi interests..

“The bitter event of Mina incident was a test for our piety; however, we should not forget the event itself and the policy of silence by the hegemonic powers of the west claimants to the human rights on this great tragedy; as to our own responsibility,” the Supreme Leader emphasized.

“The Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization and country’s diplomacy should address the issue strongly,” his eminence said.

Ayatollah Khamenei further stressed that Saudi Arabia must shoulder the responsibility for the death of seven thousand Muslims during the Hajj, wondering about the silence of the Arab and Muslim world regarding the tragedy even though several other countries have lost hundreds of its citizens in Mina.

“The hosting Saudi Arabia is the first responsible body for the death of 7,000 Muslims; we expected to see a single voice of objection by the Islamic world; however, no other voice was heard than that of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and even governments whose citizens had died in the event, averted their heads to the issue,” Ayatollah Khamenei lamented.

The Supreme leader noted that addressing the Mina issue in more responsible manner was a seriously required to prevent similar events in the future, especially after the lackluster performance by the host country.

“This is not a political issue, but the lives of thousands of Muslims while observing their Hajj rituals in the attire of ihram are at stake, and this should be addressed,” his eminence demanded.

Ayatollah, moreover, called for raising the Mina issue before the international community and bodies to investigate the incident and punish the true perpetrators.

“Any campaign to keep the issue alive is to raise it in international community, which in turn should target human rights organizations and western governments as if they had been accomplice in the event,” concluded the Leader in reference to these bodies’ silence.

The Islamic Republic of Iran announced that 464 of its citizens, including diplomatic personnel, were killed in Mina stampede when the Saudi authorities closed two main passages s for the passage of their VIPs.

Source: Al-Manar Website

19-10-2015 – 16:54 Last updated 19-10-2015 – 16:54

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Rouhani: Iran Demands Punishment of Saudi Officials Responsible for Mina Tragedy

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Iranian President Sheikh Hassan Rouhani during receiving bodies of 104 Iranian pilgrims
Iranian President Sheikh Hassan Rouhani underlined that Tehran seeks punishment of the Saudi officials who are responsible for the recent stampede incident in Mina which killed over 4,000 pilgrims, including hundreds of Iranians.

Addressing a ceremony in Tehran on Saturday to pay tribute to the bodies of 104 Iranian pilgrims who died in Mina incident late in September, Sheikh Rouhani said it should be clarified if anyone is to blame for this incident or not, and Iran will then ask for justice and punishment of those responsible for the incident if it is proved that police or security forces have failed to comply with their duties.

465 Iranian pilgrims were killed in Mina incident and the bodies of 104 of them were returned home on Saturday.

Noting that Iran has, so far, used the language of sympathy, brotherhood, politeness and diplomacy vis-a-vis the Saudis to pursue the death of the Iranian nationals, Rouhani said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran will also speak in the language of might and power, if necessary.”

He stressed that the reality of this catastrophe should come under light in full details, and said, “All Muslim nations should come to realize through a fact-finding committee the cause of this disaster and they should be assured that such catastrophes will not occur in coming years.”

A stampede during one of the last rituals of the Hajj season on September 24 killed at least 4,173 people and left thousands wounded.

Source: Websites

03-10-2015 – 17:10 Last updated 03-10-2015 – 17:10

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Saudi Bows to Iranian Demands following Leader’s Warning of Fierce Response

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Saudi Arabia: Hajj stampedeSaudi health minister said that his country will repatriate Iranian pilgrims killed in last week’s Hajj stampede, Saudi state media said, after Tehran threatened a “fierce” response over delays.

Tehran has accused Saudi Arabia of hindering its efforts to bring home the bodies of at least 239 Iranians who died in last week’s tragedy near the Muslim holy city of Mecca.

Another 241 people, including senior Iranian diplomat and former ambassador to Lebanon, are among the Iranians still listed as missing six days after the deadly crush.

“The two parties have agreed on the repatriation of the bodies of identified dead Iranians as soon as possible,” Saudi’s SPA state news agency reported early Thursday following talks with the Iranian delegation in Jeddah.

The two sides will also “maintain contacts to identify the rest and look after the wounded,” SPA added under the agreement struck between Saudi health minister Khaled al-Falih and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Hashemi.

It said the Saudi minister “stressed the kingdom’s government’s wish to cooperate with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” amid clear fears of Iran’s retaliation.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei warned on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia’s situation ‘will not be good’ if Iran reacts to Saudis’ mistreatment regarding Mina stampede.

Tehran said last week that Saudi authorities have failed to issue visas for Iranian officials who sought to travel to the kingdom to facilitate the repatriation of the dead and the injured.

“Saudi officials are failing to do their duties,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a speech to graduating navy officers, following delays in the return of the hajj dead, accusing some of the officials of “slyness”.

“They should know that the slightest disrespect towards tens of thousands of Iranian pilgrims in Mecca and Medina and not fulfilling their obligation to transfer holy bodies will have Iran’s tough and fierce reaction,” his eminence reiterated.

Source: AFP

01-10-2015 – 10:23 Last updated 01-10-2015 – 10:24


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Iran Rises Death Toll from Hajj Stampede to 464

 

Saudi Arabia: Hajj stampedeIran on Thursday nearly doubled its death toll from last week’s hajj stampede, saying there was no hope of finding pilgrims missing after the tragedy.

“Seven days after this tragic accident… the status of all (pilgrims) injured has been completely cleared and reported,” Iran’s Hajj organization said in a statement carried by state television.

Around 240 Iranians were previously declared dead after last Thursday’s crush near Mecca, with more than 200 classified as missing.

An Iranian red crescent official said on Thursday that those missing were all likely to have died.

“We are completely disappointed from finding unknown and missing Iranians,” said Ali Marashi, the head of hajj red crescent medical centre, state media reported.

Iran’s IRNA news agency quoted Iranian Health Minister Hassan Hashemi as saying that he and his Saudi counterpart Khaled al-Falih had struck a deal aimed at “speeding up the process, as the victims’ families are waiting” back at home.

“Iran would be the first country to receive bodies and repatriate them,” Hashemi said.

Those unidentified bodies who are clearly Iranian would be repatriated first and identified at home, he added.

Source: IRNA

01-10-2015 – 11:52 Last updated 01-10-2015 – 11:5

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Trouble in the Kingdom: Dissident Prince Calls for Saudi Palace Coup

 A senior Saudi prince has launched an extraordinary call to overthrow the leader of Saudi Arabia, King Salman, saying that his poor management of the state, along with dropping oil prices, the war in Yemen and the recent Hajj tragedy in Mecca is leading the country down the path of ruin.

 The prince, one of the grandsons of the state’s founder, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, was quoted by the Guardian saying that many within the Saudi royal family, and in turn the wider public, were unhappy with King Salman, who acceded the throne in January.
In this Jan. 6, 2015, file image released by the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi King Salman gestures during a session at the Shura Council
In this Jan. 6, 2015, file image released by the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi King Salman gestures during a session at the Shura Council

The unidentified prince wrote two letters earlier this month calling for the king to be challenged and removed, saying that he wasn’t fit to run the country. He said:

“The king is not in a stable condition and in reality the son of the king [Mohammed bin Salman] is ruling the kingdom.”

“So four or possibly five of my uncles will meet soon to discuss the letters. They are making a plan with a lot of nephews and that will open the door. A lot of the second generation is very anxious.”

The prince’s letters also alluded to a wider dissatisfaction with King Salman, stretching far beyond the royal family.

“The public are also pushing this very hard, all kinds of people, tribal leaders. They say you have to do this or the country will go to disaster.”

Mecca, Oil and Yemen – Saudis’ Triple Headache

The recent double tragedy in Mecca – Islam’s holiest site – has further sparked criticism of the current management of the country, after more than 800 people were killed in two separate incidents.

A fortnight after more than 100 people died following the collapse of a construction crane at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, 770 more were killed and many others injured in a stampede during the Islamic Hajj pilgrimage, thought to be the largest annual gathering of people in the world.

Muslim pilgrims and rescuers gather around the victims of a stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia during the annual hajj pilgrimage on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015
Muslim pilgrims and rescuers gather around the victims of a stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia during the annual hajj pilgrimage on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015

The tragedies sparked damaging criticism from regional enemy Iran, with President Hassan Rouhani questioning the legitimacy of the Saudi leadership to manage such holy sites and events, accusing the country of incompetence.

On top of recent events, the global drop in the price of oil has also placed extra pressure on King Salman’s leadership, with reports the country has withdrawn as much as $70 billion from overseas investment funds to bolster the kingdom’s coffers.

Saudi Arabia is predicted to exceed its budget by more than $162 billion this year, with King Salman’s son, Mohammed bin Salman coming under increasing pressure, as he is in charge of oil policy.

Another issue causing great anger among Saudis is the country’s bombing campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

While Riyadh and Western officials have backed the strikes in the hope of returning exile leader Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to power, activists have said that many Saudis are appalled at the situation, with the Arab world’s largest country pummeling its poorest, resulting in many civilian casualties.

As a result of the recent troubles surrounding the kingdom, the unnamed prince called on the 13 surviving sons of the state’s founder Ibn Saud to unite and overthrow the leadership in a coup, in what would be one of the most dramatic events in the country’s history.

“Allow the oldest and most capable to take over the affairs of the state, let the new king and crown prince take allegiance from all, and cancel the strange, new rank of second deputy premier,” the prince said.

“We are calling for the sons of Ibn Saud from the oldest Bandar, to the youngest, Muqrin, to make an urgent meeting with the senior family members to investigate the situation and find out what can be done to save the country, to make changes in the important ranks, to bring in expertise from the ruling family whatever generation they are from.”

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River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  

 A senior Saudi prince has launched an extraordinary call to overthrow the leader of Saudi Arabia, King Salman, saying that his poor management of the state, along with dropping oil prices, the war in Yemen and the recent Hajj tragedy in Mecca is leading the country down the path of ruin.

The prince, one of the grandsons of the state’s founder, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, was quoted by the Guardian saying that many within the Saudi royal family, and in turn the wider public, were unhappy with King Salman, who acceded the throne in January.

In this Jan. 6, 2015, file image released by the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi King Salman gestures during a session at the Shura Council
In this Jan. 6, 2015, file image released by the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi King Salman gestures during a session at the Shura Council

The unidentified prince wrote two letters earlier this month calling for the king to be challenged and removed, saying that he wasn’t fit to run the country. He said:

“The king is not in a stable condition and in reality the son of the king [Mohammed bin Salman] is ruling the kingdom.”

“So four or possibly five of my uncles will meet soon to discuss the letters. They are making a plan with a lot of nephews and that will open the door. A lot of the second generation is very anxious.”

The prince’s letters also alluded to a wider dissatisfaction with King Salman, stretching far beyond the royal family.

“The public are also pushing this very hard, all kinds of people, tribal leaders. They say you have to do this or the country will go to disaster.”

Mecca, Oil and Yemen – Saudis’ Triple Headache

The recent double tragedy in Mecca – Islam’s holiest site – has further sparked criticism of the current management of the country, after more than 800 people were killed in two separate incidents.

A fortnight after more than 100 people died following the collapse of a construction crane at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, 770 more were killed and many others injured in a stampede during the Islamic Hajj pilgrimage, thought to be the largest annual gathering of people in the world.

Muslim pilgrims and rescuers gather around the victims of a stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia during the annual hajj pilgrimage on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015
Muslim pilgrims and rescuers gather around the victims of a stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia during the annual hajj pilgrimage on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015

The tragedies sparked damaging criticism from regional enemy Iran, with President Hassan Rouhani questioning the legitimacy of the Saudi leadership to manage such holy sites and events, accusing the country of incompetence.

On top of recent events, the global drop in the price of oil has also placed extra pressure on King Salman’s leadership, with reports the country has withdrawn as much as $70 billion from overseas investment funds to bolster the kingdom’s coffers.

Saudi Arabia is predicted to exceed its budget by more than $162 billion this year, with King Salman’s son, Mohammed bin Salman coming under increasing pressure, as he is in charge of oil policy.

Another issue causing great anger among Saudis is the country’s bombing campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

While Riyadh and Western officials have backed the strikes in the hope of returning exile leader Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to power, activists have said that many Saudis are appalled at the situation, with the Arab world’s largest country pummeling its poorest, resulting in many civilian casualties.

As a result of the recent troubles surrounding the kingdom, the unnamed prince called on the 13 surviving sons of the state’s founder Ibn Saud to unite and overthrow the leadership in a coup, in what would be one of the most dramatic events in the country’s history.

“Allow the oldest and most capable to take over the affairs of the state, let the new king and crown prince take allegiance from all, and cancel the strange, new rank of second deputy premier,” the prince said.

“We are calling for the sons of Ibn Saud from the oldest Bandar, to the youngest, Muqrin, to make an urgent meeting with the senior family members to investigate the situation and find out what can be done to save the country, to make changes in the important ranks, to bring in expertise from the ruling family whatever generation they are from.”

Read more:

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

 

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Saudi Arabia’s Crushing Rule: Washington Post

The Washington Post


NO ONE knows yet precisely why a stampede of pilgrims during the hajj in Saudi Arabia turned so deadly. The reports of 769 deaths and at least 934 wounded, with horrific images of bodies strewn about, as well as eyewitness accounts, suggest that panic ensued amid pushing and shoving, leading to the worst hajj disaster in 25 years.

Mina stampedeGranted, it was extremely hot, about 114 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pilgrims may have been easily thrown into uncertainty. But the responsibility for this catastrophe lies with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and a closed political system that cannot learn the lessons of previous failures.

Sadly, the pain of a hajj stampede is not a new story. In 2006, 364 pilgrims died in a crush; in 1997, 340 died in a fire-related incident; another 270 perished in 1994; and in 1990, 1,426 pilgrims died in a stampede in an overcrowded tunnel leading to holy sites. After these disasters, Saudi Arabia has each time spent millions to improve the facilities, vowing that it would not happen again. And it happens again. It is not unreasonable to ask why one of the wealthiest nations on the planet cannot seem to get right the basic infrastructure to handle the safety of so many people, a journey known well in advance in a place for which the Saudi regime holds the title of “custodian.”

This time, the deaths occurred in Mina, about four miles from Mecca, near a place where pilgrims throw seven stones at pillars called Jamarat, marking the location where Satan is believed to have tempted the Prophet Abraham. The BBC reported that two massive lines of pilgrims converged at an intersection close to the Jamarat Bridge. Immediately after the carnage, King Salman said he had “instructed concerned authorities to review the operations plan [and] to raise the level of organization and management.” Saudi Arabia’s health minister blamed the pilgrims, saying they failed to follow instructions.

Both of these narrow responses mask the far deeper problem: a monarchy that rules Saudi Arabia without any airing of criticism of the regime or tradition of accountability. When failures occur or crises threaten public safety, there is no unbridled media around to identify those responsible and expose errors to the public. Decision-making is obscure and shrouded in secrecy. The consequences of this misrule were amply evident when the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, a severe coronavirus, began to sweep through the kingdom in 2012-2013. For a long time, the authorities assured people everything was all right, but it wasn’t, in part because of a breakdown in infection control at some hospitals.

This sounds like a story that a good blogger or activist might expose. But in Saudi Arabia today, bloggers and others who dissent are violently punished for speaking out. The disaster at the hajj is a bell tolling not only for the horrible loss of life, but also for the intolerant, closed system of Saudi rule.

Source: Newspapers

28-09-2015 – 16:33 Last updated 28-09-2015 – 16:33


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