Tuesday, 19 Feb 2019

Indonesian students was questioning the attitudes of Saudi Arabia that have politicized of Hajj


Indonesian students was questioning the attitudes of Saudi Arabia that have politicized of HajjIndonesian students was questioning the attitudes of Saudi Arabia that have politicized of Hajj -  Saudi Arabia has politicized access to Haj, according to the organizers of the Muslim youth conference in Indonesia.

Ziyad Abdul Malik, head of the Muslim Student Association (HMI) branch in South Jakarta, condemned the kingdom for using a pilgrimage to Mecca, considers Islam's holiest city, to enforce its policies in other Gulf countries and Muslim-majority countries.

HMI, the largest student group in Indonesia, hosted the event - dubbed "Islamic Holy Places for All of the Ummah" - at the University of Indonesia in Depok.

Malik then accused Saudi Arabia of interfering in the conference itself. The event was originally scheduled to take place at the State Islamic University in Jakarta, located in the Indonesian capital, but was canceled at the request of the Saudi embassy.

"We are students, and students usually discuss a lot of things," he said. "Why is this a problem for Saudi Arabia?"

Representatives of the Garda Suci Merah Putih (GSMP), other organizations participating in the conference, argue that Saudi Arabia has violated the terms of its role as the custodian of the holiest site of Islam in Mecca and Medina.

"Only God that has the right to forbid anyone to go on hajj, not Saudi Arabia," Mujtahid Hasheem, GSMP secretary-general, as quoted from Al Jazeera.

Hasheem alluded to the example of Syrian pilgrims, who must go through a committee controlled by Saudi-backed opposition groups to obtain visas for the religious journey. Saudi Arabia broke off their diplomatic ties with the Syrian government in 2012 due to the ongoing civil war in the country. In Yemen, Hasheem noted, the Saudis have taken similar action, politicizing haj access based on the country's alliance. Saudi Arabia has backed the government in Yemen and has led a coalition of Arab-majority nations in a war against opposition groups, such as the Houthi rebels. Hasheem added that restrictions on Qatari citizens - who have been blockaded by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and others since the summer of 2017 - are further proof of the royal fault.


Pilgrimage is a religious requirement for all able-bodied Muslims who have the financial means to travel, in accordance with religious guidelines. Indonesia is the most populous Muslim majority country in the world, Hasheem argues that Indonesians play an important role in ensuring that haj access is in line with religious guidelines. Officials must urge Saudi Arabia to abandon restrictions on the right to worship, Hasheem said.

In 2017, an estimated 221,000 Indonesians perform Hajj.


Shujaat Ali, general secretary of the Muslim Student Organization of India, accused Saudi Arabia of destroying well-known religious sites, such as the birthplace of Islamic prophet Muhammad. Ali cites statistics from Washington-based Gulf Institute Washington, which estimates that 95 percent of the famous buildings in Mecca have been destroyed in the past two decades.

"What is there now? American companies like McDonald's, Starbucks, and so on," he said.

Organizers added that they intend to hold another international conference in the future to discuss the establishment of an international body to manage the Hajj.

"We will invite international scientists and scholars [a group of religious scientists], and we will even invite Saudi Arabia to join," Hasom Haskom added.


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