Press TV has interviewed the imam of Masjid al-Islam in Washington, Abdul Alim Musa, to discuss Saudi Arabia’s mismanagement of Hajj rituals, which led to the crush in Mina, near Mecca.
Musa says Saudi Arabia has a long history of ignoring the safety of the Muslim pilgrims, adding that Saudi police brutality left at least 400 dead in 1987 and another 1,400 pilgrims were killed in a crush the next year.
He says Saudi Arabia should be stripped of the authority to run the Hajj pilgrimage, because it does not pay attention to the pilgrims’ safety, adding that while “Mecca should be a haven of peace and tranquility,” it has turned – under Saudi management – to an “area of turmoil.”
The imam refers to Al Saud’s negligence toward Islamic values and the need for neutrality during the most important pilgrimage in Islam, saying that Riyadh refused to allow Yemeni Muslims to travel to Saudi Arabia in order to perform this year’s Hajj rituals.
Musa expresses hope that other Muslim nations would be able to take the responsibility of running the Hajj rites in their hands in the future to avoid catastrophes like the recent crane crash in Mecca and the deadly crush in Mina.