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Saudi Arabia Changes Hajj from an Annual Pilgrimage Designed for Unity to a Discrimination



A demand for justice is an important theme in current Islamic discourse. In this regard, discrimination against Muslims in the west that can be seen in banning the veil in some European countries, minarets in Switzerland, is a main complaint in Islamic political argument. Unfortunately, these issues are existed in some Muslim countries too.

The Hajj is a representation of Muslims’ gathering transcending race, ethnicity, color and other distinction. Muslims wear equal clothing to symbolize perfect brotherhood without seeing themselves as separate entities. However, people would have different experiences according to their countries. The Arabs experience hajj in a luxury way using the high-speed rail services and opulent accommodations while Muslims from the rest of the world would be transported by bus which could take several hours a day.

Although Hajj is based on equality, simplicity and brotherhood, it is a money making effort for Saudi Arabia that control all visits. Every opportunity is taken for maximizing the profit. A two week visit to Saudi Arabia during Hajj period would cost more than a world round tour. Saudi Arabia is one of the worst stratified societies at the apex of which Ibn Saud generation sit.

The right to access job, education, property, and the performance of the Hajj depends on where one belongs. The people on the top enjoy rights, but those on the bottom are affected who are usually the foreign workers. According to international human rights groups, the lack of fair trial standards, lack of freedom, forced labor conditions and beating of foreign workers are the serious issues in Saudi Arabia.

All these situations exist in the Islamic country of Saudi Arabia, while the Islamic law derived from the sayings of the prophet Mohammad declared that Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab and vice versa, as well as white man has no superiority over a black man and vice versa.