Senior cleric proposes: Let OIC manage Hajj pilgrimage

Tehran, Sept 25, IRNA – A senior cleric here on Friday condemned obvious poor management of Hajj pilgrimage of the Saudi officials and urged the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to take up the management responsibility of the Hajj pilgrimage.

Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani, the interim Friday Prayers leader of Tehran, added that the Saudi government has a duty to accept its heavy responsibility for this bitter event.

He attributed the blame for the Hajj stampede to the poor management and incompetent actions of the concerned Saudi officials.
Saudi Arabia’s government has shown that they do not deserve to shoulder the management of the Hajj pilgrimage and sufficient proof for that is the occurrence of two regretful incidents in a short period of time, the cleric said.

Condoling with the families of the dead pilgrims, he noted that Saudi Arabia should be held responsible towards the death of so many pilgrims.

Emami Kashani urged the Muslim states to refer the case of Mina stampede to the International Court of Justice in Hague.

According to the Guardian Daily, witnesses to a stampede that left more than 1,000 people dead at the hajj in Saudi Arabia on Thursday blamed Saudi authorities and said they were afraid of continuing the rituals.

The worst tragedy in 25 years at the annual Muslim pilgrimage occurred on Thursday during the symbolic stoning of Satan at Mina, just outside the holy city of Mecca.

Saudi Arabia’s latest Hajj disaster raises serious safety questions.

Huge numbers of pilgrims alone do not explain the recurrence of fatal accidents – it is the states must take blame for poor planning and incompetence in such cases.

At least 717 people were killed and 863 people were hurt (according to official Saudi statistics), spurring King Salman to order “a revision” of Hajj organization while authorities started to investigate the disaster.

“There was crowding. The police had closed all entrances and exits to the pilgrims’ camp, leaving only one,” said Ahmed Abu Bakr, a 45-year-old Libyan who escaped the stampede with his mother.

One outspoken critic of redevelopment at the holy sites said that despite the large numbers, police were not properly trained and lacked the language skills for communicating with foreign pilgrims, who make up the majority of those on the Hajj pilgrimage.