Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hajj Alert

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam. It is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, it includes Tawaf, which is the encircling of the Kaaba, the huge black rock.

Every year millions of Muslims from all over the world come to Mecca to celebrate, or as some say, to perform the Hajj which begins this year on October 13. And every year Saudi Arabia warns pilgrims not to use the event for political purposes.

Saudi Arabia is concerned - especially this year.

The Saudis have warned the Muslim Brotherhood not to disturb the peace of the Hajj. They have banned the "four finger banner" and any signs connected to Rabba which means "four" in Arabic.

Rabba, as a slogan and movement, originates with four people killed in a protest in a square, which has four sides (and is called rabba in Arabic) outside a Cairo mosque called the Rabbah Al Adwiyah Mosque.

The word four and the raising of four fingers have replaced the "V for Victory" among many protestors in the Islamic world over the past few months.

There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia is correct to fear that the Muslim Brotherhood is planning something. 95,000 security personnel have been positioned throughout Mecca and an additional 40,000 have been recruited and trained over the past few weeks - all in order to maintain law and order.

But that will not stop the Brotherhood. I expect trouble.

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