Awwad: Qatar using pilgrimage for narrow political goals

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Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awwad Bin Saleh Al-Awwad said before the ATQ (Anti-terror Quartet) meeting in Jeddah on Thursday that Qatari people are welcome for Hajj this year like every year.

The meeting, whose objective is to boost joint action to discuss media issues of concern to the countries calling for combating terror and coordinating stances against the tendentious Qatari media campaigns supporting violence and extremism and spreading hate speech, comes as an extension of the previous meeting in Cairo.

Al-Awwad stressed that Hajj is a divine ritual of concern to the Kingdom. It exerts its utmost efforts to make the Haj a success. This has been going on since the founding of the Kingdom. It has proved throughout history its success in providing its services to the pilgrims.

Haj a political decadence

Al-Awwad considered the politicization of the Hajj to be a political decadence by which the Qatari government intends to create confusion and take advantage of this great ritual for narrow political goals. He added that throughout modern history Qatar is the second country to politicize Hajj. Before it, Iran tried and its efforts totally failed.

Al-Awwad stressed that the Qatari people are welcome this year (for Hajj) like every year. Several corridors have been opened for Qatari pilgrims and they have been provided with all the requirements for performing Haj rites with ease and comfort.

He further said the Qataris wishing to perform Haj should not believe the false propaganda stating that they are forbidden from performing Hajj. The Kingdom welcomes all Muslims from all corners of the globe and it spares no effort to facilitate the Haj rites, so that the pilgrim is comfortable and has peace of mind.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on August 4, 2017.