Qataris have taken to social media to express their dismay towards their ruler Sheikh Tamim after what they described as his persistent politicization of the Hajj pilgrimage.
The trending hashtag demands Sheikh Tamim to step down. Another hashtag which began to emerge stipulated that “Abdullah is Qatar’s future,” in reference to Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani’s recent attempts to mediate with the Saudi Arabia to allow Qatari pilgrims into the country.
Translation: “Leave Tamim, because this is what the honorable Qatari people want - I have a Qatari friend who I've been in contact with from the start of the crisis. He says, at first we were drawn to what our government [the Qatari government] was saying towards the state of events. However today, we cannot overlook the reality of things ... especially when observing how the country has acted in regards to Hajj.”
However, the Qatari government had declined gestures from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to ease Hajj for Qatari pilgrims, according to statements from Saudi civil aviation officials and the Bahraini foreign minister. The hashtags also attempt to denounce a Turkish military presence in the streets of Qatar.
Translation: “Sheikh Abdullah Althani the wise, ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’.”
Despite the negative connotation the hashtags hold, some posts featuring it continued to praise Sheikh Tamim.
Meanwhile, Qatari pilgrims have been allowed to enter the kingdom via the Salwa border connecting both countries.
Several Qatari pilgrims have expressed their gratitude towards King Salman's initiative. They also praised the swift and easy customs process.