Tag Archives: Mecca

Hundreds Of Muslims Kill Each Other In Mecca Stampede

SAUDI ARABIA, September 24, 2015– On one of the holiest holidays in the Muslim culture, the first day of Eid al-adha, at least 700 Muslim pilgrims were killed by fellow pilgrims in a stampede. At least another 800 were injured. The event took place around 9 AM during the ritual known as “stoning the devil” in the tent city of Mina when millions of Muslims were making their pilgrimage, or hajj, to Mecca two miles away.

The Saudi Arabian government reportedly laid blame on the pilgrims.

In a statement, Saudi Arabian health minister Khalid al-Falih said the stampede was “possibly caused by the movement of some pilgrims who didn’t follow the guidelines and instructions issued by the responsible authorities.”

The Iranian government has placed blame on Saudi officials. After saying the kingdom was responsible for Thursday’s tragedy, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said Saudi’s envoy to Tehran would be summoned to the foreign ministry.

The head of Iran’s Hajj organisation, Said Ohadi, said that, for “unknown reasons,” two paths had been closed off near the site of a symbolic stoning of the devil ritual where the stampede occurred.

“Today’s incident shows mismanagement and lack of serious attention to the safety of pilgrims,” said Ohadi. “There is no other explanation. The Saudi officials should be held accountable.”

Losing one’s life during the Hajj season is considered by many devout Muslims as an entry to heaven. On social media, many Muslims referred to the dead as martyrs.

A computerized crowd control system was installed by a British company in the wake of a previous major tragedy, which occurred in 2006, but did not cover the Mecca area.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Naye chairs the Saudi hajj committee. He has ordered an investigation into the incident.

The pilgrimage to Mecca is the largest human migration on the planet. Thursday’s incident was the most deadly in 25 years. In 1990, more than 1,400 Muslims died in a tunnel stampede which drew criticism from Muslim countries around the world aimed at Saudi Arabia.

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Man arrested in Saudi Arabia for filming the beheading of a woman

The Saudi Arabian police have arrested the man who filmed the public beheading of a woman in the streets of Mecca.

The footage, according to the Independent, showed Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Bassim being dragged through the streets of Mecca before four police officers surrounded her in the street. A man in a white robe then steps forward with a curved sword and deals three blows to Bassim’s neck, severing her head from her body.

Bassim was convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering her stepdaughter, according to Mediaite, but she claimed her innocence in the video up until the first sword blow met her neck.

“I did not kill. There is no God but God. I did not kill,” Bassim said while the police and executioner surrounded her. “This is injustice… I did not kill.”

After the public execution, the footage of the event was posted online by a human rights activist group in order to draw attention to the judicial system in place in the country. A UN investigation into the trials which have led to executions in Saudi Arabia called the trials “grossly unfair,” according to the Daily Mail.

Once the Saudi government saw the video online, an unnamed man was brought into custody, and a Saudi official told the New York Times, the man will face charges related to cyber-security.

The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), an organization based in Mecca, according to VICE News, said the dissemination of the footage is a crime and they want the person who filmed the execution punished.

“Those who disseminated the clip are not less guilty than those who filmed the execution,” said Mohammed Al Sahli, a member of the NSHR.

Other videos have been circulating online depicting public executions in Saudi Arabia. According to the Times of Israel, 10 people have been executed publicly this year already, while the number of public executions in 2014 was 87.