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Saudi Arabia to probe into the exploitation issue and facilities available to Pilgrims

Published by Ozgur Tore
SUNDAY, 18 NOVEMBER 2012 00:50

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was highly commended by the British Muslim community for the successful Hajj this year.

This was only possible because of the hard work and highest level of services provided by King Abdullah, The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure the safety and welfare of the Guests of Allah (SWT).

However, it is now time for the authorities in Saudi Arabia to look into other issues related to the facilities available to the Hajj Pilgrims. One of the issues of concern that have to be addressed is from the perspective of how the Hajjis are received at the Hajj terminal in Jeddah, the state of the sanitary facilities in Makkah and the Hajj sites – Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, and the service stations between Makkah and Madinah; all require urgent attention from relevant authorities to maintain high standards of cleanliness.

Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK expresses its extreme concern that Hajj is becoming more monetary oriented and its ethics are being lost. A vast majority of the pilgrims are suffering from extreme hardship, difficulties, mental anguish, and financial exploitation at the hands of unscrupulous and rogue Hajj/Umrah service providers including airlines and the hotel industry.

ABH urges the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to adopt a zero tolerance policy and do a crack down on those who are responsible for this growing culture of deception and immoral practices in the Hajj & Umrah service provider industry.

It is a disgrace that these service providers are preying on vulnerable pilgrims including sick, elderly, and women cheating and charging them at extortionate and unjustified prices for the Hajj & Umrah packages, which is a total rip-off compared to travel packages to other destinations around the world, in view that many pilgrims are likely to have spent their life-savings to fulfil their desires and wishes to perform their religious obligation.

These issues must be addressed by the relevant authorities in the Kingdom if we all are to work in tandem towards making the Hajj/Umrah experience a memorable one in the best possible sense for all those Pilgrims who perform the sacred Hajj Pilgrimage.

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