Mena Tragedy (3)
Welcome to the 3rd part of our 8-part series on last year’s tragedy at Mena in holy Mecca during the Hajj pilgrimage that led to the martyrdom of some 2,000 pilgrims to the symbolic house of God, the holy Ka’ba, including 464 Iranians, because of the criminal negligence of law and order by the Wahhabi regime of Saudi Arabia, which this year has violated the tenets of Islam by barring pilgrims from Iran from performing the religious obligation of Hajj.
The Saudi regime tried to hide the horrific aspects of Mena tragedy, but the tragedy was so grave that its efforts proved futile. In the very first moments, photos and news were released by people on social networks. In view of this, the Aal-e Saud Wahhabi clique had no other choice, but to acknowledge its mistakes.
Yesterday, we referred to some tragic incidents during the annual Hajj over the past few decades, resulting in loss of pilgrim life. Today we focus on the horrific incidents that occurred last year in Mecca, beginning with the collapse of a huge crane in the premises of the Masjd al-Haraam Mosque that led to the death of 107 pilgrims.
The crane was one of the biggest of its kind, and which, as the Saudis claim, was part of the project for expansion of the Grand Mosque, the Saudi regime did not move the heavy cranes from the holy shrine. Then on 27th Zi’l-Qa’dah, corresponding to 11 September 2015, the huge and heavy crane collapsed in the courtyard of the Grand Mosque, causing panic and in addition to the 107 pilgrims killed, it resulted in the injury of over 238 others.
It is still not clear whether the collapse of the crane was a genuine accident as a result of technical failure, or it was due to sheer negligence by the Saudi regime, which does not attach any value to human life. There are some who maintain that the crane was deliberately downed in order to cause calculated inconvenience to pilgrims.
The major tragedy of last year’s Hajj pilgrimage lay in wait at Mena. On the morning of Eid al-Adha on September 24, 2015, when the huge number of pilgrims was converging on Mena to stone the symbolic devils, the Saudi security forces blocked the main road and forced the pilgrims to take a secondary path, which was narrow and whose exits were closed.
It seems the main path was being used for a convoy of regime officials, headed by the notorious defence minister, Mohammad bin Salman, who as deputy heir apparent controls all the corridors of power in Saudi Arabia. Soon, the narrow secondary path was overcrowded with over 7 thousand pilgrims who had walked a long way under the blazing sun, and were in no mood to wait. The Saudi forces deliberately remained indifferent to the plight of the pilgrims, and instead of averting any untoward incident, they worsened the crisis.
As a result, a stampede occurred. As a smiling Mohammad bin Salman speeded away from Mena, over 2,000 pilgrims lost their life, and thousands of others were injured. This means the Saudi regime is responsible for this crime against humanity. Among the dead were over 464 Iranian pilgrims. Let us present an eyewitness account of the tragedy.
After a long wait, I set out hopefully for the Land of Divine Revelation. While on board the aircraft I rehearsed in mind the performance of rituals which were taught to us in Iran before departure. Still I was anxious. Part of this anxiety was about the rude behaviour of Saudi officials of which I had heard numerous reports. The Wahhabi clique always behaves savagely with the Guests of God, especially with the Shi’a Muslims.
Nonetheless with trust in God, I tried to be optimistic as I fell asleep. We landed in Medina, where the airport authorities caused unnecessary delays. After long inspection of the baggage of each and every pilgrim, my turn came. The Saudi official picked up the copy of the Qur’an which I was carrying and very rudely, in a blasphemous manner, cast it aside. I got angry at this disrespect and when I questioned his rude behaviour, he gave a foolish answer, saying the Masjid al-Harraam was full of copies of the holy Qur’an.
Later on, when our batch of pilgrims received our suitcases, we realized that the Saudis had taken away all copies of the holy Qur’an, and even books of prayer pertaining to the correct performance of the Hajj rituals.