Haj, Iran And Lies: Is It That Iran Doesn't Really Care For Haj?
30 May 2016
By Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi
On Russia Today TV station, my Iranian counterpart, Hasan Hani Zada, managing
editor of the Iranian news agency, Mehr, was recently heard saying that
''Saudi Arabia's refusal to let Iranian pilgrims curse Israel during Haj was
meant to please the Zionist nation.''
In support of his argument, he claimed ''Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir
recently visited Israel and met with its prime minister and defense minister
to conspire against Iran and its pilgrims. That's why Saudi Arabia is putting
all these obstacles against Iran. We only wanted to protect our pilgrims from
Saudi security failures, but they refused to give us guarantees that no
Iranian would be harmed this year.''
He and other Iranian spokespersons repeat statements like: ''In Iraq and
Syria, Saudi special forces are killing Iranians and Arabs. Iran only
intervenes to protect Arab civilians from Saudi and Israeli armies. We are
fighting in Iraq and Syria to liberate Palestine. Iran tries to save Yemen
from genocide by Saudis. Taliban, Daesh (the so-called Islamic State) and Al-Qaeda
It is tough to argue with such unprofessional liars. They talk about
conspiracies and events that no one has heard of, except them. They drag
Israel and America into all issues. And they don't have any evidence and logic
to substantiate their accusations.
It is easy to point out the incoherence in their arguments, but they say too
many things, in too many directions, in so short time! In live discussions,
you are only given few minutes to respond. By the time you finish disputing
the first pack of lies, your time is up. If you choose to just answer the
moderator's questions, viewers may think you are admitting to the accusations.
Fortunately, this time around, I had enough time to respond. I asked my
opponent a few questions of my own: ''If we are supporting the Taliban, Daesh
and Al-Qaeda, how come they keep attacking us, but have never attacked Iran —
inside or outside its long borders?''
''If America, Israel and the West are Iran's worst enemies, how come you
signed one deal after another with them? Why have you given up your nuclear
ambitions to please and satisfy their demands?''
''Since, as you admitted that Iran has been demanding a license for political
demonstrations since the dawn of the revolution, and Saudi Arabia has always
refused, why this time you decided to deprive Iranians from performing Haj?''
''If such a demonstration is a religious requirement, why Muslims from 74
nations have not practiced it?''
''Do you believe Iran is the one and only country that truly understands Islam
and correctly practices Haj?''
''What would happen if other Muslims decided to demonstrate as well? What if
the Sunnis, Arabs and Kurds in Iran expressed their views against you? The
Pakistanis against India? The Palestinian against Israel? The Syrian people
against Iran and Russia? The Iraqi Sunnis against Iran and its Shiite
militias? The Lebanese against Hezbollah? Would your pilgrims be safer then?
And where in the crowded space of the holy Makkah would we be able to
accommodate all these demonstrations? And how much security forces and civil
services would be enough to maintain order and guarantee the safety of
''If we were to turn Haj into noisy, competitive and tense political contests,
how much of peaceful spirituality would be left to worshipers?''
''Would you accept similar demonstrations for Sunni Muslims and
Ahwaz Arabs in Qom? If so, why did your forces attack peaceful demonstrators
protesting the rigging of the presidential elections in 2009, and during Iran
Spring, 2012? Those were Iranians, Shiite, and Parsis, but still you wouldn't
allow them to express their political views peacefully. Should Saudi tolerate
what you wouldn't, even of your own people?''
Is it that Iran doesn't really care for Haj?
Its religious leaders, Khomeini and Khamenei included, had never been to the
holy land, since they preferred visiting Najaf and Karbala to Makkah. They
couldn't convince their people to change direction, so they kept causing such
incidents and raising obstacles and issues, looking for an excuse to prevent
Haj. The other goal is to disturb Haj and prove Saudis are not capable of
Sharing the management of Haj has always been their stated goal, ever since
the start of the Khomeini revolution. Their problem is that other Muslim
nations don't agree with them. Their isolation in the Muslim world is
increasing and tightening, and that may explain why their stands are becoming
so aggressive, impatient, desperate and illogical.
I am so sorry for our brothers and sisters in Iran who would lose their right
to practice Haj this year. My heart and prayers go out to them. As for the
Revolutionary Guards, who infiltrate and accompany the innocent Hajis, I am
only happy that we won't need to tolerate them this time.
Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi is a Saudi writer based in Jeddah. He can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at Twitter:@kbatarfi