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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 are Saudi-supported!''

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 millions?''

''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 managing it.

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 kbatarfi@gmail.com. Follow him at Twitter:@kbatarfi
 

  EsinIslam.Com

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