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Potomac, Maryland 20854
Tragedy at Hajj
Thursday October 1st
This year's annual congregation of Hajj was marred by some heart
wrenching and unprecedented tragedies which took the lives of
hundreds of innocent Muslims who took the journey to the Land of the
Revelation to fulfill their divinely ordained obligation.
It also demonstrated a clear shortsightedness and failure of
management and leadership on the part of the host government, the
Saudi Monarchy, which is entrusted with the safety and wellbeing of
the pilgrims and proper organization and execution of the Hajj
A huge stampede at Mina, reportedly caused by an unannounced closure
of some roads for the passing of a Saudi Prince's entourage, forced
the rerouting of thousands of pilgrims at the last minute.
As a result of this mismanagement and planning failure, a stampede
broke out that took the lives of over 700 Muslims and injured
hundreds more. Official figures put the number of pilgrims this year
at 1.9 million who gather at Mina on the same day.
This tragedy was the second in this year's Hajj. In the first
incident, the collapse of a construction crane at the Masjid
ul-Haram took the lives of 109 Muslims.
The government of Saudi Arabia, as the self-proclaimed custodians of
the two Holy Sanctuaries and host to the annual Hajj pilgrimage,
must bear the responsibility for its poor conduct and negligence
during this annual event. They should answer to the world's Muslims
why two tragedies in one year took hundreds of lives.
We at the Islamic Education Center share the grief of the Muslims
around the world as they mourn the loss of their loved ones. Instead
of welcoming them back with open arms and happy faces at the
conclusion of their Journey, they greet their coffin draped bodies.
IEC will hold a memorial service for the victims of this year's Hajj
tragedies on Thursday October 1st. Please join our community and the
larger Muslim Ummah to remember these Hajjis as their families and
loved ones grieve their loss.