Bowdoin’s Morrison Reacts to Iran-Saudi Hajj Fallout

Robert Morrison128

Robert Morrison

On Friday, September 9, 2016,  about two million Muslims from around the world begin their annual hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, where they will gather at the holy city of Mecca for five days of rituals and prayer. The event comes amid a harsh war of words between the Saudi government and Iran, sparked by the disaster which occurred during last year’s hajj, when by most estimates more than 2,400 pilgrims died in a stampede.

The Iranian leadership has called on its citizens to boycott this year’s pilgrimage, and squarely blames Saudi incompetence for the tragedy, accusing Saudi authorities of effectively “murdering” the victims, which included more than 460 Iranians, according to Teheran. Meanwhile a top Saudi cleric, the Grand Mufti Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, responded by accusing Iranians of not being true Muslims. Professor of Religion Robert G. Morrison shared his reaction to the developments.

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