Saudi targets Shia seeking to go on Hajj pilgrimage

Saudi Arabia is forcing Shia to mark themselves much the same as Hitler marked the Jews


WASHINGTON,  May 2, 2015 – “Are you Shia?” This is the questions Muslims are forced to answer as they apply for Hajj pilgrimage.

Every year, around three million pilgrims visit the city of Mecca. The process of getting a visa is either via  a travel agency or via applications directly from other countries. Due to limited space and lack of Saudi service during that time, Saudi officials have arranged for different countries to limit the number of people they can send to the Hajj pilgrimage.

Some countries have created a ministry of Hajj to deal with limitations or discrimination against Shia who are attempting to participate in Hajj.

Every year, people from different sects of Islam practice this holy ritual, regardless of whether they are Sunni or Shia. All Muslim pilgrims follow the same path and practice the same ritual.

Unfortunately, Saudi authorities have taken steps to to politicize the pilgrimage and have shown disrespect to Shia Muslims. This is particularly difficult this year, as the Saudi-Iranian proxy war across the Middle East has accelerated.

Saudi authorities use the propaganda of Iranian agents to exclude the Shia from their community and pressure them as outsiders.

This year, for the first time, Saudi Arabia included a question on the Hajj application specifically asking whether the applicant is Shia. This shows the clear discrimination toward Shia Muslims since Saudi Arabia is separating Shia Muslims from others even in their applications.

Saudi Arabia has a long history of discrimination toward different religions. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), in the its 2015 report, recommended that Saudi authorities take a step forward and ensure the equality of rights and protection of Shia Muslims.

The action is not only discriminatory, but it also deprives Shia Muslims of the right to participate in Hajj.


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  • Ayesha Fatima Khan

    Since I am a Shia and my mother went for Hajj last year I think I should post this status and let all my friends know that the question Are You Shia? has been there on the hajj form since ages. I even confirmed it from the Kafila leader with whom my mother traveled and who deals with all the paper work of the pilgrims each year. The logic behind this question being that Shia women do not require a Mehram to accompany them if they wish to perform hajj. Therefore, Saudi government asks the gender and sect to provide for this difference in the Sunni and Shia shariat.
    I am absolutely shocked at how this is being highlighted all of a sudden by media in a very different light altogether. Why? God Knows.

    Shame on you people

    • Ayesha Fatima Khan, thanks for your review and comment. The issue of being shia and being discriminated during the hajj have long history. but never applied in the Applications that need to be fill out. There are many sect of Islam go to hajj but only Shia being highlighted. Also, Shia women being to hajj never ever being asked if they are Shia or Sunni or…. as you see the “are you shia?” question is not in front of Male or Female question. Shia Muslims get arrested, abused just for praying as Shia way. My self got arrested in Madina because of praying and having Turba “Prayer stone” in front of me.

      It is matter of respecting all Muslim during the Hajj not discriminating others.