Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeNews ReportsEscorted to off-site location, detained and interrogated: Saudi Arabia cracks down on Muslims using...

Escorted to off-site location, detained and interrogated: Saudi Arabia cracks down on Muslims using Mecca and Medina for activism about Palestine and Gaza

According to Islah Abdur-Rahman, a Saudi soldier reprimanded him for raking up the issue of 'Israel-Palestine' in Mecca by wearing the keffiyeh.

Amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, Saudi Arabia is actively cracking down on Muslims for political activism in Mecca and Medina.

As per a report by The Middle East Eye, the Kingdom has detained several Muslims for displaying solidarity for Gaza and Palestine in the twin Islamic Holy sites. One of the detainees was a British actor and presenter by the name of Islah Abdur-Rahman.

He had travelled to Mecca with his family in late October and wore a Palestinian keffiyeh (square scarf) at the Islamic site to make a political statement. He was soon detained by Saudi soldiers.

While speaking about the matter, Islah Abdur-Rahman remarked, “I was stopped by four soldiers for wearing a white keffiyeh around my head and a Palestinian-coloured tasbih (rosary beads) around my wrist. I was escorted to an off-site location where they detained people for possible crimes or offences.”

“Once I was detained, there were other soldiers who interrogated me and asked me about my nationality, why I’m here, where I travelled from, how long I’m here for…It was evident that the scarf was the issue. They were talking in Arabic but they kept saying ‘Palestinian keffiyeh’ and looking at the scarf.”

According to the British actor, a Saudi soldier reprimanded him for raking up the issue of ‘Israel-Palestine’ in Mecca by wearing the keffiyeh. He was eventually freed after handing over his fingerprints and the contentious scarf.

Islah Abdur-Rahman laments Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on pro-Palestinians

“At first, I was really scared, because I was in a country that’s not mine, I have no rights and they could do anything to me and I would not have a say, so I was afraid…Then, my fear turned into heartbreak… the heartbreak got worse when I realised that this is just an ounce of what Palestinians must go through,” he complained to The Middle East Eye.

An ‘upset’ Islah Abdur-Ragman claimed, “It made me realise how Palestinians in Gaza and in their country must feel being treated by the Israeli government, and the abuse they get just for being Palestinian. If anything it broadened my empathy even further than it already is.” He later had a prolonged meltdown on Instagram.

Despite being reminded by Saudi Arabians online that political symbolism was not allowed at the Holy sites in the Kingdom, the British actor alleged, “There is a universal Muslim understanding that this is not a random country and that Al-Aqsa in Palestine is one of the holiest sites in Islam…so I thought it would be OK.”

According to the Middle East Eye, an Algerian man was also detained by the Kingdom for 6 hours on 10th November this year for pro-Palestinian activism in Medina.

“In Medina, I did my prayers and I took the opportunity to supplicate for the children and victims in Palestine…Is it a crime to pray for the oppressed? I did not know that this was forbidden in the holy sites,” he brazened out.

The Muslim man claimed, “I had not even finished my prayers before soldiers came and took my phone and they made me delete a video where I was praying for people in Gaza.”

He alleged that he was escorted to different police stations and treated like a criminal. The Algerian man claimed that an Indonesian woman was similarly detained for wearing Palestinian flag on her hijab.

“I have high blood pressure and I’m diabetic, but was held for six hours. I was treated like a criminal and told that I was detained for ‘sympathising and praying for Palestine’ and my fingerprints were taken,” he informed.

Saudi Arabia turns down resolution to impose restrictions on Israel

On 11th November, Saudi Arabia turned down a desperate bid by some Muslim countries to economically and militarily isolate Israel during the emergency Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh.

As per a report by Channel 12, several Islamic nations met in Saudi Arabia’s capital city to discuss the Israel-Hamas war and wanted to impose 5 measures against Israel.

The measures included the prevention of the transfer of military equipment to Israel from US bases in the Middle East, suspension of all economic and diplomatic ties with the Jewish State, cutting down on oil sales to the US over its support to Israel, and stopping Israeli air traffic over Gulf skies.

The resolution also called for sending a joint delegation to Russia, the US and Europe to ensure a ceasefire. Saudi Arabia along with Jordan, Egypt, Mauritania, Djibouti, Sudan, Morocco, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) blocked the controversial resolution.

The OIC nations also turned down Iran’s demand to label the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as a ‘terror organisation.’ An Arab-Islamic summit was hosted by Saudi Arabia on Saturday (11th October) to call for the end of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, which started after the Islamic terror outfit launched a terror attack on the Jewish State, killing 1400 Israelis in the process.

Initially, only the 22 member nations of the Arab League were scheduled to participate in the event. Later, the summit was expanded to include all 57 members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Join OpIndia's official WhatsApp channel

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -