06/27/2018, 18.38
TUNISIA - ISLAM
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For some Tunisian imams, Riyadh is using Hajj money to finance Islamic terrorism

by Kamel Abderrahmani

The Hajj or pilgrimage to Makkah, the fifth pillar of the Islamic faith, will take place from Sunday 19 to Friday 24 August. Last year, some two million people took part in the celebration. For some Tunisian imams, Riyadh of using the revenues generated by the pilgrimage (about US$ 10 billion) to finance terrorism. They want to see “the obligation of this year's pilgrimage" cancelled.

Paris (AsiaNews) – Hajj is the sacred pilgrimage to Makkah that Muslims must perform at least once in their lifetime. It is the fifth pillar of Islam. But the billions of dollars the event generates is controlled Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia has been accused of funding Islamic terrorism and the war in Yemen, in part through the revenues generated by the Hajj. For this and other reasons, some Tunisian imams have called for a suspension of the pilgrimage obligation for this year. What follows are the thoughts of one of our contributors, a Muslim student.

Some brave and alert imams were born in Tunisia. They are not like some found in Algeria, Morocco, Egypt and elsewhere in the Muslim world. Through their union, they have called on the Grand Mufti of Tunisia "to cancel the obligation of this year's pilgrimage", given the economic benefits to the population that such a decision would bring. This could not be wrong given the cost of the hajj, which has gone "higher and higher" in the recent past. For example, in France, it is between 4,500 euros and 6,500 euros (US$ 5,200 and US$ 7,500).

The courage of these imams has pushed them not to beat around the bush. These imams make another argument I fully share. They evoke a very serious and very delicate question which unfortunately is not mentioned in other predominantly Muslim countries, namely the ideological and security question. These imams say that the money raised "is used to finance the attacks in other Muslim countries". Thus, for them it would be more appropriate to use this money "to improve the socio-economic situation of Tunisians".

I entirely share this last argument with these imams. Each pilgrimage brings to Saudi Arabia between US$ 10 and 12 billion. This is a huge source of economic rent after hydrocarbons and fits in with the kingdom’s plan to boost its tourist sector. But, the question today is where does this money go? Why is this money not shared with the poor of Muslim countries and countries that suffer from famine, especially since the majority of those who go to Makkah are poor who have saved their money for years to make the trip?

Personally, what is the pilgrimage before it is a pillar of Islam? It is one of Saudi Arabia’s commercial pillars. In other words, the Saudi God is a business and worship at the same time. This is why I ask all other Muslim countries to boycott and not contribute to the death of their Yemeni brothers, because this very money is being used to prepare '' the army of Allah '' against the ''Yemeni infidels”.  Let them also realise that this money is also being used against them through Wahhabi funding of proselytism in their own countries.

Let us all welcome the initiative of Tunisian imams and be at their side against the enemy of peace and the friend of Islamist terrorism: Wahhabism. With this money, we should build hospitals, schools and universities to protect our children from ignorance and an archaic conception of life and religion.

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