Qatar’s Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) has denied news published in Saudi media claiming that the ministry has suspended Hajj registrations for Qatari nationals.
The Ministry condemned what it described as “fabricated news” as being part of a campaign against Qatar. “The distortion of facts is meant to set obstacles for the pilgrims from Qatar to Mecca, following the crisis created by the siege countries,” the Qatari Ministry said.
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have currently imposed sanctions on Qatar, alleging that nation supports the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorism – a claim that Qatar has denied.
According to Awqaf, “Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah refused to communicate (to Qatar) regarding securing the pilgrims safety and facilitating their Hajj, stating that the issue is in the hands of the Saudi authorities and repudiated offering the Qatari pilgrims and safety guarantees.”
In a statement, Director of Hajj and Umrah Department at Awqaf Ali Sultan Al Misifry said the department had started the registration for Hajj from Qatar last March as per usual, and closed it in the same month, as it has done in previous years.
Al Misifry said that the number of registrars reached 20,000 national and resident pilgrims, of which many of them joined Hajj campaign to begin their holy ritual. However, when the Saudi Ministry refused to communicate and provide safety guarantees that led to the apprehension of the Hajj campaigns and pilgrims, especially as “the Qatari pilgrims have faced unjustified obstacles and harassment.”
Awqaf added that it is waiting to hear from the Saudi Arabia’s senior authorized entities if that country will be able to provide guarantees for the safety of Qatari pilgrims, and “expressed its regret for intertwining politics with one of the pillars of Islam, which may result in depriving many Muslims from performing this holy obligation.”