Archive for October 1st, 2012

The recent decision by Saudi Arabia to enforce an obsolete rule requiring that women under the age of 45 be accompanied by a man, is a very bad choice for a country that is allegedly trying to modernize. The new enforcement was conducted against a reported 1000 Nigerian women on Hajj, or Greater Pilgrimage, to Mecca this week. That and the additional insult against Nigerian people by deporting those couples, on Hajj, whose surnames did not match, have angered Nigerian Officials.

Countries have the right, no matter how backward, to dictate this kind of sexist repressive ruling on their own folks. This however, is a blatant attempt to dictate how Islam is to be conducted by other countries. 1000 Nigerian women don’t make that kind of arduous journey with insincere motives, or the idea that they may offend God. There is only one Mecca and that site embodies the beliefs of a wide and vast Islam.

The reported Wahhabist condoned destruction of precious historical buildings in the area and the failure to make Mecca a World Heritage site indicates how Saudi Arabia intends to keep control over a location that is not replicable.  Saudi Arabia makes a pile of money every year on the Hajj pilgrimage and the lesser Umrah. As hosts, and as a purely commercial enterprise, the Saudi’s do a pretty fair job of crowd control, health services, housing and presentation.

However, this Saudi action indicates that the site of Mecca may now be lost to some, that it’s fundamental meaning is evolving, and that this year’s Hajj will proclaim sexist rather than Islamic solidarity.

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