Egyptian Religious Figures Demand Change of Hajj Authority

SHAFAQNA - Several Egyptian religious figures joined a growing number of Muslim world elites and politicians demanding the change of authority in charge of running Hajj rituals from Riyadh to a collection of Muslim states after the Friday night’s crane crash at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca killed and wounded hundreds of pilgrims. 

“Many mistakes have been made during the Hajj ceremony in recent decades and the bloody Friday incident was not the first case and will not be the last either; therefore, unless a revolution doesn’t take place in the administration and management of the Hajj ceremony in Saudi Arabia, we will witness such incidents in future too,” Sheikh Salman Mohammad, the advisor of Egypt’s ministry of endowment said on Thursday. 

Also Ashraf Fahmi, a professor at Egypt’s al-Azhar university, said that Saudi Arabia should admit its mistakes in handling the Hajj ceremony and take serious measures to correct the way it administers the ceremony. 

Storms were lashing the Saudi city of Mecca when strong winds reportedly brought down the crane that was part of construction works. 

Tons of rubble and debris crashed to the ground on top of scores of people gathering in the mosque for 6:30 prayers when a section of the crane crashed through the roof. 

At least 107 people were killed and 238 more were injured when the crane collapsed on to the Grand Mosque during storms. 

The crane which crashed through the ceiling of the Grand Mosque of Mecca, killing over a hundred pilgrims, operated for a company owned by Saudi Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, Arab media disclosed on Saturday. 

Meantime, other media sources claimed that the crane belongs to a German crane company operated by the Bin Laden family’s consortium, who are heading the expansion of the Holy Mosque. 

In relevant remarks on Monday, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani blamed the Saudi administration’ negligence as the main cause of the Friday deadly crane collapse in Mecca. 

“The Saudi government should have made the necessary preparations to safeguard the lives of the pilgrims,” Larijani said in a message of condolence to the bereaved families of the victims. 

He regretted that the Hajj rituals coincided with this sad incident, and asked Saudi officials to immediately probe into the case.

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