1996 News Story

Minister of Pilgrimage talks about this year's Hajj

Minister of Pilgrimage Dr. Mahmoud Safar today stated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would never allow the staging of any procession or demonstration during the Hajj season, which is not a suitable time for raising meaningless slogans, saying:  “The Kingdom believes that it is its duty to ensure the safety of the pilgrims and will never tolerate exploitation of the pilgrimage for disputes and propaganda.   The Kingdom wants the pilgrims to adhere to Islamic behavior and devote their time to performing their rituals and worshipping Almighty God without confusing their efforts with worldly purposes.”

Dr. Safar repeated that service to the pilgrims is a great honor for the Kingdom, and recalled the efforts exerted by Saudi Arabia to enable the guests of God to perform their rituals in comfort and ease.

Dr. Safar praised the adherence of Islamic countries to the quotas, which are set properly and rationally since the area of Mina, where pilgrims spend two days, is surrounded by mountains, and therefore limited.   Stating that too many people at Mina would cause security and health problems, he said:  “It is better to allow a limited number of pilgrims so as to enable them to perform their rituals in comfort and ease.”  He added that the Kingdom had spent about SR 70 billion (U.S. $ 18.7 billion) in implementing the expansion projects at the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah and in constructing new roads, bridges and tunnels.