Saudis: Call for Internationalization of Holy Sites a ‘Declaration of War’ by Qatar

Qatar Says They Never Made Any Suggestion

Muslims are obliged to make a hajj pilgrimage to Mecca at some point in their lifetime, a fact which is sometimes very complicated, as Saudi Arabia isn’t always on good terms with the nations those Muslims are coming from. This has led to some suggestions of internationalizing the holy sites.

It’s not clear how serious this proposal is or who made it, but Saudi Arabia is outraged, insisting that not only is it a “declaration of war,” but that it’s a declaration of war made by Qatar, who they’re in the process of blockading already.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abulrahman al-Thani was puzzled by this fury coming out of Saudi Arabia, noting that the Qatari government had never made any such call in the first place, and was sick of the Saudis getting mad at them for false information.

Qatari officials did complain to the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion yesterday, complaining the Saudi blockade was an obstacle to Qataris who wanted to make the hajj this year, but it does not appear that they made any calls for anything other than for help ensuring the Saudis let Muslims visit Mecca.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of