At least 107 people, including two Indians and an Iranian citizen, lost their lives as a crane fell on Hajj pilgrims in the Grand Mosque of Mecca. Reports added that the incident injured 238 people. These accidents are an ongoing tragedy during the Haj pilgrimage year after year. According to Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Mansouri, the official spokesman of the Presidency of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet Mosque, the fatal incident took place “due to strong sandstorm, winds and torrential rains,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The accident happened at a time when hundreds of thousands of Muslim pilgrims are flocking to the holy city to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
Saudi Arabia is rich country, in the good books of Israel and America. No one dares to ask the uneasy questions to those who wield power. Saudi Arabia is no exception. Human life, especially expats has no value there. The non-Wahabis, the Dark Skin non-Westerns are treated as bonded slaves. Expatriate workers in Middle East usually die of accidents and rarely they die due to natural reasons. They are more than 100 % physically fit when they leave their country shores. A long tardy and complicated process undergoes when their dead bodies are sent back to their country of origin. The pain is better known to them whose relatives have died in Middle East. It is similar story of pain and suffering in these monarchies.
Coming to recent tragedy of crane collapse into the Grand Mosques, these Wahabi rulers have already destroyed most of the historical sites in and around the vicinity of Holy Harams. They have built the banks, hotels, toilets and shopping malls there. Heritage means nothing and the earlier generation of Al Sauds have already destroyed the graveyards of family members of the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions in Mecca, Medina and Taif.
A never ending activity of construction is undertaken to turn the spiritual cities into the commercial hubs. These cranes lying precariously near the Holy Haram are just a proof of that mindless progress.
Every operation has a Standard Process or SOP. Nobody questions why the precautions were not taken by the authorities to avoid this tragedy? It is well known that the Saudi Civil Defense body had predicted the storms but it is not yet clear why the country’s officials did not observe the necessary safety precautions. According to the renowned meteorologist Jon Erdman at www.weather,com “Infrared satellite imagery showed an impressive conflagration of thunderstorms in the mountains around the Hollow of Mecca Friday evening. These storms were certainly capable of producing strong outflow wind gusts, as is often the case in desert environments.” The co-founder of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, an institution critical of Riyadh’s construction projects at the holy sites, has blamed the Saudi regime for its negligence in a deadly crane incident in Mecca.
On Friday, Irfan al-Alawi compared the fatalities of the crane collapse in the Grand Mosque of Mecca to that of a bomb blast, criticizing Saudi officials for their disregard of safety measures in the ongoing construction projects around the city’s holy sites.
“They do not care about the heritage, and they do not care about health and safety,” said the executive director of the London-based institution, adding that the cranes overlooking the mosque pose a great threat to the security of the Hajj pilgrims.
Al Sauds, the rulers of Saudi Arabia has been responsible for mass demolition of hundreds of historic Islamic sites and construction of towers overlooking the Grand Mosque and the Kaaba. The kingdom’s officials claim the destructions are part of a multi-billion-dollar project to expand the Grand Mosque, also called Masjid al-Haram, in an attempt to host more pilgrims. While the Muslims around the world feel that Mecca and Medina should be under an International Islamic Body and NOT under the parochial, narrow-minded Wahabi fanatics who have introduced a new version of religion – Wahabi Islam that is inimical to Real Islam of Prophet (PBUH).
Except for utility and facility of pilgrims, no commercial ventures should have been allowed there. According to a pilgrim, I see no reason for those cranes to stand while pilgrimage was on. I can’t call it negligence, but an act that lacks professionalism. We thank God that the crane leaned forward. If crane had titled by its side, it would have been more destructive due number of cranes that stood beside it. May God the dead rest in peace and quickly recover the injured. This so-called Islamic country is responsible for the spread of terror all over the world. The crisis in Syria was created by Al Sauds and they had also created the Frankenstein of ISIS and Daesh.
Al Saudis are responsible about the killing, and repression, of Shia Saudi citizens, Bahrainis, and Yemenis. They don`t have the heart to do justice to their own citizens and no time and care for hoots. They profit from the pilgrimage, so the deaths of these pilgrims, probably doesn`t bother them that much. Feeling sad and sorry for the pilgrims and their families. I offer my condolences.
By Naim Naqvi