Middle East Monitor published an article last week which claimed that “Islamic scholars and NGOs call for Makkah, Madinah to be placed under international control”. From the headline it sounded as if an authoritative body had called for such an extreme measure, however under the ambitious headline, the news turned out to be a conspiracy against the Saudi state by a pro-Iranian anti-Saudi group.
An unholy alliance of Pro-Iranian Shia and anti-Saudi Sunni groups have come together to form the “Al Haramain Watch“. Each member is ideologically opposed to beliefs of Saudi Arabia’s Salafi methodology. Many have referred to themselves as opposed to “Wahhabis” – a derogatory word used against people of Salafi/Ahlul Hadith beliefs which is the prevailing ideology in Saudi Arabia.
Their opposition to Saudi Arabia is based on ideological and political differences which they have with Saudi Arabia. This was not communicated in the Middle East Monitor article and it was made to sound as if non-biased scholars have made the call for the Haramain to be taken from Saudi Arabia.
Who are the people running this organisation?
Sharif Mballo, funded from Iran to spread Iranian influence in Senegal, he is the secretary general of the League of AhlulBayt. He worked in the Iranian embassy for 25 years and travels to Iran often.
Muhammad Saeed Al-Noori of the “Raza academy” who boasts to belong to the subcontinent’s “Barelvi movement”. His opposition to Saudi Arabia lies in him seeing them as “Wahhabis” and wants “wahhabi” control taken from Makkah and Madinah
Khaled Ayoub Mesbahi who helps run the Imam Ahmad Raza Khan Barelvi Movement, who say praying salah behind “Wahhabis” is impermissible
Ashfaq Husain Quadri who is the President of the All India Tanzeem Ulema e Islam, an organisation which works with the the right wing Hindu RSS to fight together against “Wahhabism”.
Pir Syed Safdar Shah Gilani, of the Pakistan’s JUP, who supported Iran recently by saying “The Saudis’ reservations on the Iranian accord are unnecessary”
Who Published this non-Newsworthy News?
Middle East Monitor was set up by Tariq Ramadan who is the grandson of Hasan Al Bana, the founder of Ikhwan al Muslimeen (the Muslim Brotherhood). After Saudi Arabia banned the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation, Middle East Monitor has published several articles about Saudi Arabia which later were found to be untrue. The BBC’s Andrew Giligan says that, the Middle East Monitor promotes a strongly pro-Muslim Brotherhood and pro-Hamas viewpoint of the world.
What Has Saudi Arabia done for Makkah and Madinah?
Before King Abdul Aziz ruled over Makkah, 4 prayers were lead for each of the 5 daily prayers at the Kaaba. Each Imam belonged to one of the four schools of thought and refused to pray behind the other. King Abdul Aziz Al Saud solved this problem and uniting the Muslims behind one Imam. After that he began investing into Masjid al Haram.
Every king after King Abdul Aziz poured vast amounts of Saudi Arabia’s wealth into Masjid Al Haram. King Saud made the King Abdul Aziz gate extension. King Faisal and King Khalid also spent a lot of money updating the two Holy Cities. Then the monumental extensions of Makkah and Madinah undertaken by King Fahd and completed by King Abdullah.
The Makkah Clock Tower, costed Saudi Arabia’s royals $15 Billion to make and once made, the King donated the entire building as Waqf to Masjid Al Haram. All profits from the building go into running Masjid Al Haram.
Another fact not known by many is that during Hajj, the King covers the cost of half of the hotels in Makkah Clock Tower for the poor. This means that half the occupancy is free for poor people from poor countries who would never be able to have stayed in such luxury and proximity to the Haram.
In 2011 Saudi Arabia announced it is spending $22 Billion from the wealth of Saudi Arabia on Makkah. A massive extension was also undertaken by King Abdullah at Masjid al Haram.
Saudi Arabia also announced it will further invest in developing Madinah at a cost of $37.5Billion. The extension work is due to begin under King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s supervision.
Despite all what “Haramain Watch” tried to achieve and Middle East Monitor tried to report, their efforts have fallen flat on their face. Their calls have been completely rejected by the Muslim world. People even commented under the original article on Middle East Monitor about how they think this is a further attempt by Pro-Iranian and anti Saudi groups, one commented “More pro Iranian blather from MEMO , this time a demand that Saudi Arabia hands over 2 holy cities to an outside group.”