Several pilgrims in Makkah and al-Madinah have been arrested for expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people or praying for them.
Reports have emerged of pilgrims being arrested inside Masjid al-Haram as well as Masjid al-Nabawi for wearing the Palestinian kaffiyeh (the chequered scarf) or the Palestinian flag on their clothes.
Others were arrested for praying for the people of Gaza.
The best-known case is that of the detention and harassment of British actor and presenter Islah Abdur-Rahman by Saudi soldiers.
His ordeal came to light when he put the story on Instagram.
He had gone with his family to Makkah last month to perform Umrah (the lesser pilgrimage).
He said he was detained by soldiers for wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh.
“I was stopped by four soldiers for wearing a white keffiyeharound my head and a Palestinian coloured tasbih [rosary beads] around my wrist,” he told Middle East Eye.
“I was escorted to an off-site location where they detained people for possible crimes or offences.
“Once I was detained, there were other soldiers who interrogated me and asked me about my nationality, why I’m here, where I travelled from, how long I’m here for.”
“It was evident that the scarf was the issue,” he said. “They were talking in Arabic but they kept saying ‘Palestinian keffiyeh’ and looking at the scarf.
The British pilgrim was then made to sign a release form.
He was also asked to give his fingerprints, after handing in the keffiyeh.
His ordeal was not over yet.
Since sharing his experience, the brain-washed Saudis have subjected him to online hate messages.
The Saudis insist that no displays of flags or symbols are allowed in places of worship.
How did they arrive at this conclusion?
Can they provide any proof from the Qur’an or the Prophetic Sunnah for such views?
They are clearly unaware that during the Prophet’s time, al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Madinah served not only as a place of worship but also as a seat of government and the military headquarters.
It is evident the Saudis do not follow the Qur’an or the Prophetic Sunnah otherwise they would not make such ludicrous statements.
Abdul-Rahman’s case was not unique.
Other pilgrims have also been arrested for doing no more than praying for the suffering people of Gaza.
After performing his salat in Masjid al-Nabawi, a pilgrim from Algeria made dua for the people of Gaza.
He had not finished his prayers when soldiers grabbed him and took him to a detention centre.
He shared a video on social media on November 10 sharing his harrowing experience.
He was detained for more than six hours for supplicating for the suffering Palestinians in Gaza, he said in the video.
“In Madinah, I did my prayers and I took the opportunity to supplicate for the children and victims in Palestine… is it a crime to pray for the oppressed? I did not know that this was forbidden in the holy sites.
The Algerian pilgrim said that he was taken to different police stations.
He tried to explain that he was simply praying, and that he deleted the video as soon as he was asked to.
Suffering from high blood pressure and being diabetic, he was held for six hours.
Treated like a criminal, the Algerian pilgrim was told that he was detained for “sympathising and praying for Palestine”.
Like Abdur-Rahman from Britain, the Algerian was also fingerprinted.
An Indonesian woman, who had a Palestinian flag on her hijab, was also detained.
A sheikh from Turkey was also arrested in Masjid al Nabawi for praying for the people of Gaza.
The Saudi regime will not lift a finger to help the Palestinians facing a genocide in Gaza but they rush to detain pilgrims that merely make dua for them.
This was evident from the Saudi regime’s conduct at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conference held in Riyadh last Saturday (November 11).
Together with a number of other Arab regimes, notably the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan, the Saudis sabotaged even mild proposals put forward by Iran for practical help to the Palestinians.
The Saudis, Bedouins from Nejd, have illegally occupied Makkah and al-Madinah.
They were agents of the British who installed in power in 1925.
Since then, they have changed loyalties and now serve their American and zionist masters.