Remembering Two Terrible Tragedies- Thousands of Innocent Victims!
9/11 in New York, 9/11 in Mecca & Mina!
Press TV has spoken to Mohammad Elahi, Imam of the Islamic House of Wisdom from Michigan, about marking the holy Islamic Day of Arafat and Eid al-Adha in the Muslim world on the first anniversary of the Mina tragedy.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview:
Press TV: The Day of Arafat is highly significant in the Islamic calendar. This year the occasion is quite poignant, because it marks one year since the Mina tragedy. Meanwhile, a large number of Iranians were absent from the Hajj and could not perform this day's special rituals.
Elahi: The Day of Arafat is important because it reminds us of the Khutba - the service and the sermon - the historic lecture of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) called Khutbatul-Wada in Hajjatul-Wada that was performed in the land of Arafat, [where] he made a very universal message. He said only piety and purity matters - not color and class and nationality and race and ethnicity.
But unfortunately this year, the Eid al-Adha is not an eid of celebration, but one of sadness.
The tradition comes from Prophet Abraham willing to sacrifice his son. So, it was a celebration of sacrifice to demonstrate his submission to the will of God. Prophet Muhammad confirmed that tradition and each year the hujjaj (Hajj pilgrims) gather there and they sacrifice camel and cow and rams to feed the poor. So, it is about submission to God. But at the same time, [it is] about charity and generosity and caring for the hungry.
But this is also a reminder of the first anniversary of that terrible tragedy in Mecca and Mina. Based on witness [accounts], 7,000 innocent hujjaj were killed, while they were thirsty in the hot weather. And unfortunately, the Saudis never apologized for that, never allowed an investigation.
So, it is the anniversary of the massacre of innocent hujjaj and at the same time, the 15th anniversary of 9/11. For us as Muslim Americans, this eid is a reminder of two tragedies both of which have the sign[ature] of the Saudi royal family.
And it’s very odd that despite the Saudi involvement in both 9/11 and the Mina tragedy, they are the closest ally of the United States. And two days ago, the US Congress passed a bill allowing the families of 9/11 [victims] to sue the Saudi government. [But] we have signals from the White House that President Obama will veto that legislation, which is very odd.