Photo Credit:
Muslims on the Hajj. The arrow points to a few of the many thousands of tents set up for the pilgrims

American Muslims who traveled to Saudi Arabia to perform what they understand to be their obligation according to the Pillars of Islam were attacked by other Muslims wielding knives and other weapons.

This year’s annual pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the hajj, took place last week, Oct. 13-18. More than 10,000 American Muslims are believed to have participated in their pilgrimage.  For several who went on the trip from Detroit, the experience was traumatic.

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A group of Shia Muslims traveled with Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini of Dearborn. Qazwini is the head of the largest mosque in metropolitan Detroit.

One of the many prescribed rituals that is part of the hajj is to travel to the Saudi Arabian city of Mina, 3 miles east of Mecca, where the pilgrims throw a prescribed number of pebbles at Shaitan (“Satan”), represented by three stone walls.

Hundreds of thousands of tents are set up in Mina, in order to accommodate the pilgrims.

After the Detroit Shias entered a tent in Mina reserved for Australian, American and European hajj participants, the violence began.

The American Muslims recounted being approached by a large group of people they later learned were Lebanese Sunni Salafist Muslims. According to an account in the Detroit Free Press,

The Salafis asked one of the Shia men if he was Shia, recalled Seyed Mothafar Al-Qazwini, a nephew of Imam Al-Qazwini. “He responded ‘yes.’ He was immediately attacked by three men, one grabbing him in a choke hold, the others punching him in the face.”

Al-Qazwini said the leader of the Salafis then shouted “Kill them all. Kill the Shia.”

In addition to the physical violence, the American victims reported the perpetrators screaming that they were going to rape all the Shia women who did not leave the tent in 15 minutes.

The Sunnis also referenced a 7th century battle in Karbala, Iraq between Sunni and Shia Muslims in which a Shia leader and family members were murdered by Sunnis.

“We will make this day like the day of Karbala. We will kill all your men and take your women as captives,” the Detroit Imam reported.

“During the attack, the men reportedly shouted “Our [holy pilgrimage] will be complete once we have killed you, ripped out your hearts and eaten them, and [then] raped your women,” according to a report in the Washington Times.

Al-Qazwini complained about the disinterest showed by the Saudi police in the complaints filed by his group.  He also said that a video of the incident taken on his phone by a member of the group was erased by the Saudi police.

State Department officials told a Detroit journalist that the hajj and interior ministries in Saudi Arabia “have confirmed that they are investigating” the incident.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

81 COMMENTS

  1. That’s what happens when you are a American muslim pretending to be a muslim in a muslim country. Apparently you have to be from the right sect or country to be a true muslim, get used to it you aren’t safe if you are muslim.

  2. That's what happens when you are a American muslim pretending to be a muslim in a muslim country. Apparently you have to be from the right sect or country to be a true muslim, get used to it you aren't safe if you are muslim.

  3. There is no good in a Salifist; extremist vision of Islam that acts to kill and makes room for any other. Not unlike American neo-Nazis, except there are many more Salafists who must be isolated in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel too.

  4. I am afraid I have little sympathy for the men. My sympathy and feelings lie only with the women and children – who given the choice would dump Islam and marry out of the system and become free women and their children would never know Islam. The men can go to hell, the women and children need our protection they are forced to go by the men!

  5. There is no good in a Salifist; extremist vision of Islam that acts to kill and makes room for any other. Not unlike American neo-Nazis, except there are many more Salafists who must be isolated in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel too.

  6. This is essentially a re-write of 2 other published articles. The author could have added to it The author could have added to it by interviewing responsible people in the Detroit Mosque, and if they were to have refused comment then so note.
    Let this be a lesson for the WOW on all sides to be peaceful and respectful.

  7. I am afraid I have little sympathy for the men. My sympathy and feelings lie only with the women and children – who given the choice would dump Islam and marry out of the system and become free women and their children would never know Islam. The men can go to hell, the women and children need our protection they are forced to go by the men!

  8. Oh yes! they beg to be raped, beaten with a stick if their dress is not covering enough of themselves, even beaten with a stick by their husbands (yes, as long as it is no thicker than his thumb) work till they drop, forced female circumcision on young girls, childhood marriages, whipped for talking with a male neighbour and don’t forget beheading for whatever reason! – Ya Sin, it is you who is ignorant of your own sick and home-made religion…!

  9. This is essentially a re-write of 2 other published articles. The author could have added to it The author could have added to it by interviewing responsible people in the Detroit Mosque, and if they were to have refused comment then so note.
    Let this be a lesson for the WOW on all sides to be peaceful and respectful.

  10. Oh yes! they beg to be raped, beaten with a stick if their dress is not covering enough of themselves, even beaten with a stick by their husbands (yes, as long as it is no thicker than his thumb) work till they drop, forced female circumcision on young girls, childhood marriages, whipped for talking with a male neighbour and don't forget beheading for whatever reason! – Ya Sin, it is you who is ignorant of your own sick and home-made religion…!

  11. Colin Smith I’ve killed the scum of the earth, Neo-Nazis, fundamentalist Muslims and an apartheid loving Boer bastard from S. Africa. They were mercenary jobs, that I was sanctioned to carry out, then again, I could be lying. lol 😉

  12. all you people below who are saying that Islam is not a religion of peace, you are wrong and are judging based on some stupid people who call themselves muslims, yes there are some minority people in the religion of Islam who give the religion a bad name, Im a Shia Muslim and ive always been taught to love and respect everyone, respect people and respect other religions too, terrorism and killing has no place in Islam, it is forbidden, in the Holy Quran it states “If one kills one human being it will be as if he has killed whole mankind” and “if one saves one human being it will be as if he has saved whole mankind” now how do these two quotes say that Islam is bad? Islam is not a bad religion but instead there are some foolish muslims like mentioned in the text above who ruin the religion and spread hate all over the world

  13. all you people below who are saying that Islam is not a religion of peace, you are wrong and are judging based on some stupid people who call themselves muslims, yes there are some minority people in the religion of Islam who give the religion a bad name, Im a Shia Muslim and ive always been taught to love and respect everyone, respect people and respect other religions too, terrorism and killing has no place in Islam, it is forbidden, in the Holy Quran it states "If one kills one human being it will be as if he has killed whole mankind" and "if one saves one human being it will be as if he has saved whole mankind" now how do these two quotes say that Islam is bad? Islam is not a bad religion but instead there are some foolish muslims like mentioned in the text above who ruin the religion and spread hate all over the world

  14. Mel Forbes Hey, you see my face! I’m not a fucking coward like you and the jihadist Muslims and Neo-Nazis I’ve killed in the past. You won’t even show your fucking face! Come to Cincinnati, Ohio, I’m easy to find!

  15. Mel Forbes FUCK YOU!!! LMAO! I SUFFER FROM PTSD, I'M AS PSYCHO AS THEY COME AND MOTHERFUCKERS LIKE YOU KEEP ANTAGONIZING ME. I HAVE KILLED PEOPLE AND I SLEEP LIKE A BABY! DO YOU REALLY THINK I GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THE AUTHORITIES?! I'LL SAY WHATEVER I WANT TO SAY!

  16. Khalid, reading your posts, I'm reminded of Apocalypse Now. You're Col Kurtz, deranged, insane, psychologically broken and deep down inside wanting to be put down like an animal because you can't take your own misery anymore. Either that or you're just an attention whore with a loose screw.

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