Hajj Pilgrimage in the Midst of the Arab Spring

Friday, November 04, 2011

A Muslim pilgrim walks with his son along the road in the Mina valley three miles east of the Saudi Arabian holy city of Mecca during the Hajj, on November 14, 2010 (MUSTAFA OZER/AFP/Getty)

This weekend some 2.5 million people are expected to take part in this year's Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. But this year's pilgrimage takes place against the backdrop of the Arab Spring. The Saudi government has mobilized 100,000 defense personnel to prepare for the world's largest human assembly. The Saudis say the build-up is to avoid the deadly stampedes that have broken out in previous pilgrimages. But one can't help but wonder if the democracy movements in neighboring countries is a lingering factor as well. 

Akbhar AhmedIslamic studies chair at American University in Washington D.C, examines the implications of the Arab Spring and the Hajj for the Saudi Royal family.

Guests:

Akbhar Ahmed

Produced by:

Joseph Capriglione

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.