The Ministry of Haj has rejected as false reports claiming that the Kingdom now requires all Haj pilgrims to declare their sect before arriving in the country. The ministry said that it was the Pakistan Haj Ministry that has issued a form asking its pilgrims to declare their sect “for their own regulatory procedures,” according to a report in a local publication on Monday.
The form, which Arab News has seen on the website of the Express Tribune, a Pakistani newspaper, has one section on the form asking, “Are you Shia,” with a box below requiring a “yes” or “no” answer.
The ministry said that the reports on social media not only attributed this to the Saudi side but also claimed that the government here would be investigating locally based expatriate pilgrims to determine their beliefs due to “unexpected hostilities and regional conflicts.” A source at the ministry said the rumors are “false” and “only intended to discredit the Kingdom and exacerbate disunity.” He said “the Kingdom does not differentiate between pilgrims according to their race, nationality, or Islamic sect.”
The source said the form seen on social networking sites is not administered by the Saudi ministry of Haj and is “a violation of the Kingdom’s policy against sectarianism and racism.” He said people should be wary of information spread online by those wishing to create strife and hatred among Muslims.