Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, has urged pilgrims to stay away from any acts that would politicize the annual pilgrimage.
As many as 835,487 pilgrims have arrived from abroad for the upcoming Hajj as of Sunday, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported quoting the General Directorate of Passports. A total of 803,753 pilgrims arrived through King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah and Prince Muhammad Bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah while 22,352 have came through various land crossings and 9,382 by sea.
Al-Sudais described the Hajj as a "message of peace" and asked the guests of God to stay away from behaviors that would politicize the pilgrimage. "You should perform your Hajj rites in peace, ease and comfort away from political slogans and behaviors that are against the noble values of Islam," he told the pilgrims. Sudais said, "Islam is against all forms of extremism, terrorism and destruction and asked the pilgrims to spend their time in getting to know each other and cooperate for the good and welfare of all."
Meanwhile, more than 40,000 people trying to enter Makkah to perform Hajj without permit were turned back from various police checkpoints on roads leading to the holy city. Commander of Al-Bahita checkpoint along the Jeddah-Makkah Expressway Maj. Gen. Mutlaq Bin Saeed Al-Otaibi said no pilgrim without permit would allowed to proceed to Makkah or the holy sites.
Source: International Islamic News Agency