Mina stampede deaths rise to 769

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Updated 27 September 2015
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Mina stampede deaths rise to 769

 

MAKKAH: Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih on Saturday said the number of pilgrims who died in Thursday’s stampede in Mina has risen to 769.
Al-Falih said the number of injured has also jumped to 934, of which many are still confined in hospitals.
“The latest statistics up to this hour reveal 769 dead. That is an increase of 52 on the previous figures,” he told a press conference. “Those are the ones who died in various hospitals since the event,” he said.
Iran has reported the biggest number of deaths at 136, with Morocco coming next with 87.
The other confirmed deaths, compiled by Agence France Presse, were from Cameroon, 20; Niger, 19: India, 18; Egypt, 14; Chad, 11; Pakistan, 9; Somalia, 8; Algeria, 7; Senegal, 5; Tanzania, 4; Indonesia, Kenya and Nigeria, 3 each; and Burkina Faso, Burundi and the Netherlands, 1 each.
Five Filipinos were also reported to have died in Makkah, but only one was caused by the stampede. The others died of illnesses aggravated by the heat, officials said.
Benin had also reported deaths but the number was unspecified.
Thursday’s stampede is the second worst in a number of tragedies to strike the pilgrimage, surpassed only by that of July 2, 1990, when 1,426 pilgrims, mainly from Asia, died during a stampede in a tunnel at Mina after a ventilation system failure.
 
Iran blame game
On Saturday, Iran, which has been accused by Gulf states of fomenting troubles in the Middle East, including Yemen, Iraq and Syria, stepped up its blame game rhetoric by accusing Saudi authorities of mismanaging the crowd in Mina. Iranians also protested in the Islamic Republic on Friday.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, chairman of the Haj Supreme Committee, had earlier ordered the formation of an investigation committee to determine the causes of the stampede. Its findings would be submitted to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.
But Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh said he was not holding authorities responsible for the disaster. Security officers and witnesses have been quoted in reports as saying Thursday’s stampede happened when two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at a crossroads in Mina.
“You are not responsible for what happened. You dealt with the beneficial factors that were in your hands and within your ability. As for the things that humans cannot control, you cannot blamed for them. Fate and destiny are inevitable,” Al-Sheikh said in a televised statement.
Al-Sheikh also appeared to deflect criticisms of the kingdom from outside as a product of “envy.”
“Many are envious of the kingdom for its religion, leadership, economy and the cohesion of its members, and for the great blessings it has experienced, unlike many other countries,” he said. 
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday came to Saudi Arabia’s defense. “I do not sympathize with the hostile statements against Saudi Arabia,” he told journalists in Ankara.
The Turkish leader said that it would be wrong to “point a finger at Saudi Arabia which does its best” to make the annual Haj pilgrimage possible.
“You have to see the glass as half full,” he said, adding that each country suffers failures.
 
 

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Muslim World League signs deal with Moscow to promote interfaith dialogue

Updated 22 April 2019
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Muslim World League signs deal with Moscow to promote interfaith dialogue

  • Al-Issa lauds Russian model of national harmony and coexistence
  • Al-Issa also met with Speaker of the Russian Parliament last month

MOSCOW: The Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa held a meeting with the president of the Russian People’s Council, Sergei Ordzhonikidze, and other council members, where they discussed issues of common interest.

They looked into means of boosting cooperation between Russia and the Muslim world, supporting positive national integration programs and countering extremist speeches and Islamophobia.

Al-Issa lauded the Russian model of national harmony and coexistence, while Ordzhonikidze presented Al-Issa with a copy of the council’s yearly report.

At the meeting the two parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to share their experiences in the fight against extremist ideologies, the promotion of interreligious dialogue and coexistence and the implementation of joint projects to achieve shared goals. They also stressed the pure and peaceful values of Islam and rejected all forms of extremism and Islamophobia.

The meeting was attended by the Russian deputy chairman of the Committee for the Development of Agriculture, Aygun Memedov, the chairman of the Committee on the Normalization of Relations Between Nationalities and Religions, Sheikh Albert Karganov, the Mufti of Moscow and the Khanti-Mansisk Region in Siberia Sheikh Tahir Samatov.

Last month, Al-Issa met with Speaker of the Russian Parliament Vyacheslav Volodin. They discussed subjects related to promoting and supporting dialogue among followers of different religions and civilizations, activating cultural contacts and exchanges between the Muslim world and Russia.

Al-Issa signed a cooperation agreement between the MWL and Moscow’s Fund for Islamic Culture, Science and Education. The agreement focused on tackling extremism and promoting tolerance. The agreement stressed the need for cooperation in the fight against extremism, intolerance, aggression and hostility among religions, races and ideologies that could lead to terrorism.

Both parties agreed to exchange information on the activities of scientific centers, cultural forums and websites.