Anti-Kingdom propaganda by pro-Tehran media flayed

Anti-Kingdom propaganda by pro-Tehran media flayed
Updated 27 September 2015

Anti-Kingdom propaganda by pro-Tehran media flayed

Anti-Kingdom propaganda by pro-Tehran media flayed

MINA: Some UK newspapers have come in for intense criticism for publishing incorrect stories about the reasons for the stampede in Mina on Thursday.
Colin Freeman, the chief foreign correspondent for The Telegraph, was criticized on social media for a story alleging that “the deadly crush had been caused by police closing two road entrances because of a visit by VIPs to the nearby palace of King Salman.”
In reality, the stampede took place on a street which is far from the palace. Journalists who are aware of the topography of the area laughed both at the spurious story and at the writer’s ignorance.
“Rather than accepting wild allegations, he should have crosschecked with people on the ground concerning the location of Street No. 204 (where the tragedy occurred) and the location of King Salman’s palace,” said Jamil Radwan, an Egyptian journalist who is covering Haj. “The two are poles apart. Also, there is absolutely no VIP movement in that area,” he reiterated.
In a statement to the media, Saudi Ambassador to the UK, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, said claims that the stampede had occurred because of VIP movements were completely false. “This is a malicious falsehood which has no basis whatsoever in truth. The vehicles of Saudi dignitaries do not travel through this area,” he said and explained the source of the rumor.
“To the best of our knowledge, the rumor originated on Iranian state-controlled channels, Press TV and Lebanese Adiyar, which recently falsely claimed that 200 mosques were being built in Germany by Saudi Arabia for Syrian refugees.”
He said it was unfortunate that mainstream British newspapers had accepted the story as true without checking the reliability of the sources.
Saudi security analyst Nawaf Obaid said: “It is a classic case of amateur journalism by certain UK media outlets. (They) have created a parallel fictional reality.”
Prince Mohammed said that King Salman had ordered a full investigation into the cause of the catastrophe and as soon as the results are known, they will be made public.
Muslim World League chief also denounced Iranian criticism of Saudi Arabia.
“Irresponsible statements from some Iranian officials are aimed at harming Saudi Arabia and its leaders,” said MWL Secretary-General Abdullah Al-Turki. “They want to harm Muslims who have faith in Saudi Arabia and its leadership which serves the two holy mosques.”
“What kind of news story is that?” asked Saudi writer and educator Khaled Al-Awadh on his Twitter account in response to Freeman of The Telegraph.
British journalist Ismaeel Nakhuda said the majority of Western media had no idea about the geography of Haj sites and so they often made mistakes.
In response, some suggested that the opportunity should be used to educate journalists about Mina and the Haj rituals. “One radio station suggested (creation of) shopping malls in Mina,” said a representative of the Council of British Hajis.
A Saudi, who tweets with the handle @nawaf442, posted a tweet in which he said: “Just for information: A stampede at a stadium in Sheffield, England, during a Liverpool vs Nottingham match, attended by 40,000 spectators resulted in 100 deaths.” That tweet was reproduced 15,000 times.
A pilgrim from Pakistan, Mohammed Omar Ali Khan, said it was very unfortunate that some people and countries were indulging in politics over the dead bodies of the pilgrims.
“It is very shameful. May Allah give those countries guidance and lead them to respect the dead. I will forgive the media because they don’t know about our rituals and the topography.”