Jeddah: A pilgrim breaking the glass barrier in front of Mount Safa in Makkah on Wednesday, then climbing the mountain while shouting slogans and later scuffling with security men before he was arrested has come as a shock for Muslims in and outside the Kingdom, according to Arab News.
A video showing the man suddenly going berserk has gone viral on social media and drew widespread condemnation. The pilgrim is seen smashing the glass barrier with a small chair placed in the Haram for elderly people and climbed the mountain shouting: “I am Mahdi”.
Makkah police media spokesman said preliminary investigations have shown that the pilgrim, who is a Yemeni national, is a resident of Makkah and that he seems to be suffering from psychological problems. “Further investigations are on and it is too early to give more details.”
The Saudi government is spending billions of riyals on the expansion and security of the Two Holy Mosques to facilitate pilgrims and people should respect this and not try to destroy the peace in the area, was a general sentiment expressed by people this reporter met.
“I saw this video in social media. It is a shocking and condemnable act. The government is spending a lot of money and making all-out efforts toward the security and development of the Two Holy Mosques, but such people have no concern about it; on top of that, the man was in ihram (pilgrimage garment), ” said Abdulaziz Khalq.
Another citizen, Ahmed Ibrahim, said that the security personnel should be on alert all the time. “How was the man allowed to disturb the peace of Haram and disturb the pilgrims who were performing Umrah at that time? If he was mad, how did his family let him go out alone. His family members should also be questioned,” said Ibrahim.
A number of people condemned the pilgrim’s act while many of them and local people who were present at the scene criticized the absence of security men and employees of the General Presidency to quickly prevent the incident.