Tunisia religious official calls for Hajj pilgrimage boycott
A Tunisian religious official has called on the country's grand imam to issue an edict to discourage people from performing the Hajj pilgrimage over Saudi Arabia's regional wars.
Fadhel Ashour, a senior official in the Tunisian Union of Imams, made the remarks in an interview on Saturday with news website Arabi21.
"The money that goes to Saudi authorities [from the Hajj] is not used to help poor Muslims around the world," Ashour said.
"Instead it is used to kill and displace people as is the case currently in Yemen,"
He added that Tunisians should boycott the Hajj and spend their money domestically to improve the conditions of people in the North African country.
The Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the five pillars of Islam and all Muslims who are able to must perform it at least once in their lives.
Riyadh has long been accused of using the site, which is the most revered in Islam, as a tool to exert political pressure or punish its opponents.
More than 10,000 Yemenis have been killed and 53,000 wounded since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen.
More than 2,200 others have died from cholera and millions are on the verge of famine in what the United Nations says is the world's worst humanitarian crisis.