Morocco’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs wants to avoid issues faced by Moroccan pilgrims during the 2018 hajj season.
Rabat – The minister of Islamic affairs, Ahmed Taoufiq, flew to Mecca on Sunday to discuss the preparation for the next hajj season with the Saudi minister of pilgrimage, Mohamed Saleh Bin Taher Benten.
During the meeting, the two officials agreed on the preparations required for the next pilgrimage season for Moroccans, according to a statement from the Saudi Ministry of Pilgrimage quoted by Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
This meeting is part of consultations with the heads of delegations to prepare the next season of pilgrimage, to provide the best services to pilgrims, and to allow them to perform their rituals in the best conditions, added the press release.
The Saudi minister also held meetings with the president of religious affairs of Turkey and the minister of religious affairs of Indonesia, the statement said.
In the 2018 pilgrimage season, several Moroccan pilgrims complained about their struggles in Mecca due to lack of management, transport, and shelter.
Videos posted online showed Moroccans complaining about the bad conditions.
Several Moroccans also said that they had missed major hajj rituals, such as the “stoning of the devil.”
Pictures of Moroccan pilgrims also featured elderly men lying weakly on the floor. The Moroccan Ministry of Islamic Affairs, however, denied the allegations in a statement. The ministry said that “some allegations reported by some media outlets” were “lies dating back to previous years,” claiming that information about pilgrims losing their way in Mecca was also false.
The ministry also described the 2018 hajj season as “positive.”