Saudi Arabia and Iran, as many people know, do not like each other. Saudi Arabia claims to be the voice of all Muslims by the nature of holding Mecca and Medina, while Iran disagrees vehemently because no one voted for Saudi Arabia to be the voice of Muslims. The two regularly clash in the region due to Saudi Arabia’s nation-building anxieties and Iran’s own search for safety against the United States. This has led to massive deaths in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq, and other countries.
The recent issue of the Hajj came came to light when Iran wanted to alter the usual agreement for Hajj, pushing the agreement into splitting the pilgrims between Iranian and Saudi airlines. Saudi Arabia said no. A little later, we had the chief mufti of Saudi Arabia claiming Iranians weren’t Muslims because we were originally Zoroastrian and he had forgotten that his own people were pagans prior to Islam. In the grand tradition of Iranian sarcasm, Javad Zarif, the foreign Minister of Iran, tweeted “Indeed; no resemblance between Islam of Iranians & most Muslims & bigoted extremism that Wahhabi top cleric & Saudi terror masters preach.”
Including the stampede that killed 500 Iranians alone, it’s no wonder why Iranians didn’t seem to want to go on hajj this year. However, to see it discussed by noticeably not Iranian Muslims, the Iranian government was committing a horrific crime against its own people! I saw brothers curse the Iranian government over this. However, as I noticed, Iranians themselves didn’t seem to care. There was complete Iranian radio silence.
I decided to do a little digging, which primarily consisted of contacting my big sources on all things Iran: My friend Soheil in Tehran, my grandfather, and my father.
The general consensus was: so what? Iranians have their own holy cities. We have Mashhad and Qom, and Najaf and Karbala nearby. It comes down to an old Iranian saying: “if you need a lamp in your house, it’s haraam to donate it to a mosque.” Iran is slowly coming out of horrific sanctions; why should they give money to the richest of the Gulf states? You don’t need a phrasebook for the shrine of Imam Reza. You have a cousin and they have blankets and a floor. That money can go to the poor and starving in your own city.
So, my non-Iranian brothers and sisters, we Iranians will call you when we need you. We probably won’t need you, because we’re pretty good at getting things done whether or not you approve; but in the event we need you, you’ll know. We are more than capable of complaining about our own government and its treatment of us. Why don’t you focus on bettering your country? Who knows, maybe it will better all of our situations.