Iranian pilgrims in Mecca call for Israel’s destruction, cry ‘Death to America’

In TV segment, Muslims hold hajj ceremony purporting to ‘disavow polytheists’ but in fact dedicated to stoking anti-Western sentiment

Iranian pilgrims to Mecca chanting anti-Israel and anti-US slogans, in a segment broadcast on August 12, 2019. (Screenshot: Twitter)
Iranian pilgrims to Mecca chanting anti-Israel and anti-US slogans, in a segment broadcast on August 12, 2019. (Screenshot: Twitter)

Iranian pilgrims to the holiest site in Islam in the Saudi city of Mecca have used their hajj to call for Israel’s destruction and decry the Jewish state and the United States as “polytheists.”

At a “disavowal of polytheists” ceremony held at Mount Arafat, a message from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was read, and the crowd then chanted, “Death to America! Death to Israel!” according to a segment aired by Iran’s IRINN TV station on Saturday and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

“America is the enemy of Allah! Israel is the enemy of Allah [and] should be erased from the face of the Earth!” they continued.

“This is the cry of the Islamic nation against the child-killing Zionist regime and [America],” the reporter said.

One interviewee then said his pilgrimage would be meaningless unless he disavows the “polytheists,” and said he was there “in order to punch America and Israel on the mouth.”

A young boy said: “We have come here by the order of the leader in order to say ‘Death to America’ and ‘death to Israel.’ The pilgrimage is not just religious, it is both religious and political. I will sacrifice my life for the leader.”

Ghorbanali Dorri-Nafajabadi, a member of Iran’s Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts, said: “All supporters of the front of truth must stand [united] under the banner of monotheism… against the front of heresy, polytheism, hypocrisy, Zionism, arrogance, and reactionism.”

Judaism, the main religion in Israel, and Christianity, the prevailing faith in the United States, are both monotheistic.

The annual five-day hajj pilgrimage to mecca is required of all Muslims once in their lifetime, if they are financially and physically able to make the journey. It ends with the Eid al-Adha festival, which began on Sunday and runs until Wednesday.

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