By Special Reporter.
Jeddah, 15 March 2014:
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya will be able to go to Saudi Arabia to . . .[restrict]perform Haj and Umrah despite the fact that the Saudi authorities have classified it as a terrorist organisation.
The Saudi authorities announced the decision this week.?
However, if there are instructions about specific individuals, they would be prevented from going, the head of the Saudi Passport Department, has said.
“Those who are banned from entering the kingdom may be allowed to come for Haj and Umrah, if there are no specific instructions to prevent some individuals from entering the country,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Ahmed Al-Laheedan on Wednesday.
He said that the names of those deemed undesirable would be put on a database, to prevent them entering the kingdom. Those who managed to get though would be arrested on arrival, he added.
Saudi Arabia normally takes the view that those going to Mecca for Haj and Umrah are “Guests of God” and should not be prevented from carrying out their religious duty despite political issues.
The Libyan Brotherhood does not disclose its members. However, two years ago, when the Justice and Construction Party (J&C) was launched largely by members of the organisation, a senior Brotherhood member said that it (the Brotherhood) had 4,000 members across Libya.
The J&C party now play down links with the organisation, saying that it includes those who are not members of it. However, the widespread perception in Libya is that it is the Brotherhood’s political wing.
The Saudis are thought to take that view as well.