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Muslims disappointed but accepting as Saudi scales back hajj

Published : Thursday, 25 June, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 191

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24: Muslims expressed disappointment on Tuesday at Saudi Arabia's decision to scale back this year's hajj pilgrimage, but many accepted it was necessary as the kingdom battles a major coronavirus outbreak.
Around 1,000 people residing in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to perform Islam's main pilgrimage this year, authorities said -- compared to some 2.5 million from around the world last year.
The move had looked inevitable for some time and several countries had already pulled out, but the announcement added to disappointment of Muslims, many of whom invest huge sums and wait years to perform the rite.
"My hopes of going to (the holy Saudi city of Mecca) were so high," said Kamariah Yahya, 68, from Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, which had already barred its citizens from the hajj earlier this month.    -AFP

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