The Saudi Neglect

Crane in Mecca

Photograph: Mohamed Al Hwaity/REUTERS

Having visited Saudi Arabia this year with her parents. She describes in detail the harsh policing, the aggressive crowds and the chaotic organisation that could have led to the death of her mother. Grateful to be alive, she is now demanding radical change to save pilgrims from inhuman treatment in Saudi Arabia

A key observation she made which many seem to gloss over-

There are numerous other distressing experiences I could relate, as most pilgrims can. But the insistence of some that the deaths of hundreds of people represented God’s will and were therefore unavoidable is something I refuse to accept. I believe Islam is based on reason: unless you have done everything you can within your means to actively avoid a bad situation, you cannot use the excuse of it being God’s will.

Read the whole terrifying story of her pilgrimage to Mecca here