The Religious Tourism Business

Do you remember what happened when some pilgrims wanted to visit the Uhud Cave in Medina? Actually, this is not just the case in that location; it is the same thing with almost all what is left of the historic Islamic sites in Saudi Arabia. The Wahabbis don’t believe in the importance of such sites, and therefore they either destroy them or build walls around them to prevent others from seeing them. By sticking to the Wahabbis’ narrow interpretation of Islam, I think that our country is missing on some exceptional opportunities in religious tourism, and if SCT are serious about making tourism a real part of the national economy they should work very hard to change the current situation.

In a recent column, Abdul Aziz Al-Thukair suggests that the Ministry of Pilgrimage could arrange trips to Islamic sites, but I don’t see this as the best solution. I think such trips should be arranged by tourism companies, and can be supervised by SCT, but it is certainly has nothing to do any other part of the government, especially not the Ministry of Pilgrimage, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, and the Religious Police. Tourism is a business, and these three entities clearly don’t know business.

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4 thoughts on “The Religious Tourism Business

  1. I think you are saudi, and you know what happening in the religious tourism business. When we talk about money, people become blind and they forgot the religion, the most important for them is money and nothing but money !

    And what I heared is really amazing, there is trips organized for example in jeddah. I don’t remember exactly the place but its “dawar”, they told to people its something belong to a prophet sayedna Dawud AS … or i dunno who… and trips becomed organized to that place. I’ll ask 4 mode details if u want, but I guess you know the place since ur frm jeddah.

    Tourism is a business yes, but not religion. I think it’s better to make the difference and handle it with lot of caution.

  2. At the moment, they should keep what is left undestroyed although i don’t think there is a lot now.
    Then, yeah, trips should be orginized by privte tourism companies to make it real trips to historical place not “bed3a place”

    Most of the historical places have been removed so we stupid people don’t worship stones like Jahilya .. can i call it historical fiction :) ?
    Thanks for protecting us anyway ;)

  3. Hi Ahmed. Great post. It is painful to know that our history is being systematically destroyed and the Islamic world is not doing much about it.

    Note: Is it possible to backtrack to this post?

    All the best!

  4. Hatem,
    I’m actually from the Eastern Province, but I live in Riyadh now.

    Aya,
    Thanks. I’ve been following your blog for some time, and so far, I really like what you do. And sure, you can link to this post, you don’t need my permission to do so.

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