BLOOMINGDALE, Ill. - May 15, 2023 - PRLog -- The Al Baqee Organization is pleased to announce the safe return of the three U.S. citizens, Sajjad Lakhani, I. Bader, and Dr. Shafeeq Bader, who were detained in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during their pilgrimage in late April, 2023. They safely returned home on Thursday, May 11, 2023. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the United States Department of State and US Consulate General in Jeddah for the release of the U.S. citizens.
The epicenter of Islamic congregations, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), is home to the Ka'ba, several Islamic historical sites and sacred cemeteries that are the final resting place of many notable personalities of Islam. Muslims across the globe make pilgrimage to KSA throughout the year to perform Hajj and Umrah as well as visit countless Islamic sacred sites across the country.
The detention of these U.S. citizens raises concerns for Al Baqee Organization since the U.S. citizens were not engaging in any activities, but simply visiting Medina and paying homage to the personalities that are laid to rest in Masjid al-Nabawi and Baqee cemetery. The detention of these individuals raises concerns of the lack of religious freedom within the KSA. Al Baqee Organization encourages the free exercise of religion throughout the world and for all religions. We urge officials of both nations to take the necessary measures to prevent further detentions and provide US Citizens internationally accepted fundamental human rights to freedom of thought, conscience, belief, practice, worship and observance. We urge the rulers of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to take further measures to eliminate all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief.
The Al Baqee Organization, an established Illinois based NGO that has a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC) since 2008, is demanding the government of KSA to:
1.) Permit women to enter the Baqee and Moalla cemeteries, extend visiting hours and allow pilgrims to recite supplications without any interference.
2.) Immediately halt the destruction and desecration of shrines, graves, cemeteries, relics and in good faith begin the process of rebuilding these sacred sites to their original beauty. Additionally, within the Baqee and Moalla cemeteries, post respectable signage by the burial site of the notable personalities.
3.) Remove Harassing personnel from Baqee cemetery, especially those who initiate argumentative confrontations with pilgrims paying homage to family members and companions of the Prophet.
4.) Allow Muslims to pay homage and arrange special events to celebrate the birthdays and mark the commemorations of the martyrdom of notable personalities buried in Baqee & Moalla cemeteries.
For more information, please contact Kumail Razvi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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