Crimean Tatars Set Out for Mecca

Mecca

This piece from LifeNews is about Muslim pigrims (which I assume to be mainly Tatars, although their ethnicity is not stated) from Crimea.

Headline:

Hundreds of Pilgrims from Crimea Have Flown to Saudi Arabia to Complete their Hadj

SubHeadline:

These pilgrims are some of the first inhabitants of the peninsula who have received Russian (Federation) biometrical external passports.

TRANSLATION

322 pilgrims flew out of Crimea to complete the Hadj – an obligatory pilgrimage — to Saudi Arabia, to places that are sacred for Muslims.  Existing sanctions [including travel sanctions against Russian citizens – yalensis] will not be applied (against these pilgrims).  In addition, the receiving side [=Saudi Arabia] gave out visas and special carrying bags to the Crimeans, without any issues.

[photograph and video – the interviewee with the Beatle haircut is named Ruslan Balbek, and he is the Deputy Chairperson of the Soviet of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.  Balbek is being interviewed at the Simferopol Airport.  The second man interviewed in the vid is Arnest Huseimov, a pilgrim who is setting out to perform his Hadj.  These two interviews form most of the content of this piece]

“Every Muslim is required to perform the Hadj.  I’ve done it several times already.  But this time is way more organized, notwithstanding the large number of those desiring to go.  The organizational help is quite impressive.  All we had to do was pack our things and go,” the pilgrim Arnest Huseimov related to LifeNews.

Muslims, participants of the Hadj, became some of the first Crimean residents who have received biometrical passports.  As soon as it became apparent that there would be a large-scale travel situation, the Government of Crimea organized a shuttle to Simferopol airport, and also set aside a separate booth in the registration hall.

“Today a record number of pilgrims took off from Crimea,” LifeNews was told by Ruslan Balbek, the Deputy Chairperson of the Soviet of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea.

“For the benefit of Muslims, every effort was made so that the Hadj would be convenient and comfortable for them to do.  This year we took measures to heighten security, we wanted to avoid any attempts to disrupt this massive enterprise.”

From Simferopol, the Muslims are sent to Mineral Waters (“Mineralnye Vody” in Stavropol region, Russia) , and from there a chartered flight to Saudi Arabia.  The government of Russia has paid 50% of the cost of the Hadj.  This contribution turned out to be significant for the majority of pilgrims.

END OF TRANSLATION

One of the commenters to the piece, a certain “zzzaaazzq” complains:

“Why do they [Russian Muslims] get such privileges?”

To which another commenter replies:

So they don’t lop off your fool head, asshole.”

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