So! I was thinking. I’d like to build a synagogue and a Mormon Temple in Mekkah, Saudi Arabia. I feel Christians and Jews should have a place to worship when they visit Mekkah. What’s that you say? Non-Muslims aren’t allowed to travel to Makkah. But, then….why…well, why are they offended that Switzerland banned …minarets when they ban whole groups of humanity from their town?
Mecca (pronounced /ˈmɛkə/), also spelled Makkah (English: /ˈmækə/; Arabic: مكة Makkah and in full: Arabic: مكّة المكرمة transliterated Makkah Al Mukarrammah [mækːæt ælmukarːamæ]) is the holiest meeting site in Islam, closely followed by Medina. The city is modern, cosmopolitan and while being closed to non-Muslims, is nonetheless ethnically diverse.
Muslim tradition attributes the beginning of Mecca to Ishmael‘s descendants. In the 7th century, the Islamic prophet Muhammad proclaimed Islam in the city which was by then an important trading center. After 966, Mecca was led by local sharifs until 1924 when the Ottoman Empire collapsed and it came under the rule of the Saudis. In its modern period, Mecca has seen tremendous expansion in size and infrastructure.
The modern day city is the capital of Saudi Arabia‘s Makkah Province, in the historic Hejaz region. With a population of 1.7 million (2008), the city is located 73 km (45 mi) inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of 277 m (910 ft) above sea level.
Where is the UN condemnation over the fact that only Muslims can enter Makkah?
They certainly stepped up quickly enough to condemn Swizerland because they voted against allowing minarets to be built in their country.
Saudi Arabia, the country from which most terrorism originates, bans whole people from even entering their city.
Some enterprising Swiss individual needs to petition to build a Church or Temple in Makkah. See how well that goes over.
Entry to Mecca for Non-Muslims
The Saudi government supports their position using Sura 9:28 from the Qur’an:
“O you who believe! The Mushrikeen (idolaters) are (spiritually) unclean, so they shall not approach the Sacred Mosque after this year; and if you fear poverty then Allah will enrich you out of His grace if He please; surely Allah is Knowing Wise.”[Qur’an 9:28]
The existence of cities closed to non-Muslims and the mystery of the Hajjis have often aroused intense curiosity in people from around the world. Some have falsely claimed to be Muslims in order to visit the city of Mecca and the Grand Mosque to experience the Hajj for themselves. The first to leave a record was Ludovico di Varthema of Bologna in 1503. The most famous account of a foreigner’s journey to Mecca is A Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, written by Richard Francis Burton. Burton traveled as a Qadiriyyah Sufi from Afghanistan; his name, as he signed it in Arabic below his frontispiece portrait for The Jew The Gypsy and El Islam, was al-Hajj ‘Abdullah. Individuals who use fake certificates of Muslim identity to enter may be arrested and prosecuted by Saudi authorities.