Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Taxing pilgrims



More and more Muslim pilgrims to Mecca are facing extortion from Maoist rebels in different districts of the country. The Maoists are said to demand between Rs 25,000-30,000 from every Muslim preparing to leave for Mecca this year. Chairman of the central Haj committee under the Home Ministry, Mehbub Shah says his office is receiving increasing complaints from the Muslim community that rebels are targeting them. "The Maoists are approaching pilgrims going to Mecca and the government does nothing," he said. Shah added this could be the main reason behind dwindling numbers of Haj pilgrims this year. A Muslim pilgrim, in Kathmandu making preparations to leave for Saudi Arabia, said the Maoists had called him for donations, reasoning that if he could afford the journey to Mecca, he could give a 'donation' as well. Every Nepali Muslim has to spend between Rs 150,000 and 200,000 for the pilgrimage to Mecca. According to Islam, money for the Haj has to be earned by the pilgrim and can't be borrowed.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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