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Women speak out on sexual harassment during Hajj

Wednesday 7 February 2018, by siawi3

Source: https://stepfeed.com/women-are-speaking-out-about-being-sexually-harassed-during-hajj-8156

Women are speaking out about being sexually harassed during Hajj

"My entire experience at the holy city is overshadowed by this horrible incident."

2018-02-05 13:46

By Rayana Khalaf
Contributor

While one might think that men would tame their vile urges while performing their religious Islamic duties in the holy city of Mecca, the reality is quite disturbing.

Women have recently been speaking out about their experiences with sexual harassment while carrying out tawaf around the Kaaba during their pilgrimage to Mecca.

It all started when Pakistani Sabica Khan shared a heartfelt Facebook post in which she detailed being harassed while performing tawaf, after which women began sharing their own encounters with sexual harassment in Mecca.

"My entire experience at the holy city is overshadowed by this horrible incident"

"I was literally petrified."

Khan started off her post by writing, "I was afraid to share this because it might hurt your religious sentiments." She then narrated how she was sexually harassed several times while performing tawaf.

Khan said she first felt a hand on her waist but brushed it off as an innocent mistake. However, the touching persisted and she was very uncomfortable.

"During my sixth tawaf, I suddenly felt something aggressively poking my butt, I froze, unsure of whether it was intentional.

I ignored [it] and just kept moving slowly because the crowd was huge," she wrote.

Khan explained that she could not turn around because of the huge crowd.

"When I reached the Yemeni corner, someone tried to grab and pinch my butt," she added.

In response, she stopped moving, grabbed the harasser’s hand and yanked it off her body.

"I was literally petrified. [I] couldn’t even escape, so I stood, and turned around as much as I could, to see what’s happening, I turned around but... couldn’t see who it was," Khan explained.

Khan went on to say she felt "so violated" and was "unable to speak out," adding that she remained quiet about the incident fearing that people would not take her seriously.

"My entire experience at the holy city is overshadowed by this horrible incident," she concluded, urging women to speak up about harassment.
Countless women said they have faced similar encounters
Source: Pinterest

Encouraged by Khan’s words, several women commented on the post with their own experiences.

One woman, who chose to remain anonymous, told StepFeed she has been sexually harassed multiple times during her many visits to Mecca for Umrah, the non-mandatory Islamic pilgrimage.

She said harassment is most common in the queue leading to the Black Stone, a rock set into the eastern corner of the Kaaba.

She explained that she has encountered "pinches and inappropriately being touched by male organs at the butt" on multiple occasions.

As a result, during her recent visits to Mecca, she has been avoiding the Black Stone and performing tawaf in the outermost perimeter, which is less crowded.

°°°

Source: http://www.dhakatribune.com/around-the-web/2018/02/06/women-sexual-harassment-hajj/

Women speak out on sexual harassment during Hajj

Tribune Desk
Published at 09:02 PM February 06, 2018

’I was afraid to share this because it might hurt your religious sentiments’

Women speak out on sexual harassment during Hajj
File photo of Muslims gathering for Hajj at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia Reuters

A number of women have spoken out against sexual harassment during Hajj, after a Facebook post by a victim.

On Friday, February 2, Pakistani national Sabica Khan shared her terrifying ordeal at the holy pilgrimage, reports StepFeed.

“I was afraid to share this because it might hurt your religious sentiments,” Sabica began.

She went on describe how when she felt the first instance of inappropriate touching, during her third tawaf, she dismissed it as accidental.

However, as the inappropriate touching continued, her suspicions grew and she soon realized she was being sexually harassed, according to StepFeed.

“Then… I felt it again. It made me feel very uncomfortable. I kept moving. During my 6th tawaf I suddenly felt something aggressively poking my butt. I froze, unsure of whether it was intentional. I ignored it and just kept moving slowly because the crowd was huge. I even tried to turn around but woefully couldn’t. When I reached the Yemeni corner, someone tried to grab and pinch my butt. I decided to stop there, grabbed his hand and threw it off me,” Sabica wrote in the Facebook post.

She added that the horrific experience overshadowed her entire experience at Mecca, with the feeling of powerlessness at not even being able to turn around and identify her harassers due to the dense crowds having left her petrified, StepFeed said.

“I believe it’s totally okay and important to be open about harassment. I don’t know how many of you had similar experiences, there but this incident has unfortunately left me feeling upset,” Sabica concluded, as quoted by StepFeed.

A number of people have subsequently commented on her post, with many women sharing their own experiences of sexual harassment at the holy pilgrimage.

One commenter even said she had been facing sexual harassment at Hajj for over 28 years, and suggested Sabica should have been mentally prepared to face it.

According to an anonymous woman quoted by StepFeed, sexual harassment at Hajj is most common in the queue leading to the Black Stone, at the eastern corner of the Kaaba.