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Why are some Muslims calling for a boycott of Hajj pilgrimage?

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba as pray inside the Grand mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012.

More than two million Muslims from around the world are expected to descend on the Saudi city of Mecca next month for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. But a growing number of Muslims, including Australians, are turning their backs on what is one of the central ‘pillars of Islam’ and are calling for a boycott of the event.

It was the war in Yemen that led prominent Sunni Muslim clerics, like the Grand Mufti of Libya, to first call for Muslims around the world  to Boycott Hajj. The Sunni-led Saudi  government is the lead actor in the international coalition fighting in Yemen's civil war.

The UN has described the situation as the biggest man-made humanitarian crisis in the world.  The hashtag Boycott-Hajj has taken off on Twitter. Sydney-based aspiring filmmaker Faraaz Rahman has joined the call.

Before there might have been fringe groups here and there, without any traction… but now prominent leaders are calling for it [boycott]. I hope that that leads to other religious authorities to pick up and make similar calls.

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