The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, the country’s most senior cleric, has angered Muslim communities across the world by claiming that the Saudis were not to blame for the deaths at Mecca in September 2015.
News reports of the death of what is now known to be over 1450 people at the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, in a human stampede, criticised the Saudis for failing to ensure proper safety procedures. Very many hundreds were injured.
However, the Grand Mufti told Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef that the stampede was beyond human control, and that the Crown Prince was not responsible for the tragedy.
King Salman, who was crowned in January 2015, has ordered a safety review into the disaster, but Iran and other countries have levelled criticism at the Saudi authorities for the way in which they handle safety issues.