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Muslim women share sexual harassment incidents during Hajj with #MosqueMeToo

Did you ever think that holy pilgrimages like the Hajj could be unsafe for women too? A woman named Sabica Khan took to Facebook to share her #MeToo moment at Mecca, and helped many others shed light to their stories too.

Written by Anjali Jha | New Delhi |
Updated: February 11, 2018 3:47:45 pm
metoo, #MeToo, #Metoo, sexual harassment cases, sexual harassment incidents Muslim women sharing sexual harassment incidents at religious places has left Netizens shocked. (Source: Sabica Khan/Facebook)

The holy land of Mecca is one of the most sacred pilgrimage cities of Islam situated in western Saudi Arabia. The birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, the Hajj brings many devotees under one roof to feel peaceful in the presence of divine vibes. Sadly, women have a different story to tell.

A woman named Sabica Khan took to Facebook to share her #MeToo moment at Hajj, and found out that she wasn’t alone. Many other women from her community joined in with appalling incidents that took place at religious spots. After the horrific rape-murder case of seven-year-old Pakistani girl Zainab, more woman have started opening up about their stories of sexual harassment — and the revelation about its prevalence in holy places like Mecca has left many Netizens shocked.

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

While performing my tawaaf around the Kaaba after isha prayer, something really weird happened. It was my 3rd tawaf, and I felt a hand on my waist. I thought it was just an innocent mistake. I completely ignored. 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 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 *couldn’t move or turn around* I was literally petrified. 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.
I felt so violated. I felt unable to speak out. Stayed quiet because I knew no one would trust me, or nobody would take it seriously, except my mum. So I told her everything when I returned to the hotel room. She was incredibly confused and devastated. After this incident, she never allowed me to go there again alone.

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It’s sad to say that you are not even safe at holy places. I’ve been harassed, not once, not twice, but thrice. My entire experience at the holy city is overshadowed by this horrible incident.

I believe it’s totally okay and important to be open about harassment.
Don’t know how many of you had a similar experience there but this incident has unfortunately left me feeling upset. 

As soon as the post went viral on social media, other women started sharing their experiences of sexual abuse during Hajj with the hashtag #MosqueMeToo.

Don’t the gruesome incidents faced by Muslim women during Hajj and other holy places highlight the loopholes of our society? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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