Channel: Lauren Booth
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Salam brothers and sisters and friends. I hope this finds you well and blessed. In today's video, I'm going to be reflecting on the Hajj pilgrimage, not from a religious point of view, not from a traditional point of view. But from the idea of what is it going to look, as we progress through the century? How are the forces that Ron had? How are they looking to update and upgrade it? You know, because Hajj is a messy, tumultuous mass of humanity. And it can be really, really tricky to navigate and find ourselves in the right place. In the past, it was a dangerous experience. So let's take a look at some of the amazing new ideas that Saudi is coming up with and break them down one by
one. If you have gotten ahead, this
sad actually, I myself
had bad my significant pick.
was suddenly I was on target. It was what it had. It'll be closer to reality now, but she'll add some margin talk to them. I don't want to let Agia where am I going?
So that looks amazing. When you arrive on the Hajj, the first upgrade that they're looking to do by 2029 Is everybody gets a badge and an earpiece. And something a bit like a Fitbit tells you what to do, where to go, and can even translate into different languages. So the question I'm asking myself is why when I watched that video, did it make me think of some dystopian weird matrix future that had nothing to do with spirituality? I feel like saying is it just me but because what I saw is a tracking device, telling us where to go, or where we should be at what time and how to do everything. And that has some good aspects, I suppose, you know, if you're a non Arab speaker, you
know, like me, it's not my first language, then what should you be saying at the right time during this very, very long ritual. But at the same time, you know, what, the months taken learning how to do Hajj, these have been for 1400 years, right? Part of the build up to going on the major pilgrimage for Muslims. You have to take a course you have to meet a Shia hor. or speak to someone in your family who's gone on Hajj before and say, What do I say how maybe you'd have gone back to Scripture and look at some some some ancient manuscripts how would you find out about Hajj now we press a button and we'd watch videos or join classes? No need to do that anymore. Just arrive, click
your Fitbit Tadge. and off you go.
So no preparation, no learning, no deep dive into the house and the y's that you do things. No looking at the life of Ibrahim alayhi salam and hedger, his wife, a sacrifice she made and belief in Allah to Allah, forget that. Let's press a button and say La ilaha illallah for two and a half minutes. But there is another darker, perplexing side to this big reset of hedge. And it's to do with the fact that millions of Muslims go to Mecca every single year, trusting innocently that we can go and be invisible to the world and just, you know, lose ourselves before Allah and be looked after. And traditionally mashallah Tabata color. The Saudi tribes and then the Saudi government have
been there to take care of pilgrims feeding the poor, helping people find their way making sure that the water sources are ongoing and you know, you know where to find them. Subhanallah
but outsourcing the help for pilgrims to invisible data collecting services. Hmm. Why on earth would I be uncomfortable about that? Maybe because this day and age entire elections have been swung provably by data collection from Facebook, invisible data collectors, have managed to contact voters through the electronic media and change their minds in a certain way. This wonderful Fitbit is going to have a tracking device. Yes, because
Who wouldn't want to be tracked every minute of hedge? I mean, the adverts say that you might get lost, in which case or you lose somebody in your party. You know, Mom, where are you? We don't seem to have mobile phones on Hajj, although I'd seem to see a lot of people sending photos from there. So what's wrong with the phone? But no, you can be tracked every second of your hedge and, of course that will help you track somebody else and find them. This year's hedge in 2022 was the first attempt to make it a techno hedge is the first time that Western Muslims like other nations had to go into what they call a lottery dread name. Whereas gambling in the Haram Hillel spectrum, it's a
lottery according to what they have written on the Saudi website. So your name gets plucked out. Maybe with your mom, maybe not maybe with your group of neighbors and family have been planning it for 10 years, maybe just on your own. Meaning that actually you definitely would need a Fitbit hadj thing to track you. Because you're going to be all on your own anyway, aren't you? So not like you're going to be speaking to anybody, and why you're going to be looking for anybody because you can't guarantee they're going to be going with you. So you go on your own because you're, you're chosen through a lottery. And then you're tracked in case you get lost from your group, which you
probably won't be going with anyway. And then your data and all of your privacy. All of your private details are passed on to invisible third party, big data companies. The minute that you register and login, and 2022 This year's Hajj was an unrelenting mess, according to pilgrims' have a look at this tweet here and this year 2022. Part of that hedge data service for God only knows what reason you can only go through the governing body of hedge. All of the regional companies have now been taken out of that loop. So there's only one way to go on hedge now. And the company tasked with collecting and facilitating applications from prospective Hajj victims is Indian Dubai based company travel
easy, which has ties to Indian Prime Minister Modi and the Muslim oppressing BJP party. Why? Of all of the companies in the world to do this? Why on earth would you give the privilege of handling Hajj pilgrims who are going to visit Allah's house to an agency to agency linked to a government torturing tormenting Muslims in their country spiritually going on Hajj means bumping into the people Allah to Allah has written for us to meet. If you've been on Hajj or indeed on camera, you know that a good percentage of what happens is not the planned, you know, pilgrimage moments when you're focused when you're concentrated, but they happen when you just have a spiritual moment
between you and Allah to Allah looking at the Kaaba on my Hajj in 2011 Subhanallah I remember one of the moments that will stay with me forever was I just paused to take a breath while making Tawaf while going around the Kaaba. And there was an elderly lady and she was in a wheelchair and I went and got some water for her and gave us some dates. She didn't speak any English and I said, Where are you from? And she said Afghanistan and we both started to cry our hearts just ya Robbie Afghanistan yeah Allah Ya Allah and then we went on ya allah Iraq ya allah Philistine
these moments, having technology at those moments can only take us away from that.
Is that the intention?
It kind of have to wonder
when does having technology on our wrists actually promote spirituality or connectedness to the faith of Islam? Isn't it what we tried to get away from on holiday to get away from when we're going on a pilgrimage let me have some time away from technology I don't want the pins at the moment I don't want the things and I don't want the alerts. But this Fitbit hadj thing is all thing. Do this now thing. Have you done that thing? Don't forget to this thing. I'd hate it. So what do you think about these new efforts to digitize Hajj and make it into a technological zone and farming out our privacy to other companies? Or am I missing out on all of the wonders that could make it a better,
safer hedge? I look forward to the conversation below. And for all of us, may we again get to see the Kaaba. May we again empty our hearts before Allah and maybe grant us forgiveness. So I'm Monica Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh