World Bulletin / News Desk
Saudi authorities have deported 150 female Nigerian pilgrims and detained another 1,000 because they came unaccompanied by men, Nigeria's government announced on Wednesday.
Mohammed Bello, chairman of Nigeria's national haj, or Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, said 150 women on one flight had been stopped at the airport for "lack of ... lawful male accompanying pilgrim".
"This ugly development continued with subsequent flights that arrived at the kingdom," he said, adding that 1,000 were still being held at the airport in Jeddah.
Women in Saudi Arabia require the permission of their guardian - father, brother, or husband - to leave the country.
Nigeria has some 80 million Muslims.
A group of the women arrived in tears back at Nigeria's airport in Kano, the largely Muslim north's biggest city.
"We were not given water to drink; there was no food for us and we remained glued on our seats in our aircraft for all those hours," said Hajia Amina Musa, as she broke down and wept.
Nigeria's parliament resolved to send a delegation to Saudi Arabia to "interface with the Saudi authorities over the issues surrounding the detained Nigerian female pilgrims".
Alhaji Laminu Rabi'u, head of the Kano Pilgrims Board, described the deportations as "condemnable".
All Muslims who are able are required to perform the haj at least once, as one of the five pillars of Islam.
The number of people taking part has risen dramatically over the last 80 years from around 20,000 in 1932 to nearly three million in 2011.
Muslim individuals and companies in the UK are having their HSBC accounts closed for no reason.
Buddhist Nationalist circles called for a boycott of Ooredoo amid a wave of anti-Muslim hate speech.
Cham Muslim minority believed to have come to Cambodia from ancient kingdom of Champa in what is now Vietnam centuries ago.
Muslims currently account for between 5 and 12 percent of the country's total population of roughly 14.2 million.
Celebratory gunfire heard across Mindanao island following sighting of crescent marking end of Ramadan month of fasting
Muslims performed prayers at open grounds and parks that were filled with worshippers donning white attire.
President of the Addis Ababa Islamic Affairs Supreme Council called on the faithful to pursue peace in the country, blaming "foreign elements" and "non-Muslims" for recent clashes between Muslim protesters and police in the Ethiopian capital.
An ongoing Israeli offensive on the blockaded Gaza Strip also dominated the Muslim prayer
Addressing worshippers at the Al Zarah playground in Juba, Sheikh Juma Said Ali, the chairperson of Central Equatoria Muslim Council, called for peace and stability in South Sudan.
In the main sermon at Cairo's Al-Azhar mosque, the preacher called for supporting the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip
Saleh and incumbent President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi performed the prayer at the Al-Saleh mosque in the capital Sanaa.
Commodity price hikes in Juba have been exacerbated by the looming Muslim Eid holiday, local traders and shoppers say
Five countries – Oman, Morocco, Gabon, Tanzania and Azerbaijan - have so far announced that Eid al-Fitr will start on Tuesday
The feast is due to start on Monday in Gaza as well as in some other Islamic countries
Monday has been declared a national holiday by the Interior Ministry
The confusion was set earlier Saturday when JNI spokesman Khalid Abubakar said in a statement that Sunday could mark the start of Eid al-Fitr if the new moon was sighted.