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Mecca Pilgrimage to Be Used for Anti-zionist Propaganda

March 2, 1938
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The great annual gathering of Moslems from all over the Eastern Hemisphere for the pilgrimage to Mecca will be made the occasion this year for a vigorous propaganda campaign against Great Britain and Zionism by Palestinian Arabs, it is predicted here.

For several weeks Mohammedans have been converging toward the desert city which is Islam’s greatest shrine. Despite the economic depression in Palestine and consequent impoverishment of the Arabs, more than 700 have joined the pilgrimage, the largest number in the history of the Holy Land.

Moslems usually wait until they are past the prime of life before making the journey to Mecca, but many of the Palestinian pilgrims this year are young men. The Hebrew press in Palestine, taking note of these facts, is unanimous in declaring that these youths plan to agitate for the Palestinian Arab nationalist cause among the Moslems from many other lands who they will meet on the journey.

From Beirut it is reported that a number of the Arab leaders who fled from Palestine in recent months to escape arrest for their political activities are also joining the pilgrimage. Among them are said to be Saad ed Din el Haj, former head of the Waqf (Moslem religious funds) of Jaffa, and Ibrahim said el Husseini, former manager of the Hebron Waqf. There are also reports that Jamal el Husseini, cousin of the deposed Mufti of Jerusalem and a leading spirit of the nationalist movement, has also gone on the pilgrimage, but Hebrew papers hold it incredible that Jamal, a political refugee, would be allowed to move freely in and out of Syria.

The movement of the exiled leaders toward Mecca is also interpreted by the Hebrew press as a part of the propaganda campaign. It is predicted that the agitators will direct their efforts particularly toward Moslems from India.

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