Tehran: Iranian Deputy Minister of Culture
and Islamic Guidance for Cultural Affairs Bahman Dorri raised
objections to Saudi Arabia denying visas to Iranian Quran
Saudi Arabia has refused to issue visas to three Iranian
Quran memorizers who were due to attend the 32nd King Abdul
Aziz International Qur`an Recitation and Memorization
Competition (December 27 to January 2) in Mecca.
"I was struck with sadness to hear of this news and I
think it is quite the opposite of the Quranic teachings that
promote respect," Dorri said in a statement yesterday.
Muslim countries, including Shiite and Sunni, must stand
against global arrogance aiming to weaken the Islamic
countries through disunity, he added.
Based on a report released by the State Endowment and
Charity Affairs Organization, the cultural officials of the
organization had submitted their request to the organizing
committee of the competition in Saudi Arabia three months ago.
Iranian officials followed up on the request several
times by telephone, but the Saudi committee gave no definitive
response until finally they announced their refusal.
The three Iranian competitors were to participate in
three categories of memorization of the entire Quran,
memorization of 20 joz`s (The Quran is divided into 30
sections called joz`s), and 10 joz`s.