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  • Author or Editor: Zahir Janmohamed x
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Much of the Shiʿi pilgrimage experience on the hajj is about experiencing, negotiating, and ultimately, pushing up against the Saudi government’s attempt to monopolize definitions and parameters of religious expression. In this auto-ethnographic memoir of his pilgrimages to Mecca as a North American Shiʿi Muslim, the author addresses the following questions: How does one’s experience of the hajj change if you can wall of the Saudi state by plugging in your headphones and listen to a Shiʿi prayer or even a Shiʿi preacher of your own choosing? How does this change, if at all, the minority Muslim’s narrative of being an ‘outsider’ in Mecca, especially given that Shiʿi Muslims have long enjoyed a tenuous relationship not just with the Saudi state but also with other pilgrims? Finally, how does these new technologies have a capacity to change the power relations between Shiʿa pilgrims and Saudi religious authorities in Mecca and what limits are still there on Shiʿi religious performativity through prayer and bodily postures?

Open Access
In: Narrating the Pilgrimage to Mecca