Celebrity Pilgrims: Who are the entertainment world's naughty Hajjis fooling?
During this holy Hajj week leading up to the Muslim Eid al Adha, (Feast of Sacrifce) we put the spotlight on some of our fickle Arab celebs who like to flirt with their religion like their fans. Some use it to repair marriages - the ultimate couple counselling - others to earn brownie points with the Almighty and wipe their scandal-ridden slates clean. Most celebs after all will try anything once!
A bit like the Catholic faith that allows for habitual cleansing of sins, it seems that certain of the year-round party set, those rich and famous, but also fallen, Muslims latch on to the spiritual journey of Hajj or Umrah (Hajj light) as a chance to redeem themselves in the eyes of God but also their fanbase. Not so popular a decision with some Saudi Mecca officials who would like to see a ban on the less than holy supplicants, but of course Islam's holiest sites are not privy to a screening policy (though a no-go area for non-Muslims).
Still other naughty Hajji hopefuls will use the whole exercise as an excuse to be away from home and family. Gulf men have been called out on their dishonest pilgramage ruse to go on a boys trip abroad. Some thirty Kuwaiti wives were none too impressed to find their husbands had spent the New Year in Lebanon while supposed to be on a Umrah in Mecca, and struck back with divorce suits.
duties while enjoying all that Hajj-vegas (increasingly commercial Mecca and Medina) has to offer.