Jeddah: Saudi authorities have warned against dabbling in politics or stirring sectarianism in next month’s Haj season.

“The Haj is a season of worshipping, not a season for raising slogans, or stirring sectarianism or hatred,” Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs Abdul Latif Al Shaikh told Dubai-based television Al Arabiya.

“Anyone who wants to politicise the Haj, or to do deeds violating Allah’s orders, all Muslims should confront him,” he added.

The minister made the remarks as he launched a major Haj awareness campaign in Jeddah.

More than 2 million Muslims are expected to take part in the upcoming pilgrimage season. Tens of thousands of them have already arrived in Saudi Arabia from around the world

Its rituals come amid high tensions in the Gulf over destabilising Iranian acts and tit-for-tat tanker seizure by Tehran and Britain.

The Haj is one of Islam’s five pillars. Muslims are expected to perform it at least once in their lives if they can afford it and are physically able.