Siege of Mecca, The 1x52
On November 20, 1979, at 5:30 in the morning, hundreds of heavily armed men took over the Grand Mosque of Mecca. Within minutes, they transformed the holiest shrine of Islam into a fortress—and a trap for almost 100,000 pilgrims inside. This is the beginning of the Siege of Mecca. The leader of the insurgents was 42-year-old Bedouin preacher and former National Guard corporal Juhayman Al Utaybi. He and his group demanded the immediate abdication of the Saudi Royal Family, the expulsion of all foreigners and the Kingdom’s return to the pure Islam of the first generations. The ensuring 15 days of battle cost hundreds, if not thousands, of lives, shook Saudi Arabia to its foundations, destabilized the Middle East and pushed the global balance of power to the brink of collapse. Almost 40 years later, the Siege Of Mecca is still shrouded in mystery and protected by silence and fear. After more than five years of research, director Dirk van den Berg and his international team have obtained exclusive access to first-hand accounts and private archives from Arab, French, German and American military, intelligence and civilian sources. This film finally reveals what really happened during the siege, what consequences it had and how it still affects the world today. The Siege of Mecca debunks the simplistic equations of “good” and “evil”, “us” and “them”, and the intricate historic, political and religious relations between the Siege of Mecca and Islamist Terrorism that is afflicting the world since 1979.
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