Is This Sacred or What?

The holy place and tourism destination at Jabal Haroun, Petra Region, Jordan

Authored by: Erin Addison

The Routledge Handbook of Halal Hospitality and Islamic Tourism

Print publication date:  June  2019
Online publication date:  May  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138557055
eBook ISBN: 9781315150604
Adobe ISBN:


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Ziyaara (visitation) to the holy site of Prophet Haroun was both an individual observance and an annual, seasonal tradition in the Petra area of south Jordan until 1985. This chapter discusses how the regional political and economic situation in the 1980s and 1990s framed tourism, particularly, as a panacea for Jordan. Western donors propounded a certain ideal cultural climate for tourism development, the success of which was thought to indicate a positive context for investment in Jordan. The Hashemite regime positioned itself delicately between trending Islamic conservatism and Western donors of foreign aid, shaping local religious practices and ultimately determining the selection of holy sites officially sanctioned by the regime. The discussion explores the ways both Salafi-influenced attitudes toward ziyaara and Western constructions of inclusion, tolerance, and religious moderation are reflected in the 100, currently most-searched websites for Jabal Haroun in Arabic and English.

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