TALLAHASSEE, FL—Declaring that no federal authority could infringe upon state residents’ freedom to go where they pleased, defiant Florida officials announced Wednesday that they will ignore Saudi Arabia’s government lockdown by holding a hajj to Mecca. “No federal authority can use the exaggerated threat of coronavirus to violate all Floridians’ constitutional right to make their pilgrimage to Mecca, and we refuse to comply with this clear abuse of power by the Saudi government,” said a visibily outraged Gov. Ron DeSantis at a press conference, adding that Saudi officials’ decision to limit the annual pilgrimage to the sacred birthplace of Muhammad to just residents of the kingdom was clearly overriden by phase 3 guidelines in Florida’s reopening process. “Look, the Saudi government can say whatever it wants, but what about states’ rights? We must rise up against this government tyranny, because they have no right to stop any Floridian from making the journey to the Kaaba. In fact, we are encouraging all Florida residents to assert their right to perform the rites of the hajj in the holy city of Mecca and enjoy their constitutional freedom to properly honor Muhammad. We will also challenge any mosque that prohibits entry because a Florida resident isn’t wearing a mask.” State officials added that if any Floridian gets coronavirus from their hajj, it was simply because Allah has willed it.
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