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Hajj-a-lou-yah - More random death in the name of religion!


Deeps
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You hear about it every year so here's your annual story of morons throwing rocks and getting crushed in the name of religion.

Brilliant

I'm sorry, with all due respect from Muslims who find sanctuary in the words of the Koran and are not fanatics, how does this happen every year around what is not only an obligation for all Muslims, but a day which is supposed to be the most holy in the life of a Muslim?

"Yes we have made it to Mecca, our Hajj is complete"

"Dad was that brains on the ground?"

"Don't worry about that, proceed, I feel the presence of Allah and his conquering of evil. We must stampede and throw rocks at the wall....uhhh I mean the devil."

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i woner what kind of target they use....if it's a traditional bulleye...maybe a goat, or a lovely lady showing some ankle.

i guess world youth day celebrations are about half the size...but factor in the youthy rambunctiousness and it's gotta be about equal...and how many deaths are there at those?

thanks for posting this deeps. some fodder for the religious discussions with mohammed today at work. i'm still waiting on an answer about why he can't touch my dog without having to cleanse again before prayer, now i can try and get an answer to this too.

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disturbing.

i went on a kick some time ago in which i thought to myself i would become an expert on the situation in the middle east and learn the history of these parts. I checked out some books from the local library and read them and came to the conclusion that what is happening today has been happening for thousands of years. to think that we as the 'western world', with the powers of democracy, can actually stir change is naive.

it's a sad world.

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i've come to the realization that without living there, it's really hard to understand the situation. we don't know what it's like to have tanks rolling through our streets and seeing men with guns on a daily basis. people telling us when to be home, etc etc.

i've also come to the realization that it's really hard to get an unbiased look at the situation. you either get a western person telling you what's going on, when, they have a 2nd or third hand account of it, or a biased native story, when you're locked up for 2 or 3 years, or more, seeing people killed for doing what we do here, voice our opinion on a political situation, you can't help but be biased. Even when you live there, you're looking at a middle eastern problem and culture through the perspective of western eyes. the more i know about this the sadder i am, and the more i realize that we can't solve their problems.

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yup.

i went to see bruce cockburn a while ago in chatham and being the political activist that he is, he started to tell stories of his trip to iraq. i do realize how our bias' come into play, but i appreciated what bruce had to say. he was anti-western world, but not and pro-muslim, but not. ??? i don't know, but i left with a feeling of 'bruce is an alright guy'.

that and he sang 'mystery' which i absolutely love.. brings tears to my eyes.

You can't tell me there is no mystery

mystery

mystery

You can't tell me there is no mystery

it's everywhere I turn

Moon over junk yard where the snow lies bright

snow lies bright

snow lies bright

Moon over junk yard where the snow lies bright

Can set my heart to burn

Stood before the shaman I saw star strewn space

star strewn space

star strewn space

Stood before the shaman I saw star strewn space

behind the eye holes in his face

Infinity always gives me vertigo

vertigo

vertigo

Infinity always gives me vertigo

and fills me up with grace

I was built on a Friday and you can't fix me

you can't fix me

you can't fix me

I was built on a Friday and you can't fix me

even so I've done ok

So grab that last bottle full of gasoline

gasoline

gasoline

Grab that last bottle full of gasoline

light a toast to yesterday

And don't tell me there is no mystery

mystery

mystery

And don't tell me there is no mystery

it over flows my cup

This feast of beauty can intoxicate

intoxicate

intoxicate

This feast of beauty can intoxicate

just like the finest wine

So all you stumblers who believe love rules

believe love rules

believe love rules

Come all you stumblers who believe love rules

stand up and let it shine

stand up and let it shine

stand up and let it shine

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These Hajj stampedes are pretty much routine annual events, and they do usually happen at the stoning of the Devil spot (where Abraham had been tempted not to sacrifice Ishmael, to the point where he got so pissed off he started whipping stones at the Devil to make him go away). It's a powerful symbol, but people do carry lots of baggage, and that can obviously get out of hand. They built a second tier around the pillars to ease the congestion, but with the huge numbers of people that come every year, fuckery is bound to ensue.

It is a crying shame, though, because the symbolism through the course of the whole Hajj is awfully rich, and does a lot for those that get in on it. By his own account, it cured Malcolm X of his racism.

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on a slightly more positive note (sorta):

Prophet of doom's message costs him Bible theme park

From Ian MacKinnon in Jerusalem

AS ARIEL SHARON lay fighting for life hours after suffering his massive stroke, the veteran US evangelist Pat Robertson told an estimated million viewers that the Israeli Prime Minister had been struck down by divine retribution for his withdrawal from Jewish settlements in Gaza.

But Mr Robertson faced his own retribution yesterday when the Israeli Tourism Ministry pulled the plug on a £40 million partnership with the controversial preacher to build a biblical theme park on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus was said to have performed many miracles and most of his public ministry.

Mr Robertson was one of the key backers of the project. But his remarks to viewers of his syndicated 700 Club programme prompted protests around the world. Yesterday Abraham Hirschon, the Tourism Minister, a close Sharon ally and among the first to back his Kadima party, said that the Government would cancel its agreement to provide land.

The project, which would have linked 125 acres of sites where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, urged his disciples to become “fishers of men†and was said to have fed the 5,000 from five loaves and two fishes, is now in jeopardy.

At the Jerusalem hospital where Mr Sharon is being treated doctors said yesterday that they had been heartened by his progress, but he was still expected to spend several months recuperating.

Mr Robertson’s criticism of the Prime Minister was backed by biblical quotations: “God considers this land to be His,†he said. “You read the Bible and He says, ‘This is my land’. And for any Prime Minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says: ‘No, this is mine’.â€

Mr Hirschon was outraged. The Government would no longer work with the preacher on the theme park project despite his enthusiasm for the idea, which he believed could draw in an extra 1.5 million Christian tourists annually.

Uri Dagul, the head of the steering committee and author of the project, is likely to seek other avenues to finance the project. The park’s focus is the heritage centre on the banks of the Sea of Galilee’s northern shore, with computerised, interactive displays and scale models of villages to illustrate how Jesus and his followers lived.

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i've come to the realization that without living there, it's really hard to understand the situation. we don't know what it's like to have tanks rolling through our streets and seeing men with guns on a daily basis. people telling us when to be home, etc etc.

i've also come to the realization that it's really hard to get an unbiased look at the situation. you either get a western person telling you what's going on, when, they have a 2nd or third hand account of it, or a biased native story, when you're locked up for 2 or 3 years, or more, seeing people killed for doing what we do here, voice our opinion on a political situation, you can't help but be biased. Even when you live there, you're looking at a middle eastern problem and culture through the perspective of western eyes. the more i know about this the sadder i am, and the more i realize that we can't solve their problems.

being muslim isn't having tanks roll through your town, it's a religion that's practiced throughout the world regardless of circumstance.

you gotta disassociate western military action with the religion.

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^ that seriously bothers me. a theme park? "interactive displays and scale models of villages to illustrate how Jesus and his followers lived"???? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

and then some of us sit back and and rub our heads about why some extreme islamic group would want to pull a 9/11.

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We're up to 345 dead and 1,000 injured.

This is a serious waste of human life. I won't call it a tragedy mind you, because to me the word tragedy implies something that is sudden and unexpected. This is becoming a running and sad joke.

From a CBC article :

The hajj has become known for its deadly stampedes, especially at the entrance to the bridge. Two years ago, at least 250 pilgrims were killed at the site, and 1,426 perished in 1990.

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^ that seriously bothers me. a theme park? "interactive displays and scale models of villages to illustrate how Jesus and his followers lived"???? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

:). Check out The Holy Land Experience in Orlando - I was sorely tempted to check it out last December when we were down, for strictly anthropological reasons.

There are plenty of these spots around. Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker had a doozy, until their scandal caught up with them in the late 1980s.

and then some of us sit back and and rub our heads about why some extreme islamic group would want to pull a 9/11.

I don't know if these sorts of theme parks particularly irk them, except in the way that Wahhabi Muslims go apeshit over representations of people or animals, which they see in direct contradiction to injunctions against that sort of thing in the Qur'an. Well, that, and the decadence of US culture that people like Sayyid Qutb railed against from the 1950s onwards.

I think I see what you mean - it doesn't present active Christians as people into their religion for anything more than entertainment. But again, it is probably for the most part under the radar, or frosting on the cake, for most extremists.

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the word tragedy implies something that is sudden and unexpected. This is becoming a running and sad joke.

It will be interesting to check in again next year and see if the Saudi gov't has done anything new to deal with this, apart from adding yet another tier to the area.

There is a great National Geographic documentary from (I think) 2000 called Inside Mecca that does a great job showing the staggering amount of organisation that goes into staging the annual grand Hajj. They don't let just anyone in to film, let alone Western crews, so the footage alone with worth checking it out for. The human interest angle is engaging, too; it follows a Malaysian, a South African, and an American Muslim as they go through each of their respective processes, and each provides a sort of running commentary along the way. The doc does a good job in walking the line between the descriptive and the critical.

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not to pick...but i don't associate being muslim with having tanks roll through streets.

i was replying to birdy who said she ws trying to learn the history of the middle east...i was simply commenting on an area that's seen a lot of strife, strife that we, generation now, just can't understand.

i equate muslims with other prejudicial, stereotypical things, but not tanks (see my first post)

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:). Check out The Holy Land Experience in Orlando - I was sorely tempted to check it out last December when we were down, for strictly anthropological reasons.

There are plenty of these spots around. Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker had a doozy, until their scandal caught up with them in the late 1980s.

where have i been? i started to ask a few coworkers about these places and they all acted as if was old news! i'm still in shock. one co-worker asked 'do you think if jesus christ was giving a sermon today he'd wear a rolex?". lol. seriously i'm disturbed. finding God in Orlando is one thing, but a theme park by the sea of Galilee is another. *head shaking*

yet, i think if ever in orlando, i will make a stop. these types of things fascinate me. and the people who visit them as a regularly scheduled family vacation stop do too.

I don't know if these sorts of theme parks particularly irk them, except in the way that Wahhabi Muslims go apeshit over representations of people or animals, which they see in direct contradiction to injunctions against that sort of thing in the Qur'an. Well, that, and the decadence of US culture that people like Sayyid Qutb railed against from the 1950s onwards.

I think I see what you mean - it doesn't present active Christians as people into their religion for anything more than entertainment. But again, it is probably for the most part under the radar, or frosting on the cake, for most extremists.

yes exactly what I meant- frosting on the cake. One more nail in the coffin.

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These Hajj stampedes are pretty much routine annual events, and they do usually happen at the stoning of the Devil spot (where Abraham had been tempted not to sacrifice Ishmael, to the point where he got so pissed off he started whipping stones at the Devil to make him go away). It's a powerful symbol, but people do carry lots of baggage, and that can obviously get out of hand. They built a second tier around the pillars to ease the congestion, but with the huge numbers of people that come every year, fuckery is bound to ensue.

It is a crying shame, though, because the symbolism through the course of the whole Hajj is awfully rich, and does a lot for those that get in on it. By his own account, it cured Malcolm X of his racism.

malcom x talks about it very fondly in his autobiography. he spent time talking to a blond haired blue eyed pale skinned muslim and it totally broke through his self-confessed reverse racism. seeing people from all over the world be kind to one another gave him a whole new model.

wonder what he would have thought of the most recent nonsense?

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The project, which would have linked 125 acres of sites where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, urged his disciples to become “fishers of men†and was said to have fed the 5,000 from five loaves and two fishes, is now in jeopardy.

[color:purple]but, man! think of the cool underwater roller coaster ride and all the new McD menu items we'll miss if this theme park doesn't go through!!! "WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN???"

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Some more light cast in today's news -

Saudi officials defend hajj crowd-control measures .

The incident was set off as tens of thousands of pilgrims filed past a series of three pillars on a wide bridge. It is accessible by only four entry and exit ramps, and about the width of an eight-lane highway.

People entering one of the ramps tripped over luggage that had been dropped, starting a stampede.

...

Saudi Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdel Aziz offered his condolences in a statement on Saudi Al-Ekhbariya television.

"We feel pain and sorrow for them and for their families and we send our condolences," the prince said.

He said the kingdom "spared no effort" to avoid such disasters at the hajj.

But he said it "cannot stop what God has preordained. It is impossible."

Then why bother with things like "effort", I always wonder?

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Saudi Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdel Aziz offered his condolences in a statement on Saudi Al-Ekhbariya television.

"We feel pain and sorrow for them and for their families and we send our condolences," the prince said.

He said the kingdom "spared no effort" to avoid such disasters at the hajj.

But he said it "cannot stop what God has preordained. It is impossible."

Then why bother with things like "effort", I always wonder?

I spent the past three and half months living in a mostly Muslim community in northern Ghana. People there, Muslims and Christians alike, often make comments about things being God's will -- similar to the quote above. They would argue that although God decides what one's fate holds, one can still make an "effort" to live a good life. One's efforts will be rewarded when God decides one's fate.

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Saudi Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdel Aziz offered his condolences in a statement on Saudi Al-Ekhbariya television.

"We feel pain and sorrow for them and for their families and we send our condolences," the prince said.

He said the kingdom "spared no effort" to avoid such disasters at the hajj.

But he said it "cannot stop what God has preordained. It is impossible."

Then why bother with things like "effort", I always wonder?

I spent the past three and half months living in a mostly Muslim community in northern Ghana. People there, Muslims and Christians alike, often make comments about things being God's will -- similar to the quote above. They would argue that although God decides what one's fate holds, one can still make an "effort" to live a good life. One's efforts will be rewarded when God decides one's fate.

the really worrying thing is that in my experience of muslim countries, they extend this sort of attitude to driving.

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Ha, so true -- though the Christian drivers in Ghana have the same attitude. If you hop a bus or a mini-bus between towns, the driver usually leads everyone in a prayer before you get going. If the driver is Christian there is often part of the prayer where he starts asking for the bus to be "soaked in the blood of Jesus," which is really bizarre the first time you hear it.

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If the driver is Christian there is often part of the prayer where he starts asking for the bus to be "soaked in the blood of Jesus," which is really bizarre the first time you hear it.

:D!

Possibly more disconcerting are all the Hindu and Buddhist bus drivers, who have reincarnation up their theological sleeve should they fail to make some hairpin turn.

The will-of-God line, Christian, Muslim, etc., alike, I can appreciate on one level (there are some intractables in life, after all, and expressing it in the language of some omnipotent intelligence that looks kind of like us can be an interesting way to phrase it), but it does work too well as a catch-all for all the things you can't explain or are afraid to think about too much ("Gee, Dad, why are you beating Mom so hard?" "It's the will of God, son, watch well and learn. Besides, it's in the Bible/Qur'an, so pipe down").

But still, it does make a nice qualifier for the stuff that can't be controlled - "I'll see you at the show tomorrow night, and can't wait to hear the killer Terrapin they're going to do, God willing/in'sh'Allah."

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