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The Frikken Haj!

Evil Dynovac

TRIBE Member
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE!

This middle eastern religious event claims hundreds of lives each year on average due to trampling and general ignorant religious fervor. The so-called organisers of this civic nightmare has gone on record to say that 'any pilgrim killed while attending the Haj is considered a martyr and goes directly to heaven.'

Yesterday over two hundred pilgrims died by trampling. These people line up to throw stones at a trio of pillars, which is their way of saying they hate the devil. Can you imagine having hundreds of people beneath your feet whilst you pledge your love to God?

This year has been light by comparison.

Mon, February 2, 2004
Disaster plagues pilgrims

The annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina has been plagued by disaster in recent years:

- July 31, 1987 -- 402 people, mostly Iranian pilgrims, are killed and 649 wounded in Mecca when security forces clash with Iranians staging an illegal anti-U.S. demonstration.

- July 2, 1990 -- In the worst haj tragedy, 1,426 pilgrims, many of them Malaysians, Indonesian and Pakistanis, are killed in a Mecca stampede in tunnels leading to holy sites.

- May 23, 1994 -- 270 pilgrims, most of them Indonesian, are killed in a stampede in Mecca.

- April 15, 1997 -- Fires tear through a sprawling, overcrowded tent city at Mina, trapping and killing more than 340 pilgrims and injuring 1,500.

- Feb. 1, 2004 -- 244 pilgrims are killed in a stampede during the devil-stoning ritual.

I can understand why there are so many suicide bombings in the Middle East. Look at how they conduct themselves during peaceful religious demonstration. INSANE! If I'm sounding bigotted or closed minded then I'm terribly sorry, but I haven't killed two hundred people today so I can't be all that bad.
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Evil Dynovac
These people line up to throw stones at a trio of pillars, which is their way of saying they hate the devil.


what. they're just fighting evil. except they kill themselves instead of others. ;)
 

Gunark

TRIBE Member
Two wrongs don't make a right... but hey:

June 30, 2000 - 9 concertgoers crushed to death during Seattle Perl Jam show

Dec 3, 1979 - 11 people trampled to death outside The Who concert

Earlier last year - 100 people killed (many due to trampling) at Great White concert in Rhode Island

I could dig up more.... but the point is, when you get 2 million people all trying to fit in the same small area bad shit happens.

Blaming it on any particular culture, race or religion doesn't work. Not your fault though. People have a tendency to seek support for their beliefs, rather than counter-evidence. (Yes, that means you are prejudiced.)
 
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Evil Dynovac

TRIBE Member
I would think that 100 people dying at a Great White concert would be on the news and I would have heard about it, much like I heard/saw the Haj trampling news everywhere.

Do you have a link of this tragedy? Your details are somewhat scant.
 

Littlest Hobo

TRIBE Member
Leave God out of the Haj carnage

Andrew Anthony
Tuesday February 3, 2004
The Guardian

Listening to a report last Saturday on From Our Own Correspondent, I heard John Simpson describe the Haj as a "superbly organised" event. I remember thinking that this was an odd choice of phrase. It's true that the pilgrimage to Mecca is the largest annual gathering of humans in the world, with more than two million Muslims arriving in Saudi Arabia from around the globe. And therefore just housing and feeding that number of people is in itself an achievement.
But despite the impressive manner in which a major conurbation's worth of people are moved in and out of the Saudi desert, the Haj has suffered frequent problems. Not trifling problems, such as a shortage of air-conditioned accommodation, but serious stuff such as bombs, riots, epidemics, and large-scale death. Back in 1990 a stampede in a tunnel killed 1,426 people. Three years earlier some 400 Shi'ites were killed in skirmishes with Saudi security forces.

In 1979, a battle raged for two weeks between Islamic radicals, who took over the Grand Mosque in Mecca, and Saudi troops. At the end of it 127 Saudi soldiers lay dead, with more than 450 injured, and several hundred militants were killed; 63 of the surviving rebels were beheaded in the biggest mass execution in Saudi history.

Last year was a quiet year, with a mere 14 deaths during the Eid al-Adha "stoning of the devil" ritual. Taking into account these disasters alone - and there have been numerous others - it's not easy to see how the Haj can be described as "superbly organised".

One explanation might be that Simpson, not usually a man to soften his words, had been refused a visa to Saudi Arabia for more than a decade and perhaps on finally being allowed back he did not want unnecessarily to upset the authorities. Or, perhaps more likely, he genuinely believed what he reported to be the case.

Anyway, the very next day, at the climax of the Haj, 244 pilgrims were trampled to death during the stoning of the devil ceremony. To those of us used to the cry of judicial inquiry whenever an accident leads to even a handful of fatalities, 244 dead could be seen as something of an organisational failure. But apparently not. When questioned about the safety measures that were in place, Iyad bin Amin Madani, the Saudi minister for the Haj, replied: "I assure you that all preparations are always made, but we don't always know God's intentions."

Ah, yes, God, He moves in mysterious ways. Surely one of the greatest mysteries is why He should see fit to move with such lethal regularity on visitors to the Haj. It seems particularly ill-fitting that the vast crowd were shouting "God is greatest" at the very moment that He revealed His tragic intentions.

I'm no theologian, so I can't pretend to understand the apparent contradiction of a religious festival celebrating God in which the celebrants, as part of God's grand scheme, are trampled to death.

What I do know is that last year I wrote a column that attacked all religions for their abuse of the concept of God's will. In this regard I mentioned a certain "fundamentalist strain of Islam" and was consequently made the target of an organised correspondence campaign that, with a swift jerk of the knee, accused me of being a "racist".

It would be reassuring to think that at this moment my correspondents were busy firing off outraged emails to Mr Madani and the Saudi government for daring to pin these appalling and avoidable deaths on God. Yet I fear Madani's excuse will be greeted by the pious with a complacency bordering on indifference, the same complacency that has allowed all the previous catastrophies at the Haj to pass with minimal comment.

The main reason for this, I suspect, is that the west is in no way responsible for these deaths - which in the past 25 years of the Haj run into the thousands. Thus, unlike, say, the victims of the war in Iraq, they are without political significance and therefore moral weight. At the same time, no one else is interested in bringing attention to this recurring carnage because western governments - some of whose citizens are part of the pilgrimage - are afraid of offending the Saudis. And most westerners probably dismiss the whole thing as the strange workings of religious fanaticism.

But of course the loss of each of these lives was a needless tragedy. All Muslims who are able to travel are obliged to perform the Haj once before they die. They are not obliged to perform it once and then die.

The Saudis have announced that they will set up a committee to look at reorganising the Haj. But to have any real effect they need first to reorganise themselves. After the battle of 1979, the Saudis responded to the extremist threat by handing responsibility for religious and moral affairs to the extremists.

The mania that decision unleashed led two years ago to the witchfinders of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (the Saudi religious police) preventing a fire from being put out at a girls school in Mecca because the girls were inappropriately dressed. Fifteen girls died and 50 others were injured.

God's intentions are not an explanation for incidents such as this and the stampede on Sunday. They are an excuse. Similarly, to hold the Saudis to account for these deaths is not an act of a racism. But it is a form of racism to ignore them.

Scarlett or Eva? It's a moral dilemma

I have been troubled of late by a moral dilemma of a cinematic nature - or possibly the other way round. I can't seem to work out which is the more pervy and symptomatic of male midlife crisis - my fancying Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation or Eva Green in Bernardo Bertolucci's new film, The Dreamers.

In the former, we see Johansson, an actress who is - call the police - still in her teens, through the eyes of a late middle-aged man (played, with exquisite comic taste, by Bill Murray). And in the latter we see Green - untroubled by clothing - ostensibly through the eyes of a fellow youth, but really through the nostalgic camera of Bertolucci, the late-middle-aged veteran of the May 1968 événements the film depicts.

I came out of Lost in Translation relieved that Johansson and Murray had not consummated their relationship. For although I am not an ageing Hollywood star in decline, I identified sufficiently with Murray's character to have felt soiled and disturbed if they had done the deed. Whereas I came out of The Dreamers thinking I was 18 again and in Paris for the first time.

Although both films were wonderful, it's hard to decide which experience was the most - as the young people say - sad. All I know is that looking in the mirror after seeing Bertolucci's film was certainly the most upsetting.

· David Aaronovitch is away



http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,1137457,00.html

**************************************
 
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~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Evil Dynovac
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE!

...

I can understand why there are so many suicide bombings in the Middle East. Look at how they conduct themselves during peaceful religious demonstration. INSANE! If I'm sounding bigotted or closed minded then I'm terribly sorry, but I haven't killed two hundred people today so I can't be all that bad.


Thank god it wasn't a bunch of Christian Americans. The whole place would've been a blood bath, what with all the pent up anger and gun laws and such.
 

alcid

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Evil Dynovac
I would think that 100 people dying at a Great White concert would be on the news and I would have heard about it, much like I heard/saw the Haj trampling news everywhere.

Do you have a link of this tragedy? Your details are somewhat scant.
It was all over the news. For weeks.

Don't forget that nightclub trampling in Chicago last year that killed a bunch of people.
 

Evil Dynovac

TRIBE Member
Thanks for the link! I do remember this incident now but it didn't click because that incident was the result of a FIRE. People were burned to death, not trampled by their fellow man.

As well, no one in Rhode Island, not the Fire Marshall, or the Government Officials, or the Hospital Staff claimed that the tragedy was an ACT OF GOD. They all said the fire was due to a pyrotechnic failure and it spread because they building wasn't outfitted with a sprinkler system.

Both incidences are tragic, but we are talking apples and oranges here.
 

bambam

TRIBE Member
just a reminder that the oppressive and completely unjust saudi government/monarchy would not exist were it not for us support.
also, many muslims will go for hajj especially if they have health problems and theres any chance they will die during hajj. Obviously rituals such as these cease to have any real meaning in todays society, because we humans killed god last century and are working on killing the human soul this century (or is it the other way around?) Either way, any modern spiritualism is intrinsically doomed because of the sheer scale and infrastructures in place today to impose and spread injustice on the inter and intra species level, on an environmental level, on a social level.
I dont mean to be harsh, but as much sympathy I have for the dying and their families, one tends to assume that (if they believed so) theyre in better places. I dont see headlines about the detruction of forests, extinction of species, the draining of earth natural resources at a ridiculous pace, even though these things are likely to cause far greater casualties. With the demise of 'natural' checks on the growth of the global human population, sooner or later were going to be living the Malthusian nightmare. So the more people die, the more likely it is that we humans wont become extinct for a few more years yet.
Wow, I started with Hajj..
 
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beaker

TRIBE Member
people get trampled because they panic, and it becomes infectious. seeing one person fall and get stomped on in a mass of thousands of people makes the average person want to run for safer ground. any suggestion that this wouldn't happen anywhere else with the same number of non-muslim people is retarded.
 
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mingster

TRIBE Member
i saw some images on tv this weekend of the pilgrims walking all in the same direction. hundreds and thousands of them, all walking together. it looks pretty cool actually, on the television anyways.

of course, it's a little difficult to see the people being walked on from that aerial view. i would assume that if someone falls down, it would be quite difficult to make everyone just stop walking, so they could help him get up. damn near impossible really.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Originally posted by bambam
I dont see headlines about the detruction of forests, extinction of species, the draining of earth natural resources at a ridiculous pace, even though these things are likely to cause far greater casualties.

Here's one for you:

ONE SPECIES GOES EXTINCT THROUGH HUMAN ACTION EACH DAY IN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST

I think that's a tragedy, whereas people getting trampled for doing something completely stupid is not, especially if they think it's a good thing. Too bad it's only a measly hundred humans at a time, not billions.
 

Evil Dynovac

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by beaker
... any suggestion that this wouldn't happen anywhere else with the same number of non-muslim people is retarded.

You're right, it would be, and that wasn't my point.

It's one thing for over two hundred people to die in a peaceful religious demonstration that is investigated so that the root cause can be determined.

It's something else to simply call the tragedy an act of god and to further declare that anyone killed in future stampedes should be considered a martyr that will go straight to heaven.

I'm not speaking out against the Muslim people, I'm speaking out against their leadership. Where else in the world would an 'act of god' excuse be accepted?
 

Booty Bits

TRIBE Member
okay, heres my take on the hajj pilgrimage:
are there logistical changes that the organizers (there MUST be organizers for a religious event of this size) can make in order to protect people from the kinds of disasters we've seen take place there? (like being trampled or squished to death)
i totally respect the pilgrimage and i dont want to take away from any of the elements that make it what it is, but i have a hard time believing that theres nothing that can be done to improve 'crowd control' for lack of a better term.
 
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beaker

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Evil Dynovac
I'm not speaking out against the Muslim people, I'm speaking out against their leadership. Where else in the world would an 'act of god' excuse be accepted?

alright, i wasn't getting that from your initial post.
 

Evil Dynovac

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by beaker
alright, i wasn't getting that from your initial post.

Leaders set the example for their people. Leaders do and the rest follow. That's the same the world over. When the leaders of the Muslim faith dismiss hundreds of casualties with religous dogma it is shameful. It is also shameful that the Muslim people have not spoken out against it or demanded better measures for their own safety. There is a pattern that has gone on for years. I wonder if fanatacism prohibits questioning society?

This would not and has not happened in Western society. Our society would be outraged at the incident and with the response by those who should be held accountable.
 

beaker

TRIBE Member
there was a documentary on the haj on cbc sunday. according to one of the subjects, people who go to the stoning ritual appear to be well aware of the dangers. it's a choice they make based on faith and they're desire to participate in a tradition that muslims have been doing for years.

and it's not just "fanatics" who are attending the haj. stop generalizing... how do you know that no one's tried to do anything about it? and if nothing were done, why do you think it would stop people of a faith from participating.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Religion is fucking stupid, that's all there is to it.

I mean if one of the pillars (i.e. requirements) of your religion is to go along with a few million others at some point in your life to a so-called holy place and walk around, well, you fucking deserve to die, you stupid fuck.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Before someone gets the wrong idea, it is not Islam I have a problem with, it is ALL RELIGION.

Honestly, what a bunch of stupid fucking sheep.
 
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Evil Dynovac

TRIBE Member
Dude, there are millions of people in attendance. Of course not all of them are fanatics. Give me some credit.

I didn't actually call any of them fanatics, but I asked if fanatism is one of the reasons why these mass killings continue to occur. In 1990 they had over 1,400 people die in a single incident. Three years before over 400 were killed, three years after another 300 lost their lives. That kind of track record staggers my mind. I am stunned that this event hasn't had a serious overhall, or something drastic done like severely limit the amount of people allowed in the city.

This religious event shocks and sickens me because of the wanton and pointless loss of life. Our culturally sensitive society frowns upon the commentary of other religions. We have to respect a culture that kills their own because these masses have 'free will.'
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
You can't overhaul one of the pillars of a religion.

Pillars are entrenched, and you can't very well admit that they are stupid and useless, thought up by some moron a thousand years ago, for that would be admitting that your whole religion is fucked up and stupid.

Which is IS, of course, but you can see why you can't CHANGE THINGS, for that would make the arbitrary nature of the religion transparent.
 

beaker

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Evil Dynovac
We have to respect a culture that kills their own because these masses have 'free will.'

essentially, i think so. whether or not we agree with it. they have plenty to say about the way we live our lives.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by PosTMOd
Religion is fucking stupid, that's all there is to it.

Precisely. Why bother understanding why these people do things. Isn't it enough to know that they're religiously inclined to act? Look at the American fundamentalist movement. Equally irrational behaviour, just manifests itself a bit differently.
 

jeffpayne

TRIBE Member
You can't overhaul one of the pillars of a religion.

Pillars are entrenched, and you can't very well admit that they are stupid and useless, thought up by some moron a thousand years ago, for that would be admitting that your whole religion is fucked up and stupid.

Which is IS, of course, but you can see why you can't CHANGE THINGS, for that would make the arbitrary nature of the religion transparent.

Didn't the Pope change his religions outlook on homosexuality? I would call that a pillar.....
 
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