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Another Hajj stampede

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/me...ede/index.html Can't the Saudi government do something to prevent the practically annual stampedes? Don't they have crowd control experts? Just think of all the people for whom this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and who are crushed to death.
post #2 of 19
I was thinking the same thing.
Those poor people, what a horrible way to die. 345 is a lot of people.
post #3 of 19
Apparently they were doing something about it but didn't have time to implement is this year.

Hopefully they will stop this happening in the future.
post #4 of 19
I have yet to understand this ritual-
post #5 of 19
Why would this ritual continue to be performed as it is now when people are killed virtually every year in recent times due to stampeding?

I'm sure that it must be in accordance with Islamic law not to kill a fellow Muslim during the ritual, if in fact it does discuss this in the Quran. If this ritual is not observed in the Quran, then Muslims are guilty of killing needlessly.

As a supporter of Israel as a Jewish state, I have my own issues with Islam and how they value human life -- particularly Jewish life.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vespacat
Why would this ritual continue to be performed as it is now when people are killed virtually every year in recent times due to stampeding?

I'm sure that it must be in accordance with Islamic law not to kill a fellow Muslim during the ritual, if in fact it does discuss this in the Quran. If this ritual is not observed in the Quran, then Muslims are guilty of killing needlessly.

As a supporter of Israel as a Jewish state, I have my own issues with Islam and how they value human life -- particularly Jewish life.
I really don't believe it's fair to make this a religious issue, as it's a public safety issue. How is it any different from Catholics flocking to Vatican City (just think of the masses at JPII's funeral)? Or tens of thousands of fans going to a hockey or soccer game, or a Bon Jovi concert? Or who congregate in Times Square, the Red Square, or at Brandenburg Gate every New Year's Eve?
The Saudi government knows from experience that they can get 2.5 million visitors at this time of year. It's irresponsible of the authorities to let that many people into the country at once, and also not to limit access to the holy sites at any given hour. Why aren't they, e.g., allowing 50,000 people access for two or three hours, moving them out, and letting others in? Why don't you see mounted policemen controlling crowds?

Latest update: http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/me...ede/index.html
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
I really don't believe it's fair to make this a religious issue, as it's a public safety issue. How is it any different from Catholics flocking to Vatican City (just think of the masses at JPII's funeral)? Or tens of thousands of fans going to a hockey or soccer game, or a Bon Jovi concert? Or who congregate in Times Square, the Red Square, or at Brandenburg Gate every New Year's Eve?
The Saudi government knows from experience that they can get 2.5 million visitors at this time of year. It's irresponsible of the authorities to let that many people into the country at once, and also not to limit access to the holy sites at any given hour. Why aren't they, e.g., allowing 50,000 people access for two or three hours, moving them out, and letting others in? Why don't you see mounted policemen controlling crowds?

Latest update: http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/me...ede/index.html
First and foremost, this is a religious issue. This ritual is being performed for the sake of the Islam religion.

I agree that it is also a public safety issue, and the Saudi government should also share the burden, as they have had years to find ways to eliminate stampeding, which has been occuring for years.
post #8 of 19
They need to do something more to keep people safe. I read that one year more than 1000 people died!, that's crazy!
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
I personally am rather sick of Western industrialized countries' tolerance of Saudi Arabia's policies and export of its particular brand of conservative Islamism. I really feel that the country is responsible for quite a bit of today's terrorism. My opinion certainly isn't "politically correct", but I nevertheless feel that I'm not far off the mark. Western democracies don't dare criticize Saudi Arabia too much, for fear of being cut off from its petroleum. Thus, they kowtow to the country, rather than cut off all diplomatic and commercial ties. What a disgusting situation, IMO.
post #10 of 19
Have to agree wholeheartedly with you jcat.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
I personally am rather sick of Western industrialized countries' tolerance of Saudi Arabia's policies and export of its particular brand of conservative Islamism.
Western civilisations also refuse to criticize israel, China nad many other countries (whoose human rights records are very suspect). They will only criticise if it wont effect there trade relations . Maybe im too cynical

On to the original topic. The saudis had put in place some safety precautions. Including limiting the amount of people who could come. This years horrific tragedy happened in a differnt place to previous years. The main problem is the amount of people this year there was nearly 2 million people attending so by anyones standards this is a difficult number to keep safe. Part of the problem this year was illegal pilgrims (who hadnt got visas from the saudi govenment). The stoning of the pillars is the final stage of the pilgramage which normal involves larger crowds. There were 10,000 policeman on duty while this was taking place.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've read that several other Islamic countries have offered to help with security, but Saudi Arabia has refused. Does anyone know if the pilgrimage absolutely has to take place around Eid? I asked my Muslim students, and they couldn't agree whether a visit at another time of year would fulfill obligations. They could all be put in the "secular" category, though. All my question did was start an argument about the Koran, as most of them have read it in Turkish. Only three or four have read it in Arabic, and they claim that a lot gets lost in translation (they've also read German and English translations).
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
I've read that several other Islamic countries have offered to help with security, but Saudi Arabia has refused. Does anyone know if the pilgrimage absolutely has to take place around Eid? I asked my Muslim students, and they couldn't agree whether a visit at another time of year would fulfill obligations. They could all be put in the "secular" category, though. All my question did was start an argument about the Koran, as most of them have read it in Turkish. Only three or four have read it in Arabic, and they claim that a lot gets lost in translation (they've also read German and English translations).
I don't know if the pilgrimage has to take place around Eid, but if it's only custom, rather than dogma, I expect it could be changed. Although I'm sure the vast majority of Muslims would be against a change.

I have read some of the Quran in a transliterated English version, and it actually states to KILL people who reject Islamic tenets. I found that profoundly disturbing.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Does anyone know if the pilgrimage absolutely has to take place around Eid? I asked my Muslim students, and they couldn't agree whether a visit at another time of year would fulfill obligations. .
Thats a little like saying shall we have Christmas at a different time, or lent or passover. Its tradition I cannot see any way the majority of Muslims would change the date. the reason for it taking place around this time of year is its when Mohammad completed his pilgramage.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by vespacat

I have read some of the Quran in a transliterated English version, and it actually states to KILL people who reject Islamic tenets.
Most of these statements are normally made from sources that have never seen a copy of the book. I always find this negative propoganda quite worrying
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xDx
Thats a little like saying shall we have Christmas at a different time, or lent or passover. Its tradition I cannot see any way the majority of Muslims would change the date. the reason for it taking place around this time of year is its when Mohammad completed his pilgrimage.
Now that answers my question! I wonder why my students didn't know that? As a lapsed Catholic, the word "pilgrimage" calls Lourdes to mind. I read the Koran about 30 years ago, in English, but I think I'd better get another copy and really read it.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by xDx
Most of these statements are normally made from sources that have never seen a copy of the book. I always find this negative propoganda quite worrying
Actually, I picked it up from a fundamentalist Muslim book seller, so I thought that the translation would be somewhat accurate. So, I don't know where you gather it's negative propaganda without me even mentioning the source...
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by vespacat
Actually, I picked it up from a fundamentalist Muslim book seller, so I thought that the translation would be somewhat accurate. So, I don't know where you gather it's negative propaganda without me even mentioning the source...
Many translations of the Quran have changed the true meaning in Arabic. The Quran in English loses much of the flavor and I have read versions that contain outright lies.

I don't know how they were ever published.
post #19 of 19
Also, side point: because one is a bookseller doesn't mean he has read the books he sells.
If he speaks Arabic, there is an even greater chance that he may not read his copies of English translated versions.

We have hundreds of books on Jewish culture/religion in Hebrew and English in my store and I can tell you that the owner has not read a 1/10 of them, if that....
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