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View Full Version : 244 Muslim Pilgrims Die in Hajj Stampede


TheEveningStar
01-02-04, 15:14
Yahoo.com

By RAWYA RAGEH, Associated Press Writer

MINA, Saudi Arabia - Nearly 250 Muslim worshipers died in a hajj stampede Sunday during the annual stoning of Satan ritual in one of the deadliest tragedies at the notoriously perilous ceremony.

The stampede, during a peak event of the annual Muslim pilgrimage, or hajj, lasted about a half-hour, Saudi officials said. There were 244 dead and hundreds of other worshippers injured, some critically, Hajj Minister Iyad Madani said.

"All precautions were taken to prevent such an incident, but this is God's will. Caution isn't stronger than fate," Madani said.

Most of the victims were pilgrims from inside the Saudi kingdom and many were not authorized to participate, he said.

In an effort to control the crowd of about 2 million, Saudi authorities sets quotas for pilgrims from each country and required its citizens to register.

The devil-stoning is the most animated ritual of the annual pilgrimage and often the most dangerous. Many pilgrims frantically throw rocks, shout insults or hurl their shoes at the pillars acts that are supposed to demonstrate their deep disdain for the devil. But clerics frown upon such action, saying it's un-Islamic.

Last year, 14 pilgrims were trampled to death during the ritual and 35 died in a 2001 stampede. In 1998, 180 pilgrims died.

The annual hajj, which began Thursday, climaxed Saturday as some 2 million Muslim pilgrims listened to Saudi Arabia's top cleric denounce terrorists, calling them an affront to Islam. However, he defended the kingdom's strict interpretation of the faith.

Sheik Abdul Aziz al-Sheik said in his sermon there were those who claim to be holy warriors, but were shedding Muslim blood and destabilizing the nation.

"Is it holy war to shed Muslim blood? Is it holy war to shed the blood of non-Muslims given sanctuary in Muslim lands? Is it holy war to destroy the possession of Muslims," he said, adding that their actions gave enemies an excuse to criticize Muslim nations.

A large number of the victims of suicide attacks in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq and elsewhere have been Muslims.

Al-Sheik, who is widely respected in the Arab world as the foremost cleric in the country considered the birthplace of Islam, spoke at Namira Mosque in a televised sermon watched by millions of Muslims in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

The mosque is close to Mount Arafat, where the Prophet Muhammad delivered his last sermon in 632.

In speaking about terrorists who killed fellow Muslims, al-Sheik was clearly referring to the prophet's final sermon, which contained the line: "Know that every Muslim is a Muslim's brother, and the Muslims are brethren. Fighting between them should be avoided."

Al-Sheik also criticized the international community, accusing it of attacking Wahhabism, the strict interpretation of Islam that is applied in Saudi Arabia: "This country is based on this religion and will remain steadfast on it."

After the sleepless night of prayer following the sermon, pilgrims gathered pebbles to throw at the pillars. Each threw seven times, chanting "bismillah" ("In the name of God") and "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Great").

Calling America "the greatest Satan," Egyptian pilgrim Youssef Omar threw pebbles at one pillar where someone scrawled "USA."

From there, some pilgrims took off to the nearby holy city Mecca to perform the main "Tawaf," or the circling of the holy stone known as the Kaaba.

Security has been high during the hajj, with thousands of police guarding the roads and temporary camp city of Mina. Helicopters monitored the crowd from the air.

The stoning ritual also marked the first day of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, celebrated at the hajj and around the Muslim world with the slaughtering of a camel, cow or sheep. Meat is eaten and distributed to the poor.

The hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca required of all able-bodied Muslims at least once in a lifetime, is taking place after a series of suicide bombings and police shootouts with suspected terrorists in Saudi Arabia.

The bombings killed 51 people last year, including many Saudis, other Arabs and eight Americans. Muslims also have died in terror attacks in Turkey, Iraq, Morocco and elsewhere.

[ 01. February 2004, 15:16: Message edited by: TheEveningStar ]

lara bahun
01-02-04, 15:22
i heard about that.It's horrible :(
Thank you for posting that...

shandroid
01-02-04, 15:43
Hellite here. Hi! God Bless Satan!! :rolleyes:

Calling America "the greatest Satan," Egyptian pilgrim Youssef Omar threw pebbles at one pillar where someone scrawled "USA."

There were 244 dead and hundreds of other worshippers injured, some critically, Hajj Minister Iyad Madani said.

Last year, 14 pilgrims were trampled to death during the ritual and 35 died in a 2001 stampede. In 1998, 180 pilgrims died. Wow, from the looks of things, this ritual is smart and meaningful. Oh but this is God's will. Caution isn't stronger than fate," Madani said.
so let's just keep on doing it!!! That'll teach Satan a lesson.

Sorry, if any of you are Muslim, but I just don't get this religion, never have. I don't hate Muslims but so many hate me and my country, when we are human beings just like they are. Ridiculous.

gonga
01-02-04, 20:15
Shan, did you guess I wmight have an opinion?
:D Good to see ya! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/wave.gif

I don't disagree that such hatred is wrong-headed, but we need to be really careful here.

Don't forget all the muslims who are Americans like you and I, and all the Christians who foment hatred here against muslims. Many of them are Christian leaders too, who command the attention of millions of TV-viewers across America.

Finally, America is bringing much greater change to the muslim world and culture, not the other way around. Many of these cultural changes are characterized by sex, money, and greed. After all, that's what sells over there as well as here, especially to the young. And guess who's making the money? US companies. If I were a conservative muslim in Iran for example, I would probably hate America for all these reasons plus what we did to their political situation over the years, what with the corrupt puppet leaders that we installed, which allowed us to continue to do business and maintain a cheap oil supply and so on.

IMO, this country needs to wake up to what American businesses, with the assistance of the American and foriegn governments, are really doing overseas.

Should we really be surprised that people hate the richest, most powerful country, when it does so little to control, and even encourages, the powerful, corrupt business dealings that we permit to happen in their countries? There are places in the Middle East where a gallon of water costs more than a gallon of gas does in the states. We are, in fact, robbing many countries of their own natural resource heritage to satiate our out of control appetite for material goods and energy.

Still awake? Then thanks for reading :D

shandroid
01-02-04, 21:03
Originally posted by gonga:
Shan, did you guess I wmight have an opinion?
:D Good to see ya! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/wave.gif

I don't disagree that such hatred is wrong-headed, but we need to be really careful here.

Don't forget all the muslims who are Americans like you and I, and all the Christians who foment hatred here against muslims. Many of them are Christian leaders too, who command the attention of millions of TV-viewers across America.

Finally, America is bringing much greater change to the muslim world and culture, not the other way around. Many of these cultural changes are characterized by sex, money, and greed. After all, that's what sells over there as well as here, especially to the young. And guess who's making the money? US companies. If I were a conservative muslim in Iran for example, I would probably hate America for all these reasons plus what we did to their political situation over the years, what with the corrupt puppet leaders that we installed, which allowed us to continue to do business and maintain a cheap oil supply and so on.

IMO, this country needs to wake up to what American businesses, with the assistance of the American and foriegn governments, are really doing overseas.

Should we really be surprised that people hate the richest, most powerful country, when it does so little to control, and even encourages, the powerful, corrupt business dealings that we permit to happen in their countries? There are places in the Middle East where a gallon of water costs more than a gallon of gas does in the states. We are, in fact, robbing many countries of their own natural resource heritage to satiate our out of control appetite for material goods and energy.

Still awake? Then thanks for reading :D Oh Gonga dear, here we are again! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/wave.gif Love your new avatar BTW, it is so you! I just do not like being hated as a whole group, it is so immature and incorrect. I can help control who gets in office, but I dont control what they do when they get there, but that sure doesn't stop some extreme Muslims from killing me (Joe Schmo) on my way to work at the World Trade Center. :rolleyes:

You know? Why cant the majority of Muslims understand that the great majority of Americans are just plain ol' Mr. and Mrs. Schmo with 2 kids trying to get through life the best they can? Very much like they are too. I can't help it if my country is a bit base here and there, but the majority of us are decent people who are good and don't get involved with the slimy industries and such. It's called choice and by god, I am damn happy I have it. That is something in desperately short supply over in the Islamic countries.

Now to your more intelligent comments. Personally, I wish we would just up and leave their countries (they would all have a heart attack, I imagine!), and not stick our noses in their business. Do you really think if we did that they would start chanting "Glory be to Allah and our New Friends the Americans, oh praise them Allah!" Eh heh. They would all wonder what we had up our sleeves..."Oh no, the crazy, greedy, sex hungry Americans have finally decided to show their most ugly side ever! They are going to bomb us all!!!"

I guess I am tired of it. Call me crazy but WTC is just a bit too recent in my memory. They may not all be extremists, and no I would not dare ever think that! But don't diss my country, dammit!!!! Just because my country has it together more, and even though they have all the natural resources, they are still dirt poor, don't call us evil!!!

Doesn't Mohammad state in the Koran to accept and tolerate people of other religions? And wasn't countries such as Iran, thriving populices with educated folks actually contributing to society in the fields of medicine and math several hundred years ago? Can't this area of the world be like that again? Talk about going backwards. They seem to not encourage their people to be thinkers anymore. It seems like their only concern is to be pious and just about any thing ends up as being blasphemous. This kind of thinking stagnates a society...I mean take a look at it now. I wouldn't hesitate to live in ancient Persia, but you would have to drag me kicking and screaming over to Iran today.

Ok, yes, I sound like a raving nut here, and I don't back up my statements with facts like you do gonga, but oh well.

gonga
01-02-04, 21:36
I agree that things appear to be going backwards over there in many respects. My own perspective is more oriented toward how I can change what MY country is doing to better the region, rather than focus on what THEIR governments can do.

The article says they hate America and the USA, not Americans. In the same way, many Americans have come to hate Islam. That's a shame, because the religion itself is not the cause of strife over there. If we need to hate, it is wiser for us to hate their governments than for us to hate them or their religions. It is even wiser for us to take the reigns of OUR OWN governmental policies overseas, and here at home where we waste resources.

Personally, I don't view the bombing of the WTC as an act of muslims any more than I view the bombing of abortion clinics as an act of christians. To do so would be to foment the very type of hatred of whole groups of people which we so despise.

I definitely think American business and government interests overseas are often evil, and I think it is up to us to try to control that. And I am also much more comfortable dissing my own government, the most powerful in the history of the world, than that of another very poor country, particularly when my country's policies disproportionately affect them.

By the way, these nations are resource-poor. They just happen to have the most important one, and we seem to think we have a right to it. I don't get that at all, and neither do they.

shandroid
01-02-04, 21:49
By the way, these nations are resource-poor. They just happen to have the most important one, and we seem to think we have a right to it. I don't get that at all, and neither do they. Yes, I know they are, and I did mean oil as the resource I was referring to above. I do not believe we have a right to their resource, however, I do believe we have a right along with the other countries who need it to make sure the price stays reasonable, though.

gonga
01-02-04, 21:57
Well, Shan, here I am living in God's country. And whenever I don't have time to continually stoke the woodstove (like at least 2/3 of the time including while I'm at work), the oil-burner comes on. Can you say "hypocrite?" :rolleyes:

BTW thank you once again for being able to disagree about something so important and to do so in such a civilized way. You must be one heck of a good mom too :D (I am picturing you refereeing fights among the siblings)...

[ 01. February 2004, 22:02: Message edited by: gonga ]

Celli
01-02-04, 22:07
I remember when I was in London two years ago, someone had spray painted "Bomb the terrorists. Bom the US" on the side of a government building in London. It's the entire world that hates us, not just the Middle East. Although, in the Middle East we're seen as the infidels.

bumb1ebee
01-02-04, 22:12
I don't understand any religion, except the ones in the far east which have been successful in teaching peace.

Religion can be a beautiful thing, although I strongly believe the teaching of god(s) is a false one. People are too stupid for religion, they don't deserve to claim the messages of peace and beauty for themselves if they feel they can warp it into their hypocritical and sick train of thought.

julialee
01-02-04, 22:18
Remember guys religous topics can sometimes get out of hand :rolleyes:
Remember how the last one ended up ;)

Draco
01-02-04, 22:25
Everyone hates the rich spoiled brat with 7 TVs... ;)

Marcus T
02-02-04, 00:33
Gonga, you've totally earned my respect. http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/smile.gif

shandroid
02-02-04, 15:50
BTW thank you once again for being able to disagree about something so important and to do so in such a civilized way. You must be one heck of a good mom too (I am picturing you refereeing fights among the siblings)...

Aww http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/hug.gif Thanks gonga! My kids are age 4 and 16 months, so when fights emerge it is always the 4 yr old beating up the baby for going Godzilla over his painstakingly set up army camp, and well, let's just say it is much like refereeing in the sense that my mission is to calm down, divide and separate!! Ha! :D

qwerasdfzxcv
02-02-04, 17:36
I agree Gonga - I never blame Muslims for any of that terrorist stuff, any more than I blame Christians for the IRA bombings etc etc...
It's down to a few misguided freaks who spoil it for the rest of us (a bit like being at school if I remember!)...

Anyway, the world also hates the UK too. That's mainly because:

1. We had the guts to stand up to Hitler
2. We liberated France (that's why they resent us) and Europe in WW2.
3. We've had the biggest empire in history, covering the most area around the world.

But yeah, they hate you Americans too!