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Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Hajj deemed "a great success"
as Muslim swarm comes to an end

An aerial view from a helicopter shows the buses and pilgrims and their camps
in Arafat, northeast of the city of Mecca, during the annual Muslim pilgrimage hajj,
Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Jan. 31, 2004. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
The official Saudi Press Agency gave the following breakdown of the nationalities of 244 hajj pilgrims who were trampled to death Sunday during "stoning of the devil" rituals on the plains of Mina, Saudi Arabia.
Indonesia 54
Pakistan 36
Egypt 13
Turkey 11
India 11
Algeria 10
Bangladesh 10
Morocco 7
Sudan 8
China 5
Yemen 4
Sri Lanka 3
Saudi Arabia 2
Somalia 2
Syria: 2
Afghanistan 2
Nigeria 1
Chad: 1
Tunisia 1
Oman 1
Burma 1
Cameroon 1
Unnamed South Asian countries 3
Unnamed African country: 1
Unnamed Western European country: 1
Other unidentified bodies: 53
Get this! from an opinion piece in the Toronto Star:
"Peace is the central theme of the hajj: peace with oneself, with fellow human beings, with the environment, even with the tiniest creatures...

This grand assembly at one place, drawn from a vast array of nationalities, races and colours, yet with a remarkable unity of heart and purpose, harmony of thought and feeling, is the greatest gift of Islam to the Children of Adam."
This may indeed be the greatest gift of Islam to the rest of us, but I think I'll pass. Thanks, but no thanks.