The Hajj is Peaceful, but is Islam? 9 December, 2006Posted by paralleldivergence in Brad & Phil, education, God, Islam, My Thoughts, Political Correctness.
The largest pilgrimage in the world happens every year during the days of Hajj. From almost every country on Earth, about two and a half million Muslims, many of whom can barely afford to pay for the trip, will make what is one of their “duties” in life – a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. With the Islamic calendar based around lunar months, the period of Hajj occurs at different times of the year relative to the more common twelve-month calendar, and coincidentally, this year it is just after Christmas.
Most Westerners understand very little about the Islamic faith. In a religious sense, the word Islam means submission (to God’s will and word). It is not simply a case of worshipping Allah (God), it is a way of life. Most people are aware of the Muslim’s requirement to pray five times a day at specific times, but many do not know that it is a requirement to perform the prayers in Arabic, by heart, even if Arabic is not the Muslim’s native tongue.
Every Muslim is obliged to contribute charity on an annual basis to the poor and needy, based on a fixed proportion (about 2.5%) of their wealth. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims must abstain from any food, drink or sex each day from dawn until dusk. These acknowledgements and rituals represent the first four Pillars of Islam. The fifth and final Pillar is that at least once in each person’s lifetime, they must make the pilgrimage to Mecca during Hajj to retrace the steps of Muhammad, Islam’s 7th century prophet.
The entire city of Mecca is considered a holy site in Islam and Islamic law strictly forbids any non-Muslims from visiting. Punishment is death for those caught violating this law. Yet regardless of this harsh consequence, the actual pilgrimage is representative of the largest and most peaceful mass-gathering anywhere on the planet with pilgrims of all nationalities, ages, and colors coming together. The population of the city of Mecca quadruples during Hajj with hundreds of thousands taking up all available accommodation and the rest living in giant tent cities almost on top of each other. Each day during Hajj is a mass-movement of bodies from one ritual to the next – the logistics of the operations must be incredible, yet patience and tolerance take over and understanding for the fellow man sees each operation through to successful completion. And this cycle repeats every single year.
So why does this seemingly very peaceful and well-organised religion have such a bad reputation in the West? Hajj is the single biggest regular event in humanity and it’s a truly spiritual and peaceful event. I can’t see any other organised religion or nation reproducing such an event so successfully. All I can imagine is riots and total havoc. Westerners could never gather in such numbers and expect similar results to the Hajj. The problem with Islam however, is the tolerance and patience it shows to other Muslims of other nationalities is not extended in any way to any non-Muslims. The total exclusion of non-Muslims from Mecca is evidence of this. A follower of Islam is a Muslim first. Nationalities mean little to most Muslims. Islam’s goal is to create Muslim Nations – all in the name of Allah. The West is careful to point out the differences between hardline, or extremist and moderate Muslims, but if it came down to a battle (as it has in Iraq and Afghanistan), most moderate Muslims would side with the hardliners than the West. Islam instructs this.
Then there’s the real cause of the problem – the leaders of religion. If a Muslim chose to individually live their lives according to the five pillars of Islam, they would be the most peaceful and caring groups of individuals on Earth. But Islamic schools in some of the poorest and most heavily populated countries have little interest in teaching mathematics and science. Their aim is to spread the word of the Qu’ran, or in reality, their interpretation of the word of the Qu’ran to young minds that eagerly soak up in many cases words of hate against non-Muslims.
Some Muslims however, have taken the time to look beyond the blinkers applied by the leaders of their religion and put together Faith Freedom International. This website has been banned by many Muslim Nations because it dares to question the Qu’ran. With its slogan, “Where logic fails to open the mind, compassion may open the heart”, Faith Freedom stands for freedom of faith. They are against Hate, not Faith. They revere human rights not human beliefs. They endeavor to be factually correct, not politically correct. Every Muslim should at least be allowed to read the information at their site. Unfortunately, most Muslims cannot.
As I wrote in the article, Which is Stronger, Godfluence or Manfluence?, Manfluence is all about control – control of entire populations for the benefit of individuals. Islam controls exceptionally well.