Maybe it’s time to make the Hajj a metaphor

1 Oct

Hajj Stampede Near Mecca Leaves Over 700 Dead from the NY Times

Hajj

You know, like that Harvard valedictorian who spoke on how “jihad” was really a metaphor for an inner spiritual struggle, and not something that involves violence of any sort.  Or at least make Umrah the spiritual equivalent so that everybody doesn’t have to go at the same time.  We’re not talking about one man, peace be upon him, his clan and their followers.  We’re talking about a billion and a half people in the age of reasonably affordable — at least once in a lifetime — air travel.

I don’t mean to be (too) disrespectful, but I’ve never met anyone who has been on hajj and, after the preliminary caveats about how it was the most spiritually edifying moment of his life, did not go on to describe a totally abysmal experience.  But then again every one I know who has been on hajj has been Afghan or South Asian and were made to feel by the Saudis and other peninisular/gulf Arabs like they should be cleaning the toilets and not praying.

I don’t know.  Just an idea.  I know I wouldn’t be caught dead near Jerusalem at Easter or Christmas on either calendar.  Or maybe ever.

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

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