Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Normally vocal Arab street silent

I'm always impressed by the Arab street. A story that a Koran might have been injured -- riots. The death of 345 people due to Saudi mismanagement during the Haj -- eh:

Muslim pilgrims tripped over luggage while hurrying to ritually stone the devil Thursday, causing a crush that trampled at least 345 people to death in the latest stampede to mar Islam's annual hajj. Saudi authorities have sought for years to ease the flow of increasingly mammoth crowds, but the tragedy underlined the difficulty in managing one of the biggest religious events in the world, which this time drew more than 2.5 million pilgrims. The deaths on the final day of stoning came a week after another hajj disaster - the Jan. 5 collapse of a building being used as a pilgrims' hotel that killed 76 people in Mecca. In the stoning ritual, all the pilgrims must pass a series of three 'pillars' called al-Jamarat, which represent the devil and which the faithful pelt with stones to purge themselves of sin. The site in the desert of Mina outside the holy city of Mecca is a notorious bottleneck in the weeklong pilgrimage and has seen deadly incidents in seven of the past 17 years, including a stampede in 1990 that killed 1,426 people and one in 2004 that killed 244.
I identify "eh" as the response because, while some said the police didn't help afterwards, this seems to be the official line:
"This was fate destined by God," [Maj. Gen. Mansour] al-Turki[, spokesman for the Interior Ministry] said. "Some of the pilgrims were undisciplined and hasty to finish the ritual as soon as possible."
It was their own fault, therefore no rage.