Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hajardous Pilgrimage

I was reading an article in this week's issue of The Economist on the train ride home this evening about the health risks and dangers that befall Muslims who make the pilgrimage, or haj, to Mecca, hence the lame title of this post.

The article notes that "in at least seven of the past 20 years, stampedes have claimed scores of lives." Of course, nothing is likely to top the nearly 1,500 pilgrims who died in a tunnel in 1990.

But getting stampeded to death in Mecca is not the only danger that Muslims face in visiting the holiest site in their religion. The article points out that "one in three pilgrims suffers respiratory symptoms during the pilgrimage, and overcrowding (in tents accomodating up to 100 people) provides ideal conditions for illness to spread. The risk to families of pilgrims was highlighted by a study in Malaysia, published in 2002: among people sharing a house with a returning pilgrim, about 8% were carrying traces of the bacteria associated with meningitis."

It is evidence such as this that has caused some to worry that a global flu epidemic could potentially be triggered by people returning from the haj.

Atheists rightfully decry the danger posed by religious fanatics who commit murder with righteous certainty, but as the article in The Economist reveals, simply fulfilling one's religious obligations could be potentially more dangerous to humanity than all of the suicide bombers in the world.

3 comments:

Stardust said...

Atheists rightfully decry the danger posed by religious fanatics who commit murder with righteous certainty, but as the article in The Economist reveals, simply fulfilling one's religious obligations could be potentially more dangerous to humanity than all of the suicide bombers in the world.

tommy - To these fanatics who have a masochistic bent, suffering for their beliefs makes them feel more holy. And since they focus only on the hearafter and believe they are somehow "special" to their imaginary friend, they have little concern about these dangers to humanity, since in their eyes the world is crappy and humanity is evil and crappy. That is why they are so dangerous. They just don't care about this world and this life and have blinders on to the good, while only seeing the bad in the world and seeing the bad in people.

It's really pathetic they way they only live for death, and the maddening part is that they don't give flying f about anyone but themselves and their little fantasies.

My husband and I were just talking about how selfish and self-centered religions are. It's all about the self, what god is going to do for that person, what rewards that person is going to get and that they are somehow to get special treatment and avoid the inevitable and then the self-serving superiority satisfaction of thinking that others are going to burn in a place called hell while they sit upon thrones of gold playing their little golden harps like god's little pets.

If there was a place called hell...I would choose to go there instead of a heaven full of these self-serving, self-righteous crapheads like my asshole brother-in-law, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ken Hovind, fat bitch lady from Jeebus camp, Sable chicken lady, GW Bush, bigot Dani and all the rest of them. The thought of being in an eternity with them all sounds more like hell to me than any devil and flames ever could.

(sorry...after that recent thing with my xian niece and her mean prick of a husband, I am down on religion more than ever.)

Lui said...

Hi Tommy,

great blog. Yes, it is quite disgusting how many religious people don't give a toss about humanity and the other inhabitants on this small planet because it's all going to hell anyway. There’s something disturbing about it; do you find it uncivilised? I do. It's like they're bent on making this a self-fulfilling prophecy, and for the sake of, as StarDust says, an imaginary friend. It's moral cowardice and hypocrisy at its worse, yet we're supposed to "respect" it. It's a disease; nothing but a pathetic, nasty little pathogen of the mind. How to inoculate against this before more people die needlessly?

Tommy said...

Hey Lui. Thanks 4 visiting.

The best we can hope for is to restrain the extremists and one humanity starts to colonize space, future generations will see how silly it all is.