While perusing the English language daily The Jakarta Post, I came across this article about the large numbers of vehicular accidents in Indonesia during the Idul Fitri holiday.
National Police deputy chief for operations Insp. Gen. Soenarko said Thursday there had been 743 traffic accidents from Sept. 3 to Sept. 8 nationwide, killing 144 people and wounding 579 others. Most of the victims were holidaymakers riding motorcycles, Soenarko added.
During the Idul Fitri exodus last year there were 1,646 traffic accidents across the country, claiming 702 lives and injuring 2,556 others.
But that is not the only Muslim holiday that has proven consistently fatal to adherents of the Islamic faith. Another is the pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the five pillars of the faith, which all able-bodied Muslims are expected to undertake at least once in their lives. Recent years have witnessed a number of mass casualty events at Islam's holiest site.
In 2004: The stampede, during a peak event of the annual Muslim pilgrimage, or hajj, lasted about a half-hour, Saudi officials said. There were 244 dead and hundreds of other worshippers injured, some critically, Hajj Minister Iyad Madani said.
In 2006: Thousands of Muslim pilgrims rushing to complete a symbolic stoning ritual during the hajj tripped over luggage Thursday, causing a crush in which up to 400 people were killed despite Saudi attempts to prevent stampedes that have plagued the annual event.
Saudi officials estimated that 400 people were killed. More than 1,000 people were injured, said Dr. Abbasi with the Saudi Red Crescent.
[That] year's hajj was also marred by the collapse of a Mecca hotel on January 5, where 76 pilgrims were killed. The reason for the hotel collapse remains unknown. The latest disaster is expected to prompt the Saudis to enforce stricter controls, in order to do a better job of ensuring the safety of the millions of the faithful who arrive for the Hajj each year.
Call me skeptical, but I have a hard time believing that a particular religion is true when the mere practice of that religion proves to be so deadly to its followers.