It is the most wonderful time of year in Islam when those that are able to make their once-in-a-lifetime journey to Mecca to participate in the Hajj.
And every year it seems that there is a horrible stampede in which hundreds are killed in a stampede and earlier today was no exception as an estimated 700 plus have died as a result of one of those stampedes. According to the linked article 717 are confirmed dead and 863 are injured.
What makes this pilgrimage, and that is what it is, such a violent affair?
According to the Wikipedia link, there are expert guides and handbooks that, one can only surmise, follow the traditions of the pilgrimage and keep order.
But it appears thanks to modern transportation and the ability of Muslims from around the world to make the pilgrimage, starting in 1990, the Hajj Stampede became a thing. In that year, 1,492 people lost their lives. At this point that is the largest carnage to date. But today, today could rival it.
There is no such requirement in Christianity and Judaism, the other two great monotheistic religions. Sure, many Christians and Jews make pilgrimage to the Holy Land. And there are specific holy sites that each will visit. But how many times have you read about a stampede at the Church of the Holy Speculchre? That is where it is believed that Jesus Christ was crucified. Or at the Western Wall? That is supposed to be all that remained of the Holy Temple for Jews.
Why does it seem that even in what should be a peaceful once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage is there always some kind of violent stampede?
Like I say, the Religion of Peace strikes again!