Jews have a chemical instruction hard wired into their brain (or maybe it’s just something they are taught from a very early age) that they must visit Israel at least once in their lifetime. Ideally, they should go their often and spend lots of their money there to help the economy.
Meanwhile, Muslims have a similar hard wiring that sends them off to Mecca at least once in their lifetime.
Isn’t it always strange that the Middle Eastern based religions always have near identical events and parallel rituals in their calendars?
Maybe the big difference between Muslims and Jews is that far more Muslims live in much greater poverty than Jews. I’m sure both sects will offer reasons why that’s the case. Indeed, this is maybe the focal point of many a conflict!
However, it’s quite sad to watch the followers of Islam and their need to Hajj. As the majority are extremely poor they will save for decades in order to have enough money to get over to Saudi and to Mecca in order to join in with what is a sort of a whole week of strange yet symbolic rituals, some of which are so dangerous that in recent times hundreds have been killed in crushes and stampedes.
What’s saddest is the total belief that by taking part in Hajj a Muslim is convinced that their life and fortune will suddenly change when they return to whatever squalor they actually came from.
Sure they may feel spiritually enlightened, and this might lead to them being happier and more accepting of their lot in life, but before they go they truly believe that Allah will in some way bless them and give them better housing, money, jobs, and maybe even heal the sick.
Personally, I find it quite distressing to watch all this false hope. It’s a bit like telling a person in the last stages of dying from cancer that it’s all going to be ok and they’ll be getting better soon. The beauty of a hospice is that death is accepted by all parties as only a short way away, but the dying are made comfortable and given respect as they die.
Yet the religions don’t do this or provide this respect. Instead, these poor souls are given false hope that their lives will be materially enriched by their pilgrimages. They accept that their god doesn’t actually want to make their life any better unless they travel thousands of kilometres to visit places that have religious significance. Then they return home to find nothings actually changed, their life is still miserable and devoid of anything good, and they just accept that this is their god’s way. He’s not answered their prayers not because he’s not there, but because they’ve done something wrong or weren’t worthy. That’s what they’ll reason.
And, as I said, I find this kick in the face followers of Islam get very distressing to watch. It’s another reason why the religions and those who control them must be fought and ordinary people must be taught not to fear opening their minds to free-thinking.