Monday, February 1

Package tour to Mecca? How the Hajj became an essential part of the British calendar

This is one of my biggest regrets kids. That I wasn't able to go check out Mecca. Or even Medina whilst I was in Saudi Arabia in the 90's. 

And now, the Wahhabis and Saudis have torn down all the history and have made a sodding shopping mall over the bloody haram e sharif. So not really sure if it's worth going there any more but hey ho. 

This article was a good reminder of how we had to take care of so many things when we ran the empire (utterly shambolic if you ask me) but there you go. We were the biggest Muslim power early in the last century and this mess was something for us to manage. Go figure. 

Another reason why a government shouldn't get entangled with religion. You want to do stupid things in the name of religion, go do it as long as you don't muck up others. I am now hearing that some Muslim MPs want to introduce sharia law in the uk. Can you imagine trying to run an English society based upon that crappy medieval laws of jurisprudence? But hey ho. They should allow it. Like that they have done with the Jewish courts. But with one overriding rule. It cannot violate the universal declaration of human rights and there cannot be two laws. The common secular laws must rule supreme. 

It was lovely speaking to you son. Missing you. 



Package tour to Mecca? How the Hajj became an essential part of the British calendar
(via Instapaper)

This week, millions of Muslims make the annual pilgrimage to Mecca known as the Hajj. A new study reveals how, in the age of Empire, the spiritual journey became a major feature of British imperial culture, attracting the interest of Queen Victoria, Winston Churchill and others – and resulting in one of the earliest Thomas Cook package tours.

Britain ended up facilitating the pilgrimage in an ultimately futile attempt to gain legitimacy among its Muslim subjects. Inadvertently, it ended up acting like a Muslim power.

Modern customers are more likely to book 

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