And now for something completely different from Saudi Arabia – the Independent reporting that they did indeed lie about the numbers of people who were killed in the crush at Mina during the hajj. Only a little – only by a factor of 3.

A stampede during the hajj in Saudi Arabia killed three times the number of people acknowledged by the Kingdom, according to the Associated Press.

A new count reveals at least 2,411 people died during the crush at Mina on 24 September, despite the official Saudi toll of 769 deaths not changing since 26 September.

That’s only 1642 people not reported. That’s only Saudi officialdom treating the pointless deaths of ONE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED FORTY TWO people as not worth mentioning. That’s only the Saudi state trying to hide the fact that its combination of religious fanaticism and indifference to safety caused 1642 people to be crushed to death by a press of human bodies.

Iran was the most affected by the disaster, with 464 Iranian pilgrims killed. Mali lost 35 people, Nigeria lost 274 and 109 Egyptians were killed, according to the AP count.

Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Cameroon and Pakistan all lost over 100 pilgrims, while many other countries across the globe where affected.

Well, you know. They’re foreign. They’re Shi’a. They’re African. They don’t matter the way Saudi people matter.

Tell me about the ummah again?

Saudi Arabia has spent billions on crowd control and safety measures for those attending the annual five-day pilgrimage, which is required of all able-bodied Muslims once in their lifetime, however the vast number of people taking part in the pilgrimage makes ensuring safety difficult.

What does the Indy mean “required”? Required by what or whom? It’s a “requirement” internal to Islam, and one that is clearly both onerous and dangerous. Secular news outlets shouldn’t refer to it as “required” in that casual way.

Saudi Arabia is all about what is “required” by Islam, and Saudi Arabia is a terrible place. The two facts are not unconnected.

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