Courier Life’s

Hajj — a spiritual journey to Hell

Brooklyn Daily
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Right now, Islam’s holiest city is swarming with more than two million observers who have flocked to Mecca from all corners of the world to perform Hajj — the obligatory journey of absolution required once of all able-bodied Muslims.

The trek to Saudi Arabia pays tribute to the prophet Mohammed’s final sermon on Mount Arafat in 632 AD, and pilgrims — men are called “hajis” and women “hajjahs” — are supposed to depart with a kinship to life. A few do. Some don’t. Many pretend to.

Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in numbers, from tens of thousands of pilgrims in the 1970s to multi-millions today. Hajj has become fashionable, folks, particularly with young Muslims, many of whose parents have yet to take the journey.

Great Britain’s Muslim community was in its infancy when I grew up there in the mid-1970s. Back then, emigrés poured in from the colonies and established tight-knit communities, separating themselves from native Britons with a value system that condemned Western lifestyles, shunned personal freedom and became a birthing ground for modern-day terrorists.

One day, a neighbor who had returned from Hajj, came to visit, bearing “tofas” (gifts): dates, shelled pine nuts, a ring for my mother inscribed with a Koranic verse, an ounce of holy water, some “kajal” (black kohl eyeliner) and a miniature toy television for me, featuring a slide-show of Hajj hotspots.

“Wash the dates well, the fresh produce is rotten in Saudi Arabia!” the hajjah warned my mother, who later found maggots in them and promptly deposited them in the outside trash along with the pine nuts, which also contained creepy crawlies (the contraband had gone unchecked by British customs officials).

Mum poured the holy water down the drain because she was afraid it would give us the runs, and chucked the eyeliner after remembering reading in a British health magazine that it was made of lead and caused blindness.

The hajjah regaled us with tales of her trip. She told us that she had walked 10 miles and more a day for weeks along unpaved roads to retrace the prophet’s steps. She had conducted back-breaking rituals, including the symbolic stoning off the Jamarat Bridge to thwart the “shatan” (devil). The walkway is a dangerous bottleneck that caused the deaths of 251 pilgrims in 2004 and 362 in 2006, and a striking example of the Saudi commitment to its holy infrastructures.

The hajjah gossiped on, gleefully. She told us about the unsanitary conditions endured by the pilgrims in the oil-rich nation, including having to squat in stinking cesspits that passed for lavatories with no toilet paper in sight.

She told us that fetid tents housed large colonies of visitors, and that rapes and muggings in Mecca’s dank alleyways were as normal a sight as a platter of gone-off dates and figs.

The hajjah also relayed that brazen felonies escalated during Hajj, but pilgrims ignored them because reporting a crime in the sanctified site at the holiest time of all was taboo.

Her expedition, she added, had been exhausting, grim and unrepeatable, yet it had given her the egotistical fruit she had longed for. Now, wherever she went in the Muslim world, she commanded a god-like respect just for being a hajjah.

Read Shavana Abruzzo's column, "A Britisher's View," every Friday at Reach Abruzzo at

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Reader Feedback

Syed Abruzzo from Muffligan says:
Absolutely right, ALL Muslims go to Hajj to eat bad fruit, get raped, beaten and mugged.
Too bad your mom didn't throw the stuff right at the Hajjas face and kick her out of your house. I'm guessing you have never been to Hajj, preferring to insult from afar rather than actually experience it.
Nov. 11, 2011, 5:20 am
atiullah from india says:
This article is written to promote islamophobia,it has nothing to do with reality and the language used by the writter is cheap and dirty. Its easy nowadays to redicule islam in the name of freedom of expression but it takes nothing away from what is certainly progressing to becom the greatest religion not in the terms of quality but also in quantity.
Nov. 11, 2011, 5:23 am
Sa from ksa says:
This article is a waste of time on the part of the writer for writing it and on tha part if the reader for reading it.
Nov. 11, 2011, 6:46 am
rualsix says:
Id like to react to your article. i have just finished my hajj.. praise be to god. sadly there are really too many ppol in this world that does not even care of what is up to them after their lives, or their breath are taken away by death. what is it up to you ppol when you die..?.. what is it up to your loveones who have passed away?.. have they brought with them thier luxeries with them on their graveyards.. is it of any use to them?.. The Holy scripture says.." to God we belong, and to him is our return.".. wether you have been the most cruel criminal in this world or the most good of all mankind.. both of them will return to their creator. And God shall judge between them.. with the rewards of a paradise or hellfire.. Yet.. still too many ppol dont realise all of them are just coming and going.. Life and death.. and where would they be after. God said.." Beware.. the fuels of hellfire are men and stones." May God judge you for your ignorance or arrogance in the hereafter...
Nov. 11, 2011, 6:49 am
Golam Murtaza from England says:
So, let me get this straight. A female Muslim neighbour comes round with some gifts for you, no doubt meaning it as a pleasant gesture. Your response to that is to write this revolting little article expressing ridicule and contempt for her and inciting hatred against the rest of the world's Muslim population. What a pathetic excuse for a human being you are.
Nov. 11, 2011, 10:10 am
Wotan from Free World says:
Great to see an article like this about a vile and pathetic death-cult. My goodness; to think there are a billion of these ignorant back-ward pedophile worshippers. Delusional and dangerous. The logical solution is to send them back to their Sharia $hit holes.
Nov. 11, 2011, 2:37 pm
Evgeny from Israel says:
So, wait, in your world bringing rotten fruit and poisonous eyeliner is considered a nice guesture?!

You apparently don't know what "phobia" means - those who are afraid of Islam don't talk about it.
Nov. 11, 2011, 3:05 pm
Bob Smith from Chicago says:
Would you wear a T-shirt with a Mohammad cartoon printed on it?

You might in Montana. Don’t try it in Mecca.


Because, Islam trains a small number of its most devout believers it’s OK to kill. And Islamic killers have been trained to kill anyone who insults Allah and/or Mohammad.

In Montana you’d have a good chance none of these Islamic killers would see you.

In Mecca you wouldn’t last five minutes. One of Islam’s killers would come from out of nowhere and kill you. It is that simple.

You don’t believe me? Ask any Muslim!

Read it all at:
Nov. 11, 2011, 3:41 pm
C"H"Martel from Ohio says:
My book, "Satan's Trinity: Hitler, Stalin & Muhammad, is available at For the first time in history "HSM" appear together on a book cover. The idea behind the book is to make headway against the ludicrous idea that Muhammad should be conjoined with any religious leader/founder. This book uses the specific names of Hitler and Stalin to efficiently identify the nature of Muhammad and by extension Islam. It compares the personalities and approach of each man to such categories as; war, peace, sex, torture, slavery, women, their respective childhoods and deaths, the critical affects of geography and timing, each man’s anti-social and narcissistic personalities.
Nov. 11, 2011, 4:52 pm
Joe from Soma says:
The self image of Muslims is delusional. "Greatest quality". "Religion of Peace" "No Compulsion in Religion".. All complete outright fabrications. Sharia demands the forced conversion of non-believers to Islam, and if you don't believe this, we Muslims will kill you. Just asks the Copts, the Catholics in Iraq, the Buddhists in Thailand, the Hindus in India...Or anyone who insults Mohammed, even with a cartoon. Your are violent, Muslims, so get off the "Religion of Peace" propaganda. Start a little self criticism, and allow others to have Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Relgion.
Nov. 11, 2011, 5:29 pm
Mat from Marine Park says:
I stand with Christopher Hitchens: religion spoils everything.
Nov. 11, 2011, 6:34 pm
Cycloneous from U.S.A. says:
It is NOT Islamophobia when it is true. Please, stop using the made up word to suggest that some how people are being dishonest or have some psychological disorder.

Lets ask the Copts of Egypt, Christians of Northern Nigeria, the Southern Sudanese, the Somalis Christians and Refugees, the Pakistani Christians/Hindus/Budhists, or the Ahamadis, or the Philipinos of the south, or best yet, lets ask the victims of islamic terrorism since 632CE till the present.

Please, do not accuse me of "misunderstanding" the "religion of peace" when the evidence is quite clear who's doing what, and do not accuse me of being CIA, Mossad, a Jew or some Zionist moron who hates muslims. If I wanted to hate people or join some spy agency, I wouldn't be writing these words.
Nov. 12, 2011, 12:47 am
ebonystone from out west says:
In regard to the gifts of rotten fruit and poisonous eye-liner: it's the thought that counts, they say.

So now the question is: what was the neighbor's thought?
Nov. 12, 2011, 10:27 am
ahmed from south africa says:
may allah save us all......
Nov. 12, 2011, 10:39 am
Western from Infidel says:
Sa from ksa: Well, you read it too.

atiullah, you're "islamophobic" claim is BS. Islamophobia is a made-up work to make you freaks look like the victim.
Nov. 12, 2011, 10:57 am
Haji Abu Jehel from Karachi says:
To respectful muslim brothars,

Even I has went to Saudi Arabia to perform hajj. It is not something bad to accept that living condition for hajjis is really bad and unsanitary. Saudi governamant should be doing something now to over come problam and make most importants journey of muslim person more important.
Nov. 12, 2011, 2:29 pm
Jorge from London says:
"expressing ridicule and contempt for her and inciting hatred against the rest of the world's Muslim population". Alas, the pathetic assumption that this guy knows what over one billion people think.

How is exposing the hardship that the pilgrims experience at the hajj an act of hatred towards the pilgrims? If anything, it's an act of awareness.

And if anybody offered me rotten fruit and produce, I would feel insulted, not thankful.
Nov. 12, 2011, 7:44 pm
peter from calgary says:
great article , muzzies are ——in crazy , allah come suck my —— you ——
Nov. 12, 2011, 7:50 pm
Ciccio from Toronto says:
Before they found oil, the Haj was the mainstay of the Saudi economy, it has in fact been the only industry in the country.
The major merchants of Mecca had to business totally tied up, controlled by the Sherriff of Mecca who personally took an iron bar to the first car he saw there, they were absolutely forbidden because the camel caravan from jeddah was his personal monopoly. So too was he supply of dried lizards (perhaps locusts, my memory is getting cranky), haj is just not the haj without a few dried lizards to nibble on. When the Saud family and his Wahabis were busy trying to take over Mecca, the Sharriff promptly decamped taking all the gold, he left his son in charge who could not raise a loan of £50 for defense from the merchant class. He too decamped, the British gave him the Kingship of Jordan as a consolation prize. His brother got Iraq but as insanity was hereditary in that family neither turned out too well.
Nov. 12, 2011, 9:07 pm
Achbar zeb from Detroit USA says:
Have you ever smelled a Mooslym? Not to pleasant. Allah the pediofile (chit be upon him) is as rotten as the fruit.
Nov. 13, 2011, 1:06 am
amna from usa says:
I don't understand how is it to expose bad or unsanitary conditions in Mecca produce hatred toward ALL Muslims? Muslims should start looking in a mirror more often and be more honest about ills of their society, then people of other cultures will respect them more. And see them not as fearful followers of death cult producing mass murderers in large numbers, but as fellow humans who struggle to make this world a better place. Meanwhile, as of now, there are a lot to be afraid in Islam. And rotten dates is not the worst problem, unfortunately.
Nov. 13, 2011, 5:39 am
witness from britain says:
Like everything about islam, muslims want to disguise its dark and sinister reality, even from themselves because of the strong lure of satisfying their every sexual lust for eternity- in their promised whorehouse/brothel version of heaven.

It has allways been satans most successfull lure/enticement, appealing to the most base corrupt nature.

Indeed, much of which - lying, stealing, raping, murder etc are deemed holy works against the kufar (non muslim) to advance allah's (who has the nature and character of satan). kingdom.

As well as sating the inherent greeds/lusts that islam inspires before they die (booty, rape etc).
Nov. 13, 2011, 6:33 pm
Flanagan from Ottawa, Canada says:
atiullah from india:

A religion invented by a child-fornicating, slave-owning thief is the "religion of peace"?

The next time a Jew, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist or Scientologist flies a plane full of people into a building full of people for the glory of their let us know...
Nov. 13, 2011, 10:24 pm
Golam Murtaza from England says:
Congratulations Shavana - you've certainly got what you wanted. You should meet up with some of the delightful people who've posted under this article and have a good hate session together. You'd all get on so well. Then maybe you could all go out in a mob and find a Muslim person (or just someone who 'looks Muslim') and kill them or forcibly deport them. Go on...treat yourselves.

Or maybe you could emulate your fellow Muslim-hater Mr Breivik and randomly massacre a few dozen Norweigan kids instead.
Nov. 14, 2011, 6:14 am
Joe from Soma says:
Ah, yes, the inevitable "Muslims are Victims" claim from Golan shows up. Muslims are such victims, running over Copts with trucks. Muslims are such victims, while blowing up Churches in Iraq. Muslims are such victims while decapitating Christian children in Indonesia. Muslims are such victims, while shooting Christians in Africa, and burning down their Churches.
We notice, Golan, your victim status. Would you please? Would Muslims please grant freedom of religion to others? Will Muslims learn to mind their own business? Would you please stop shoving Sharia at us? You and I both know that Sharia is nothing more than the forced conversion of others to Islam. The Victim claim is getting very tiresome these days....
Nov. 14, 2011, 11:01 am
Vrak from Manchester says:
I have two monkeys. One called Golam, one called Muhammed. Golam is young and cries a lot. Muhammed rapes Golam. Golam thinks Muhammed is a prophet of monkeyism so pretends to be his wife.
One of them is insane, the other is miserable.
Nov. 14, 2011, 2:35 pm
Ciccio from Toronto says:
Vrak, I do not believe a word you are saying. Fifty years ago I was a keen student of anthropology, it was also time when animal behaviour was studied very closely not so much for its animal point of view but in relationship to human behaviour. I met Jane Goodall in Kenya and lot of other lesser known experts but all of them were unanimous in their agreement that a violent rape with an unwilling victim is totally unknown amongst all primates. If a female is not in oestrus she will not have sex and no male will force himself on her. Rape is strictly a human invention. So is the koran.
Nov. 14, 2011, 6:44 pm
huda alfalahi from brooklyn NY says:
Allah is the greatest and Mohamed peace be upon him whether you like it or not. To bad you only know a bit of knowledge of what's going on around you.
Nov. 15, 2011, 10:35 am
Hayati from dontknow says:
To the writer, If you are going to Write things on Islam, Please use Islamic references. Just so people cant say your lying they can look it up for themselves.
July 28, 2015, 7:37 am

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