A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Mina Disaster

Today's catastrophic stampede near the Jamarat pillars at Mina during one of the culminating rituals of the hajj has killed at least 717 pilgrims in one of the worst in a string of periodic mass stampedes accompanying the pilgrimage. There are already recriminations and accusations, with Iran (which had over 40 nationals killed) blaming, through its media, the Saudi government. Coming less than two weeks after the crane disaster at the Grand Mosque, it's a blow to Saudi Arabia in its role as protector of the hajj, and I'm sure the Iranian accusation will not be the last. (And some Saudi media have blamed "Africans," so the rush to judgment is not all one-sided.)

Let's mourn and bury the dead and hold off the blame wars until more is understood.

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