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Mecca and Medina

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Mecca and Medina 2006-04-01 01:48:34


Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities to Muslims, the center of a religion to billions, is also excluded to all non-Muslims.

For a long time this has bit at my side. I understand it IS Islams holiest sites and IS the cite for the Hajj, but honestly, apart from the Hajj month, why can non-muslims never visit? It is really the only city, hell, even religious site, in modern times that I am aware of that is excluded to anyone not apart of the religion.

Every time I see a video or read something about this, it honestly pisses me off some. It just has always struck me as extremely arrogant and condenscending. And it has always struck me as very ironic that I have seen some of my same Professors and the same Muslims who dont argue against this self imposed seperation and then go ahead and argue how the Western world doesnt understand Islam. I wont argue we dont, but I also dont see how anyone can also argue Muslims also dont have a hand in this.

Now, I would like everyones viewpoint on this. If someone can actually give me like a more concrete reason centered in the Quran or Hadith, please. I would like to be understanding, but I cant make myself. It just... strikes me as wrong. Plain and simple.

Response to Mecca and Medina 2006-04-01 02:12:44


At 4/1/06 01:48 AM, FAB0L0US wrote: Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities to Muslims, the center of a religion to billions, is also excluded to all non-Muslims.

Well first off you must understand what country these sites are located in, Saudi Arabia where the extreme Wahabbist sect rules all.


Now, I would like everyones viewpoint on this. If someone can actually give me like a more concrete reason centered in the Quran or Hadith, please. I would like to be understanding, but I cant make myself. It just... strikes me as wrong. Plain and simple.

Well lets go back to the Mecca in the beggining, it was built, according to Islam by Adam (then rerepaired by Abraham and Ishmael) as the main place of worship to God on Earth. Over time idol-worshipers got control and flooded a place whose purpose was to worship God, not gods. Now, as for a verse from the Quran used by the Wahabbist Sauds to explain this is: O ye who believe! Truly the Pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque. (9:28). Now of course with the Quran there are many interpretations of this verse, espiecally if taken in context, but you know how Saudi Arabia is....I could argue completely with their position but that would be futile.

The second thing you half to realize about Mecca is that it is a huge place of worship, and not to mention crowded. 2 or 3 million performed the Hajj last year and its stuff, and a lot of muslims go for Umrah (Pilgramage made not during Hajj season), there's also an estimated 1.2 million people living there. Also, how would you feel if while you're at the holiest site in your religion devoting yourself to God, there's some shmuck gawking at you and taking pictures like a stereotypical tourist would do.

As for Medina, I don't know why that city is banned.

Response to Mecca and Medina 2006-04-01 03:08:28


I honestly don't know why it should bother you--

Call your living room the holiest place and exclude the non-fabolous from entering it.

I remember last few years ago I had to help out a priest by translating to these rather abnoxious couple.

The church didn't permit sandles, tanktops, loose hair, shorts, etc. It dealt with the code of humility. The big thing was the cameras... The couple couldn't understand that they needed to wear attire suitable to a place of worship-- and to put down the camera because it bothered other people.

Eventually, they were just kicked out of the door...

Response to Mecca and Medina 2006-04-01 03:49:02


I would completly understand not letting people who are not on the Hajj (thus, I guess barring non-Muslims) not go to Mecca and Medina and all the associated religious cites along the journey during the Hajj month. I mean, it is also damn near impossible to get a visa to go on the Hajj anyway. I think the Saudis let 1 person per 1000 of a countrys popluation (or is it muslims?) go on the Hajj at a time. Or maybe its 1 per 100. Whatever.

I understand keeping the nosy tourists out for that. But completly barring everyone all the time? Id love to go to Mecca one day and see the Sacred Mosque and see the Kabaa. The things friggin huge. And I bet it would almost feel religious to me, a non muslim, to do the Hajj. That all looks incredibly... overpowering in scope. Millions of people around the Great Mosque in perfect concentric circles praying at one time. Then all the walking and rituals associated with the Hajj.

But hey, Im not asking to do the Hajj, even though I think that would be cool as hell to do even for non Muslims, I just want to enter the damn city and have a look around one day. And yeah, it still pisses me off and I still continue to percieve it as the ultimate snubbing.

At 4/1/06 03:08 AM, fli wrote: I honestly don't know why it should bother you--

I dont know. I cant help it. Basically everytime I think about it I get mad cause I feel it is an arrogant and insulting move. I feel like in the rest of the world if that was even tried, even in Vatican City or some other equally important religious place, everyone would flip out. Or lets say America decided DC was a city just for Americans so non Americans arent allowed to go in there (terrible comparison, yeah, I know we aint a theocraccy, but whatever) people would flip.

Its just, I dont know why the world has never really said anything about it. We trade with people who support this action profusely and especially the Saudis themselves and they have no problem going everywhere they want everywhere else in the world and taking our money, but because of this it always just seems their opinoin of everyone thats non Muslim is right out in the open. They, those in charge and in support of this policy, really dont think we deserve to see the Arabian Peninsula and especially dont deserve to see Mecca. It just strikes me as especially arrogant.

Barring people from your cultural sites does not really do well to build bridges of understanding.

Response to Mecca and Medina 2006-04-01 04:11:51


At 4/1/06 03:08 AM, fli wrote: I honestly don't know why it should bother you--

Call your living room the holiest place and exclude the non-fabolous from entering it.

Because his living room is private property. This is a city we're talking about.

Seriously, why aren't people more upset with Islam as a whole. There are verses that say that it's encouraged to kill infidels and to exclude them from entire cities and that stuff is actually followed. Every time I argue that, someone always says "oh, it's a mistranslation" or something stupid like that. Yeah, it got translated so badly that it changed "OMG luff every1" to "KILL!!" Bullshit. You're going to go out and Jihad it up, you want to exclude people from cities, fine, just don't get so fucking pissed when people call you on it. Don't blow shit up because someone makes a comic depicting a prophet with a bomb for a turban. Face it, muslims blow themselves up. Every muslim? No, but you sure as hell don't see many other religions doing it.


Think you're pretty clever...

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Response to Mecca and Medina 2006-04-01 04:38:39


...and then go ahead and argue how the Western world doesnt understand Islam...

And Blocking non-Muslims is gonna help solve that?

Response to Mecca and Medina 2006-04-01 09:04:06


Perhaps it only (in a more liberal sense) refers to, literally, pagans, not those of Abrahamic faiths.

Response to Mecca and Medina 2006-04-01 14:52:06


At 4/1/06 05:13 AM, lapis wrote: On topic: of course it's ridiculous but it's Saudi Arabia, we depend on their oil and they're allies of the West so we keep our mouth shut about the shit they pull.

Im pretty sure even when the Ottomans had control of the Hijaz, no non Muslims could enter the holy cities either. I just think it was a good deal easier to sneak in because it was less regulated and the crowds were MUCH smaller.

The thing that has always bothered me the most about this is there is absolutely no dialogue about this. Its just the way it is and no one EVER says anything about it. Im not sure if Westerners just dont care or if the important ones who COULD do something about it are to afraid to offend someone.

I have an extremely hard time putting into words what I feel but I do know I feel it is wrong.

Response to Mecca and Medina 2006-04-01 15:07:35


Maybe It was a law set down by the early Muslims to keep the violent pagans out from crushing the fledgling Muslim community and the law just stuck for another 1,400 years?I think It has happened before.

Response to Mecca and Medina 2006-04-01 16:33:01


At 4/1/06 04:11 AM, Gunter45 wrote:
At 4/1/06 03:08 AM, fli wrote: I honestly don't know why it should bother you--

Call your living room the holiest place and exclude the non-fabolous from entering it.
Because his living room is private property. This is a city we're talking about.

Of course it's a city-- and Fab isn't a citizen of that city.
I mean, if this happened here then I see a problem. But otherwise, eh--

Seriously, why aren't people more upset with Islam as a whole. There are verses that say that it's encouraged to kill infidels and to exclude them from entire cities and that stuff is actually followed. Every time I argue that, someone always says "oh, it's a mistranslation" or something stupid like that. Yeah, it got translated so badly that it changed "OMG luff every1" to "KILL!!" Bullshit. You're going to go out and Jihad it up, you want to exclude people from cities, fine, just don't get so fucking pissed when people call you on it. Don't blow shit up because someone makes a comic depicting a prophet with a bomb for a turban. Face it, muslims blow themselves up. Every muslim? No, but you sure as hell don't see many other religions doing it.

The several books that make the Bible aren't exactly peaceful very frequently. I've read the both. I'm actually reading the Oxford Revised Standard version of the Bible for a class project comparing Bible versus throughout the history of the English language.

People forget that the Bible even has its own holy war. Instead of being called Jihad, it's called "Herem"-- and we could read the several Herems in the book of Judges. (I remember reading the end of that in Santa Clara, about the old man and his concubine, and it gave me a very vivid nightmare.)

I mean look at Deut. 20.17.... it's genocide.

I don't remember the times I've read the phrase, "utterly destroy". In my old King James...

Eh-- I'm not anymore bothered by the Muslims fanatics than the Jewish or the Christian ones.

Response to Mecca and Medina 2006-04-01 16:52:19


At 4/1/06 04:33 PM, fli wrote: Eh-- I'm not anymore bothered by the Muslims fanatics than the Jewish or the Christian ones.

That's just it, those instances in the Bible were specific instances, they weren't guidelines. The Quran explicitly tells Muslims to still do those things. In the Bible, it happened, sure, but it doesn't tell Jews or Christians to still act that way. In fact, I recall the Bible as saying "If your enemy hits you, turn the other cheek." And the 'enemy' it talks about sure as hell applies for Christians and non-Christians. It certainly doesn't tell people to kill anyone, even if they don't believe in God.


Think you're pretty clever...

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Response to Mecca and Medina 2006-04-01 17:01:15


At 4/1/06 02:12 AM, seventy-one wrote: Well first off you must understand what country these sites are located in, Saudi Arabia where the extreme Wahabbist sect rules all.

Fair point and they have oil lets invade and get that fixed sharpish j/k.

Well lets go back to the Mecca in the beggining, it was built, according to Islam by Adam (then rerepaired by Abraham and Ishmael) as the main place of worship to God on Earth.

But Christians and Jews have those same people in there Religion so that just makes even more bigoted.

Over time idol-worshipers got control and flooded a place whose purpose was to worship God, not gods.

BASTERDS!

Now, as for a verse from the Quran used by the Wahabbist Sauds to explain this is: O ye who believe! Truly the Pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque. (9:28).

But again Christians and Jews believe a similar view. The only way that could be used against said followers would be if Muslims regarded themselves more important or higher up which is very bigoted.


Also, how would you feel if while you're at the holiest site in your religion devoting yourself to God, there's some shmuck gawking at you and taking pictures like a stereotypical tourist would do.

Well first of all we had muslim gunmen and Israeli tanks shooting up Bethlehem birthplace of Jesus and we get that tourist thing in Lourdes so that shoots down that arguement. Plus you could ban it and place a dress code when i was in Egypt we had to wear all kinds of Garments i didn't mind.

Response to Mecca and Medina 2006-04-01 17:48:48


At 4/1/06 04:52 PM, Gunter45 wrote:
At 4/1/06 04:33 PM, fli wrote: Eh-- I'm not anymore bothered by the Muslims fanatics than the Jewish or the Christian ones.
That's just it, those instances in the Bible were specific instances, they weren't guidelines. The Quran explicitly tells Muslims to still do those things.

Same thing in the Quran, during the Hijra and persecution of Muslims. Nowhere in the Quran however, does it say that in order to be a good muslim you must kill anyone. Repeated many times is that war is a last option and only must happen if you are being attacked first, never to start one.

Response to Mecca and Medina 2006-04-01 18:00:17


At 4/1/06 04:52 PM, Gunter45 wrote:
At 4/1/06 04:33 PM, fli wrote: Eh-- I'm not anymore bothered by the Muslims fanatics than the Jewish or the Christian ones.
That's just it, those instances in the Bible were specific instances, they weren't guidelines. The Quran explicitly tells Muslims to still do those things. In the Bible, it happened, sure, but it doesn't tell Jews or Christians to still act that way. In fact, I recall the Bible as saying "If your enemy hits you, turn the other cheek." And the 'enemy' it talks about sure as hell applies for Christians and non-Christians. It certainly doesn't tell people to kill anyone, even if they don't believe in God.

The Koran says the same thing...
Infact, I believe it's a universal principle found in all the world's major religions.

And no--
Bible does say to kill. Infact it says "utterly destroy". Several times infact...

You shall annihilate them--the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites--just as the LORD your God has commanded, so that they may not teach you to do all the abhorrent things that they do for their gods, and you thus sin against the LORD your God. Deuteronomy 20.2-20.19

C'mon. You don't think that this isn't a direct command?

Sure, there's that whole love your neighbors thing, and the be good thing, and the love thing of course. But we cannot overlook the rather gruesome aspects of the Bible, just as we cannot overlook the good aspects of the Koran.

This perception that the Koran is hostile came to us because that's what we look for. And it is very easy to see why when we hear knews about martyrdoms, suicide bombings, and etc.

But hey-- what can I say. Let me give you an example about how we easily overlook stuff. Leviticus 18:22. Here we have a bunch of wackos like Pat Robinson saying God hates fags and etc... They use this passage to prove it.

But interesting enough, they seem to overlook a few passages over in Lev. 19:17.

You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

I like to juxtapose these to passages, both coming from the same body of text, to illustrate what happens when we concentrate on one aspect of a religion.

To me, I don't think the Muslims are any more bad than a Jew or a Christian.
All three of them have "inconsistancies".

When reading, or even criticizing, we should do this carefully and force ourselves to be as fair as possible. In this way, we can get the most objective truths possible.