A “moderating effect” from the Hajj?

Last Friday’s Slate had an article summarizing a yet-to-be-published study titled, Estimating the Impact of the Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam’s Global Gathering, that examined two groups Muslims from multiple countries. The only difference between the two was that one group had been to the Hajj in Mecca and the other hadn’t:

So does the Hajj open minds, or does it expose Muslims to radical views that unite them against the non-Islamic world? To find out, researchers David Clingingsmith, Asim Khwaja, and Michael Kremer surveyed more than 1,600 Pakistanis, about half of whom went on the Hajj in 2006. In a recent, as yet unpublished study, they report that those who went to Mecca came back with more moderate views on a range of issues, both religious and nonreligious, suggesting that the Hajj may be helpful in curbing the spread of extremism in the Islamic world. [Link]

It might be more conventional for one to assume that Muslims who travel to a country in which the ultra-conservative Wahhabi Islam is practiced might come back more conservative (or radicalized). However, the true point of going to the Hajj is the pilgrimage, or the journey there. It therefore makes sense that a journey in which you’d come across people from many walks of life might enlighten a Hajji or make them more accepting of different or more mainstream views.

In 2006, nearly 140,000 applicants vied for 80,000 visas through the Pakistan government’s Hajj program. In order to decide who gets to go, the government holds a lottery. As a result, among the visa applicants, there’s a group of people randomly selected to participate in the Hajj and a comparison group of would-be pilgrims who applied but didn’t get to go. The two groups look very similar–the only systematic difference is that applicants in one group won the lottery and those in the other group didn’t. If the Hajjis come back from Mecca more tolerant than those who didn’t get to go, therefore, we know it’s the result of the Hajj, not something else.

Six months after the Hajjis of ’06 returned home to Pakistan, Clingingsmith, Khwaja, and Kremer had a survey team track down 1,600 Hajj applicants, half of whom had been selected to go to Mecca and half who hadn’t. The Hajjis were asked questions on topics ranging from religious practices (frequency of prayer and mosque attendance, for example) to women’s issues. Perhaps not surprisingly, the study found that after a monthlong immersion in communal prayer, the pilgrims were 15 percent more likely to report following mainstream Muslim practices, such as praying five times a day and reciting the Quran. This came at the expense of local Pakistani religious traditions–Hajjis were 10 percent less likely to follow local rituals like using amulets or visiting the tombs of local saints. [Link]

As the authors point out in their paper, they are simply taking a scientific approach to something others have already perceived:

“There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world…We were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and non-white…[W]hat I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to rearrange much of my thought-patterns previously held, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions” (Malcolm X with Haley, 1965).

Here is a sampling of some of the questions the authors asked the two groups:

We complement the harmony index by exploring the extent to which the Hajj leads to greater inclination towards peace. Hajjis exhibit a 0.11 standard deviation increase in peaceful inclination (Row 4). Questions in the index include views on the correctness of both the goals and methods used by Osama Bin Laden, on suicide bombing and attacking civilian targets, and on the importance of peace with India and support for those fighting the Indian government in Kashmir. We also ask whether it is appropriate to inflict punishment on those who have dishonored the family, to indirectly explore views on honor killings. [Link]

And some of the results:

Even more surprising, Hajjis were 25 percent less likely to believe that it was impossible for Muslims of different ethnicities or sects to live together in harmony–a finding that would seem to be of particular interest for those trying to bring peace to the streets of Baghdad. This greater sense of goodwill among peoples even extended to non-Muslims (who were obviously not represented in Mecca). Hajjis were more likely than non-Hajjis to hold the opinion that people of all religions can live in harmony. Hajjis were also less likely to feel that extreme methods–such as suicide bombings or attacks on civilians–could be justified in dealing with disagreements between Muslims and non-Muslims.

The findings of the study suggest that the Hajj may help to improve the lot of women in Islamic countries as well. Fewer Hajjis thought that men are intellectually superior to women, and a greater fraction expressed a concern for crimes against women in Pakistan. [Link]

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The bottom-line here is even more basic than going to the Hajj: Get out and experience the world and mix with different people and we’ll all be better for it.

103 thoughts on “A “moderating effect” from the Hajj?

  1. 18 · ak although I am not a religious person, hajj is such an important thing as a Muslim . . . in many ways, it would seem unfair to disrespect that devotion by having people who aren’t of like mind there. On the other hand, you could easily question whether non-Muslims wanting to come to Mecca have disrespectful intentions

    ak–C’mon, you’re a lawyer–think analogically here–what’s the 800-lb. gorilla in the room?! (Hint–think “gentlemen’s clubs” in British India!) And, if you’re “not a religious person,” why are you (implicitly, at least) willing to give a religious group (that most people are born into, or out of!) a pass, as opposed to an ethnic one?

  2. I realize that my question in #51 is provocative–the difficulty, I think, is in giving a principled answer, w/out defaulting to religious-exceptionalism–which only raises the question, what to do with/how to treat a culture that’s based around ethnicity, rather than religion?

  3. rob:

    Yeah, Mecca is a great place to do that–they’re so welcoming to anyone. People of other faiths are officially forbidden from entering the city

    Yeah right, so do hindus welcome non-hindu mlecchas into their temples? Heck even hindus of the wrong caste arent welcome. Orthodox muslims are far more egalitarian than orthodox hindus. Anyone can convert to Islam and go on Hajj to Mecca.

  4. those who went to Mecca came back with more moderate views on a range of issues, both religious and nonreligious

    Heck if they take off that fancy black cloth covering the Kaaba in Mecca and reveal the primitive, unimpressive square house underneath, and allow pilgrims to look inside that sorry structure, many hajis might come back as kafirs :)

  5. idol many of them already know that the Kaaba has nothing in it and it wont make any change many pilgrims bring back pieces of the old cloth covering for luck/tabarruk

  6. many of them already know that the Kaaba has nothing in it and it wont make any change

    I believe it is common knowledge (razib can correct me) that Kaaba has nothing inside it, isn’t there a Hadith that says Mr. Muhammad broke all the idols inside Kaaba personally after defeating the polytheists of Mecca.

  7. I believe it is common knowledge (razib can correct me) that Kaaba has nothing inside it,

    True. They have to open it up to clean in from the inside anyway.

    isn’t there a Hadith that says Mr. Muhammad broke all the idols inside Kaaba personally after defeating the polytheists of Mecca.

    The Meccans didnt put up much fight. He could have just removed the idols from there or made some accomodation for the non-Muslims Meccans like he did in Medina for the polytheists and Jews of Medina. He didnt break the idols in Medina and in his other conquests.

    Muhammad did end up destroying most of the idols in Kaaba. The breaking of the idols was a symbolic act to let the Meccans know that there was a new Sheriff in town. The power structure of Mecca at that time had a lot invested in the Kaaba and those ancient gods. For a couple of centuries before Muhammad, various tribes would come to Mecca and perform Hajj by worshipping those ancient Gods. They got their legitimacy as a trading place from those anicent gods.

    I have just finished a few books on Muhammad and it seems to me that Muhammad didnt particularly care about the polytheists or the Jews. His primary interest was in expanding his territory and consolidation.

  8. I have just finished a few books on Muhammad and it seems to me that Muhammad didnt particularly care about the polytheists or the Jews. His primary interest was in expanding his territory and consolidation.

    Any good ones you recommend? I read “No God but God”, and I got the sense from it that trade and territory were big motivators in his destruction of the Kaaba idols.

  9. Rob – Your point is valid. However, your tone reeks of intolerance and hatred.

    If I ruled the world, I would only allow Muslims to enter Mecca during the Hajj. This is due to the sheer volume of people who want to perform the Hajj. During other times of the year, I would allow non-Muslims to enter the city and visit the mosque. What a great way to learn about people who are different from you.

    The Saudi government didn’t take a poll of global Muslims (or even Saudi citizens) before it came up with its policies. They are an oppressive regime. Don’t attribute the Saudi government’s attitude and practices to Muslims as a whole, or even Saudis as a whole.

  10. Yeah, Mecca is a great place to do that–they’re so welcoming to anyone. People of other faiths are officially forbidden from entering the city.

    Don’t worry, I trying to get Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to lead a protest outside of Mecca for all non-believers.

  11. 59 · candy The Saudi government didn’t take a poll of global Muslims (or even Saudi citizens) before it came up with its policies. They are an oppressive regime. Don’t attribute the Saudi government’s attitude and practices to Muslims as a whole, or even Saudis as a whole.

    That would be quite a solid argument if the practice in fact emerged from the Saudi government. But does it in fact precede it?

  12. I had an Arab professor once, and she told us how Saudi women shouldn’t drive cars. From the whole lecture, she seemed cool about women having less rights in Arab countries.

  13. 53 · Idol said

    rob:
    Yeah, Mecca is a great place to do that–they’re so welcoming to anyone. People of other faiths are officially forbidden from entering the city
    Yeah right, so do hindus welcome non-hindu mlecchas into their temples?

    The ones who properly practice Hinduism let anyone in.

    Orthodox muslims are far more egalitarian than orthodox hindus.

    If what you say is true, does that give Muslims a ticket to violence or oppression? Obviously not. It’s quite foolish to compare actions of different groups. With that logic, my alibi for theft will be “But Mr. X committed murder. Comparatively my crime is that of a much lesser degree”. But it’s still a crime, right?

  14. non-muslims (or even arabs) may not realize this, but most muslims don’t care for saudis. saudis are extremely rude to foreigners (w/ darker skin). also, wahhabi-ism is more of a saudi thing (AFAIK) and most muslims don’t care for such a strict (read: skewed, militant and downright crazy) brand of islam.

    Whenever Reza Aslan appears on TV, a fun game to play is seeing how many minutes before he talks before ripping into Saudi/Wahhabism. Not that I think he’s necessarily wrong to do so, mind…

  15. I read that Guru Nanak-ji actually made a pilgrimage to Makkah with a Mirasi (a Muslim musical caste of Pakistan). As the saying goes: “Nanak went from Makkah in the west to Dhaka in the east…” I believe that it was at this time that his feet were pointing to Makkah, while he was lying down. When a Muslim told him not to have his feet pointing towards Makkah, Nanak performed a “miracle” after saying “point my feet where God is not there.”

    Anyways, Nanak-ji wasn’t a Muslim, but how did he travel to Makkah?

    60 · Suki Dillon said

    Yeah, Mecca is a great place to do that–they’re so welcoming to anyone. People of other faiths are officially forbidden from entering the city. Don’t worry, I trying to get Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to lead a protest outside of Mecca for all non-believers.
  16. hey there, of all the posts and comments that ive been reading in sepiamutiny…….this is the best!

  17. ak–C’mon, you’re a lawyer–think analogically here–what’s the 800-lb. gorilla in the room?! (Hint–think “gentlemen’s clubs” in British India!) And, if you’re “not a religious person,” why are you (implicitly, at least) willing to give a religious group (that most people are born into, or out of!) a pass, as opposed to an ethnic one? I realize that my question in #51 is provocative–the difficulty, I think, is in giving a principled answer, w/out defaulting to religious-exceptionalism–which only raises the question, what to do with/how to treat a culture that’s based around ethnicity, rather than religion?

    rob, I wasn’t excepting for religion – I was just musing out loud. And I don’t think I implied anywhere that I was giving religion a pass while not doing so for ethnicity (in fact to my knowledge, I didn’t mention ethnicity all, so I’m not sure why you thought this was even implicit). The balance of the quote you posted continued some thoughts on the other side of the argument. Since you know I’m a lawyer, you should also know that I’ve been trained to put out arguments that I don’t necessarily believe in. Of course it’s discriminatory to prohibit non-Muslims from Mecca, just as it is to prohibit non-Hindus from temples. But I don’t know how I feel about either, esp. since I am not a religious person – it could be argued that it’s somewhat hypocritical of me to criticize religious policies of any religion when I don’t believe in one myself. The thing that bothers me about organized religion in general is that, to a great degree, there is no freedom in any of them. There are certain basic tenets in each one that if, not abided by, seem to negate one’s ‘belonging’ to that religion. So, in a way, I implicitly acknowledge the undemocratic and unequal nature of nearly all religions.

    Back to the original point – Mecca doesn’t let in Muslims. So what? The post is about a moderating effect, not an all-accepting one. The very fact that there are different religions out there will inevitably lead to the conclusion that many people will be prevented from being ‘accepted’ in some form by those of other religions. To me, that prohibition only supports what I already know – Islam, like many other religions, is not completely democratic (at least, not in the ways that one fed on American democratic philosophy would identify). But it doesn’t tell me that Islam is a completely un-democratic religion, even by said philosophical standards. And the post keys me into the fact that the hajj can actually liberalize the views of many hajjis, albeit within certain limits. And I still stand by my (other) point that the prohibition by authorities is not necessarily one shared by the population at large – whether or not that Saudi law was preceded by a similar one rooted in Islamic theory. There are plenty of Muslims who are simultaneously deeply religious and would disagree with the rule.

    I hope this is principled enough for you ;)

  18. There are plenty of Muslims who are simultaneously deeply religious and would disagree with the rule.

    Just on this specific point: while the Saudi government interprets the relevant Koranic passage as preventing Muslims from entering Mecca, there are other interpretations of that passage that claim that all People of the Book are in fact permitted to enter Mecca. I haven’t seen anything to indicate that non book-people are allowed though, according to the Koranic passage.

    It is not clear to me exactly when the prohibition started. It was definitely there around 1850 or so when Richard Burton famously entered Mecca, and even the Kaaba, in disguise. But there was an Italian who entered Mecca in 1580 or thereabouts, if I recall correctly. I don’t know if he was in disguise or could go there freely (maybe based on the more expansive interpretation?)

  19. if you want to put an optimistic spin on it a byproduct of muslims not killing each other over picayune differences might be that they kill the kufar a little less because they are out of practice.

    There was a Slate article just this week about the rationality of suicide bombing. It made the fairly obvious and well-known argument about differing valuations of human life making suicide bombing rational in (or against) certain societies, but the interesting things to me were that there is actually an increasing, and importantly, vocal, opposition to suicide bombing from certain quarters of the Islamic world (Relevant passage: A former al-Qaida theologian, a senior Saudi cleric, and many other Muslims have confronted the group with messages of dismay. “How many innocents among children, elderly, the weak and women have been killed and made homeless in the name of al-Qaida?” asked one critic. In the last two months, Bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has issued an audio and a Web book attempting to quell the complaints.). Much less convincingly, it makes a case that when counted appropriately, the number of suicide bombings hasn’t actually increased, and that this might be related to this opposition.

  20. Fair points, ak (#67). For the record, I’m libertarian enough to be fine with non-Muslims being excluded for Mecca, but I think it’s ironic to then celebrate the Hajj with a “diversity brings benefits” line. I guess empirically it appears that it might be true, though. Following Rahul’s line of analysis, I’m pretty sure that non-Muslims were prohibited from entering pre-Saudi (e.g., under the Ottomans), for what that’s worth. On the more meta point, I think it would be annoying (not discriminatory, but annoying) if, for example, someone mentioned any time Catholicism came up “well, but they don’t allow women priests.” On the other hand, it would seem negligent not to mention that fact if someone started arguing that Catholicism was admirably “progressive.”

  21. In the last two months, Bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has issued an audio and a Web book attempting to quell the complaints.

    Any idea what he said to justify the suicide bombings?

  22. 71 · Amitabh said

    Any idea what he said to justify the suicide bombings?

    The LA times article I linked to in my post has some details. One excerpt: “Were we insane killers of innocents as the questioner claims, it would be possible for us to kill thousands of them in the crowded markets,” Zawahiri responded. The deaths of any innocents were the result of “unintentional error or out of necessity. . . . The enemy intentionally takes up positions in the midst of the Muslims for them to be human shields for him.”

  23. Fair points, yourself, rob. And, by the way, even without Rahul’s mention of the pre-Saudi law, the Ottoman Empire was most definitely discriminatory against non-Muslims, requiring them to pay a separate poll tax. This poll tax is very similar to the jizya under Islamic law, and this specific point of a tax on non-Muslims is often pointed to in the question as to whether or not the OE was Islamic. But my point about that issue in general is not whether the officials created some rule separate from Islam, but whether or not the average modern-day Muslim would agree with it – I suspect that many (can’t speak to the percentages) would not.

  24. just want to remind people writing about hindus. Pujaris in south indian temples do not ask people their caste. They may ask your gotra and if you don not know then you can say it as kasyapa gotra. In certain temples like tirupati, they may ask you to sign a paper saying that you respect the hindu religion, if you are a nonhindu. I ask people to refrain from concocting false info.

  25. I ask people to refrain from concocting false info.

    it’s not always false. kerala, in particular, is known for its strict adherence to not allowing non-hindus entry. a relatively high-profile example is k.j. yesudas who, although a carnatic singer who sings many hindu devotional songs, was banned entry into guruvayoor temple in kerala and still is so banned because he is a christian. this is a rather extreme and infrequent occurrence, but it still does occur, and i was thinking of this when i mentioned hindu temples.

  26. issue in general is not whether the officials created some rule separate from Islam, but whether or not the average modern-day Muslim would agree with it – I suspect that many (can’t speak to the percentages) would not.

    Why do you suspect that? Just a general belief in the basic goodness of people? A projection onto others because YOU would not agree with it? Because I’m skeptical in this case.

  27. kerala, in particular, is known for its strict adherence to not allowing non-hindus entry. a relatively high-profile example is k.j. yesudas who, although a carnatic singer who sings many hindu devotional songs, was banned entry into guruvayoor temple in kerala and still is so banned because he is a christian.

    Not just Guruvayoor. Sabarimalai also has a proscription against women between the age of 10 and 50 (basically those are not prepubescent or menopausal), there was a controversy when some actress said she had done it in disguise.

  28. Why do you suspect that? Just a general belief in the basic goodness of people? A projection onto others because YOU would not agree with it? Because I’m skeptical in this case.

    Based on the number of Muslims I know (hajji and otherwise) who do not actually believe in this prohibition. I didn’t say a majority (I refused to comment on a percentage) but I do believe there are a substantial number of Muslims who do/would disagree with this.

    PS That was a bit more on the offensive side than was necessary – you could have stated that exact same sentiment in a much less aggressive (and somewhat insulting) way.

  29. SM Intern — how did comment #53 not get deleted yet? Is it just me or is it obviously trolling? Or at least inadvertently trolling?

    Otherwise, this is a very interesting discussion. Rahul, that’s interesting about the temple that you mentioned, but the issue is whether members of a different religion can enter a holy place, not one of gender.

  30. 80 · lurker said

    Rahul, that’s interesting about the temple that you mentioned, but the issue is whether members of a different religion can enter a holy place, not one of gender.

    Sorry, was not aware of the syllabus :)

  31. Otherwise, this is a very interesting discussion. Rahul, that’s interesting about the temple that you mentioned, but the issue is whether members of a different religion can enter a holy place, not one of gender.

    In many ways restrictions based on gender are worse than restrictions based on religion, since one cannot change one’s gender quite as easily. But then hinduism has the same obsession with ritual purity that many strains of christianity and islam have with theological purity. Ultimately its the same human mental tendencies channeled into different directions.

  32. PS That was a bit more on the offensive side than was necessary – you could have stated that exact same sentiment in a much less aggressive (and somewhat insulting) way.

    Man, I really need to tone it down I guess…JOAT said the same thing on another thread…sometimes the tone of one’s statements or questions are different when read by someone else than how they sound in your head…anyway, I guess I disagreed strongly with your conclusions so it came out like that…my bad.

  33. If Pakistani Muslims give up Pakistani (or South Asian) models of Islam in favor of more mainstream or Arab ones, they’ll turn their backs on some really beautiful and powerful stuff like this, that basically comes from the various Sufi shrines that hard-core Wahhabists so despise.

    The above links to one of the most awesome qawaalis I’ve ever seen/heard (although it’s in Urdu not Punjabi).

  34. I met a Brahmin ABD who, in a bragging tone of voice, told me that the only people allowed in ancient Mughal-era temples were Brahmins and Muslim musicians. I can’t find info on this, but I do know for a fact that Hindus are NOT accepting of people accepting their faith, unless the recent convert is photogenic with light-colored skin. Oh yeah, a “true” Hindu must pour moulten lead down the ears of Sudras if they listen to slokas (and keep in mind that all “Patels”, Jatts, and in general 90% of Hindus are Sudras).

    Moulten lead? Some Brahmin is probably thinking “that’s a lot of money!”.

    76 · ak said

    I ask people to refrain from concocting false info.
    it’s not always false. kerala, in particular, is known for its strict adherence to not allowing non-hindus entry. a relatively high-profile example is k.j. yesudas who, although a carnatic singer who sings many hindu devotional songs, was banned entry into guruvayoor temple in kerala and still is so banned because he is a christian. this is a rather extreme and infrequent occurrence, but it still does occur, and i was thinking of this when i mentioned hindu temples.
  35. In an attempt to keep the focus on “South Asia,” as opposed to “India,” I would note that it is customary in Sri Lanka for non-Hindus to attend Hindu temples during festivals, etc.

  36. I should qualify my comment in #87 by saying this is true of the aspects of Sri Lankan culture that I have experienced in Colombo and Kandy–I can’t vouch for the entire nation.

  37. an interesting recurring trend i’m seeing on these comments, (paraphrasing of course): -”well, it’s not like hindus don’t discriminate against non-hindus” -”well the ones that discriminate aren’t real hindus”

    wait- but you think that muslims that discriminate are ‘real muslims’? because guess what gang, they really aren’t. so can we please all recognize that terrible messed up parts about religion are often created by individuals that are getting it wrong? i really didn’t expect Mutineers to be regurgitating that old neo-con bias of “muslims be crazy!”

  38. wait- but you think that muslims that discriminate are ‘real muslims’? because guess what gang, they really aren’t. so can we please all recognize that terrible messed up parts about religion are often created by individuals that are getting it wrong?

    That’s a really nice sentiment, and I thank you for it–but–(and, I’m sincerely sorry for the inevitable “but”) is there any real movement afoot to allow my non-”person of the Book” self to visit Mecca next year? Next decade? Oh, well, I will have to sit on the beach again in Galle. My loss. ;-)

  39. well you’ve got me there, rob.

    to reiterate what other posters above have said, (saying this as a paki gal whose been there several times):

    saudi govt isn’t all that “jiggy” with stuff like common sense, human rights, etc. etc. (and boy to they have a color-shade bias meaner than any matchmaking auntie) so I suspect you’ll be spending a few more summers in Galle!

  40. Muhammad did end up destroying most of the idols in Kaaba. The breaking of the idols was a symbolic act to let the Meccans know that there was a new Sheriff in town. The power structure of Mecca at that time had a lot invested in the Kaaba and those ancient gods. For a couple of centuries before Muhammad, various tribes would come to Mecca and perform Hajj by worshipping those ancient Gods. They got their legitimacy as a trading place from those anicent gods. I have just finished a few books on Muhammad and it seems to me that Muhammad didnt particularly care about the polytheists or the Jews. His primary interest was in expanding his territory and consolidation.

    Breaking of the idols whether symbolic or not set a bad precedent that is followed even now (Bamiyan Buddhas). well, I agree that his primary interest was in expanding his territory and consolidation, but that could not have been done without opposing the polytheists/Jews of Mecca. There are a plenty of “verses” in Quran against Polytheists.

  41. Thats interesting, I wonder what effect Hajj would-have/has had on Osama Laden and Dawood Ibrahim?

  42. hajj definitely isn’t a cure-all. plenty of corrupt money-grubbing politicians do hajj and come back sporting a beard but just as corrupt. i think a lot of what you get out of any experience is your intention going into it. im sure OBL didn’t go to hajj expecting to be humbled by God, he thinks he is God.

  43. im sure OBL didn’t go to hajj expecting to be humbled by God, he thinks he is God.

    Which means he’s turned Hindu? Aham Brahmasmi!!

    M. Nam

  44. Man, I really need to tone it down I guess…JOAT said the same thing on another thread…sometimes the tone of one’s statements or questions are different when read by someone else than how they sound in your head…anyway, I guess I disagreed strongly with your conclusions so it came out like that…my bad.

    No worries. I only pointed it out because you’re normally not like that :)

  45. I met a Brahmin ABD who, in a bragging tone of voice, told me that the only people allowed in ancient Mughal-era temples were Brahmins and Muslim musicians. I can’t find info on this, but I do know for a fact that Hindus are *NOT* accepting of people accepting their faith, unless the recent convert is photogenic with light-colored skin. Oh yeah, a “true” Hindu must pour moulten lead down the ears of Sudras if they listen to slokas (and keep in mind that all “Patels”, Jatts, and in general 90% of Hindus are Sudras). Moulten lead? Some Brahmin is probably thinking “that’s a lot of money!”.

    Wow. Is it just me or is boston_mahesh trolling pretty heavily, even if unintentionally? You can’t find any info but you KNOW for a FACT, huh? Wow, you must be really smart or something. Paging SM Intern…

  46. Moulten lead? Some Brahmin is probably thinking “that’s a lot of money!”.

    Erudite indeed.

  47. 53 · Idol said

    rob:
    Yeah, Mecca is a great place to do that–they’re so welcoming to anyone. People of other faiths are officially forbidden from entering the city
    Yeah right, so do hindus welcome non-hindu mlecchas into their temples? Heck even hindus of the wrong caste arent welcome. Orthodox muslims are far more egalitarian than orthodox hindus. Anyone can convert to Islam and go on Hajj to Mecca.

    So how many Hindu temples will kill a non-Hindu for entering?

  48. 97 · lurker said

    I met a Brahmin ABD who, in a bragging tone of voice, told me that the only people allowed in ancient Mughal-era temples were Brahmins and Muslim musicians. I can’t find info on this, but I do know for a fact that Hindus are *NOT* accepting of people accepting their faith, unless the recent convert is photogenic with light-colored skin. Oh yeah, a “true” Hindu must pour moulten lead down the ears of Sudras if they listen to slokas (and keep in mind that all “Patels”, Jatts, and in general 90% of Hindus are Sudras). Moulten lead? Some Brahmin is probably thinking “that’s a lot of money!”.
    Wow. Is it just me or is boston_mahesh trolling pretty heavily, even if unintentionally? You can’t find any info but you KNOW for a FACT, huh? Wow, you must be really smart or something. Paging SM Intern…

    Lurker,

    “Sravanadhyayanarthapratishedhat smritescha I.3.38 (101)

    And on account of the prohibition in Smriti of (the Sudras) hearing, studying and understanding (the Veda) and performing Vedic rites (they are not entitled to the knowledge of Brahman).

    Sravana: hearing; Adhyayana: studying; Artha: understanding; Pratishedhat: on account of the prohibition; Smriteh: in the Smriti; Cha: and.

    The same discussion on the Sudras’ right is concluded here.

    The Smriti prohibits their hearing the Veda, their studying and understanding the Veda and their performing Vedic rites. “The ears of him who hears the Veda are to be filled with molten lead and lac.” For a Sudra is like a cemetery. Therefore the Veda is not to be read in the vicinity of a Sudra. “His tongue is to be slit if he pronounces it; his body is to be cut through if he preserves it.” Sudras like Vidura and the religious hunter Dharma Vyadha acquired knowledge owing to the after effects of former deeds in past births. It is possible for the Sudras to attain that knowledge through the Puranas, Gita and the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata which contain the quintessence of the Vedas.”

    This terror plagued passage can be found here.

    So please notify the SM Intern and all the other SM volunteers. Please don’t stop there, my friend. Raise awareness of this horror, and perhaps, we, together, can nullify/eradicate/erase/reverse this shame. Hopefully, no more of God’s children will have to suffer due to this superstitious belief.