I thought we would take a moment to see what is going on in the world.
|The Kaaba during Hajj|
It is Hajj time for devout Muslims. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. Every physically and financially capable Muslim is required to make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his or her life. Hajj is the time during the year set aside to do this.
As the Saudi King Abdullah likes to point out, he is the custodian of then two holy mosques. Hajj is a logistical challenge and the Saudis have been making a concerted effort in recent years to cut down on the number of trampling deaths. This year Abdullah put Prince Salman in charge of Hajj.
Hajj is also a big money maker for the kingdom. The number of Hajjis has increased tremendously in recent years due to the rising wealth and influence of Muslims. The king has begun a project to boost the capacity of the Mosque in Mecca from 1.15 million to 1.6 million worshipers.
At the Vatican, the pope consecrated a statue of "Our Lady of Fatima". Fatima is a town in Portugal where a Marian Apparition appeared to three young children in 1917.
In Asia it is the weather. Cyclone Phailin has struck India. Two more typhoons are lined up to strike the Japan and Vietnam later this week. So far this year there have been 12 typhoons.
In Syria, there is a report that the rebels are leaving the Free Syrian Army and setting up more Islamic jihadist groups. This would be a blow to the stated goals of the western countries who wish to see a Syrian democracy. Meanwhile, an imam in the Syrian Palestinian refugee camp has given the residents permission to eat dead cats and dogs to prevent starvation.
In the United States a computer "glitch" caused a food stamp debit card outage in fifteen states. This caused a great deal of anger and chaos across the seventeen affected states and a near riot at a Walmart in Philadelphia, Mississippi. We are one crisis away from anarchy.