Everybody must get stoned

I don't know whether to cry, laugh or just shrug at this kind of 4th century behavior. First 345 of your co-religionists get trampled while you're throwing stones at the devil. Well done. Then there's the whole preliterate stone-throwing exercise. What's to be said about a religious culture in which the most sacred act climaxes in an orgy of chucking stones at a rock that is supposed to be Satan?

Says Iranian pilgrim Azghar Meshadi about a new Shiite directive allowing the throwing ritual to take place early in the morning: "This is much better. We are now done with the stoning before the crowd gets larger." I agree, I love a good stoning in the morning. Puts a smile on my face and a bounce in my step.

Christ: Get thee behind me Satan.
Mohammed: You wanna piece a me Satan???!!!???

Why does so much at the core of Islam have to be about fighting somebody?


I have dear Muslim friends in Iran, Jordan and Turkey. They have all extracted the more enduring elements of their religion and made it live for themselves. But can we please stop pretending that all religious cultures are equally evolved? And that there is no connection between this primitive religiosity and the problems of jihadist terror?