The Associated Press is carrying the story of the death of over 300 pilgrims outside Mecca. Note the description of the hajj in this secular report:

   Thousands of Muslim pilgrims rushing to complete a symbolic stoning ritual during the hajj tripped over luggage Thursday, causing a crush in which at least 345 people were killed, the Interior Ministry said.
   The stampede occurred as tens of thousands of pilgrims headed toward al-Jamarat, a series of three pillars representing the devil that the faithful pelt with stones to purge themselves of sin.
   Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki said 345 people were killed. More than 1,000 people were injured, said Dr. Abbasi with the Saudi Red Crescent.
   Footage from the scene showed lines of bodies laid out on stretchers on the pavement and covered with sheets. Ahmed Mustafa, an Egyptian pilgrim, said he saw bodies taken away in refrigerator trucks.

Pelting rocks with stones purges you of sin? And this from the religion that has spawned the modern generation of apologists who mock the cross? The article likewise notes that similar stampedes took place in 1990 (1,426 people dead) and 2004 (244 dead). Thousands dying in a mad rush to throw stones at the devil? The contrast again is tremendous: in Islam you throw stones at the devil; in Christianity the very Creator enters into His own creation and gives Himself as the sacrifice that brings forgiveness to all those who are vitally united to Him.

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