Rain and flu challenge Mecca pilgrims - AP gets it right
A natural part of all religious groups is what outsiders perceive to be a secretiveness or an exclusiveness surrounding their innermost matters. This ubiquitous religious habit, often misperceived to reflect something to hide, or airs of superiority, is completely opposite to the wisdom and philosophy of internet-driven sharing and collaboration that has exploded in the modern imagination, modern tools, and actual way of life.
Ideally this seeming secretiveness and exclusivity should not express superiority nor hiding, but rather the natural impulse to preserve and revere that which is sacred. It could be compared to the little one who found "the world's coolest marble," who will allow only his "bestest bestest friend" into the secret tree house to see it. It is the shadow always, naturally cast by the "special."
This article in New York Examiner.com encourages the AP wire service for its fine video report of this year's Haj.
Traditionally religious groups tend to feel persecuted and misrepresented by new media. In my view the two vital contributors to human affairs simply need to grow in understanding of one another.
The better these groups understand one another, the better off we all will be. AP in this instance takes an important step in the right direction.