Like many things affected by the Coronavirus, the Muslim annual pilgrimage was canceled this year for the first time in modern history. The pilgrimage (hajj) is an annual religious event where Muslims gather to pray in unison and perform specific rituals around the holy Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The cancellation was very significant because millions of Muslims travel from all over the world every year to perform the hajj, one of Islam's five pillars which every able Muslim is required to perform.
Only very few people from inside Saudi Arabia were allowed to perform the hajj, with social distancing measures put in place. It would have been impossible to implement social distancing measures if more people were allowed, therefore cancellation was the only option to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus and cause undue harm. Many people spend years saving for this event, so it must have been heartbreaking for those who made plans to go this year.
One of the main purposes of the hajj is for everyone to stand together as equals, regardless of their background, education, race or color -- all dressed in the same fashion, praying and performing the rituals together as one unit. This helps people see each other as equal and removes the barriers people create, mental or actual. We are all equal in front of God, so there is no sense in treating one another differently because of race, gender, ethnicity or background.
In all religions, human life is sacred. Saving a human life is more important than religious rituals and therefore sacrifices must be made in order to preserve every human life as much as possible. So, it is very infuriating to see here in America that the economy is put ahead of human lives. Government leaders and CEO's want others to risk their lives in order to "save" the economy, instead of coming up with a plan to safely reopen the country. Company executives and government leaders pushed for reopening of the lock-downs resulting in further outbreaks of Covid-19 and more people getting sick and dying. How does this help the economy? It's shortsighted and is already starting to backfire.
In times like these sacrifices will have to be made, but the first priority should be saving and preserving human life. Once material things take precedence over human life we are doomed! It is clear which subset of people will be sacrificed, those in power will not risk their lives. Hell, they don't even want to lose money over this! Maybe if we all viewed each other as equal our priorities would be different.