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Guests of GodPilgrimage and Politics in the Islamic World$
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Robert R. Bianchi

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195171075

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195171071.001.0001

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The Growth of the Hajj

The Growth of the Hajj

Global and Regional Trends

(p.49) 4 The Growth of the Hajj
Guests of God

Robert R. Bianchi (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Geographically and culturally, today’s hajj is nearly universal. The highest rates of hajj activity are still in countries closest to Mecca, but air travel allows Muslims throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas to participate with equal frequency. The strongest predictor of hajj activity is per capita income rather than distance from Mecca or the proportion of Muslims in the national population. Female participation is a special dimension of pilgrimage, demonstrating the enduring power of culture. Hajj growth has been accompanied by a steady rise in the proportion of women pilgrims to about 45% of the total, yet in many countries regional disparities in female pilgrimage reflect virtually separate societies with incompatible views of the value and freedom that women deserve.

Keywords:   Hajj activity, female pilgrimage, women pilgrims, Asia, Africa, Europe, Americas, income, air travel, distance

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