New York Times, May 20, 2008“Mecca And Moderation”. 2008. New York Times, May 20, 2008.
Does increased religious orthodoxy promote violence and intolerance? Our research on the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca suggests this association is wrong. The hajj is one of the most important institutions in Islam and a singular experience for many Muslims. Our recent study of Pakistani pilgrims shows that while performing the hajj leads to greater religious orthodoxy, it also increases pilgrims' desire for peace and tolerance toward others. And this greater tolerance is not just toward fellow Muslims - it also extends to non-Muslims.