|Crowd around the Kaaba|
Courtesy of Bluemangoa2z from Wikimedia Commons
The Hajj is a very famous and widespread pilgrimage that is required by Islam. If you are Muslim, able-bodied and can afford to make your way to Mecca, you must go. It is your duty to your religion and your god. With more than one billion Islamic people on the Earth today, it is not surprising that things get a bit crowded at the holy place during the four days of Hajj every year. Unfortunately, in the fervor to throw stones, kiss/touch a stone and do other obligatory rituals, people are crushed and thousands have reportedly died over the years.
|A field in Kansas|
Courtesy of FEMA
To be fair, attempts have been made to make the journey a much safer one. They are just only as effective as a massive crowd of religiously moved people allow them to be. You can only do so much to stem human crushing behavior when the people involved are motivated by an obligation they feel they owe a god.