Oliver on Islam: "We got issues with this religion"

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

After noting on her July 2 broadcast that "[o]n this date, July 2, 1990, a stampede ... of religious pilgrims in a pedestrian tunnel in Mecca left more than 14 hundred people dead," 1310 KFKA host Amy Oliver said of Islam, "We got issues with this religion." She later stated, "More died in this pilgrimage than died in the [Hurricane] Katrina disaster."

From the July 2 broadcast of 1310 KFKA's The Amy Oliver Show:

OLIVER: On this date, July 2, 1990, a stampede -- interesting term -- of religious pilgrims in a pedestrian tunnel in Mecca left more than 14 hundred people dead on this date. It was the most deadly of a series of incidents over 20 years affecting Muslims making the trip to Mecca. I got to tell you, 14 hundred die in one day, just making a pilgrimage to Mecca? We got issues with this religion. To the followers of Islam, of course, traveling to Mecca in Saudi Arabia is known as performing the Hajj. The pilgrimage is one of five pillars of the religion and must be done at least once in a follower's lifetime. I mean, really, doesn't it strike anybody -- 14 hundred die, 14 hundred. More died in this pilgrimage than died in the Katrina disaster. In Hurricane Katrina. Unbelievable.

Oliver did not identify the source of her information, although it mirrored History.com's "This Day in History" feature for July 2, which noted, "A stampede of religious pilgrims in a pedestrian tunnel in Mecca leaves more than 1,400 people dead on this day in 1990. This was the most deadly of a series of incidents over 20 years affecting Muslims making the trip to Mecca." It continued:

To the followers of Islam, traveling to Mecca in Saudi Arabia is known as performing the Hajj. The pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of the religion and must be done at least once in a follower's lifetime, if personal circumstances permit. More than 2 million people make the journey every year. Typically, pilgrims celebrate the feast of Al-Adha and visit the area's many holy sites during their stay.

[...]

In the 1990 tragedy, organizational failures by law enforcement officials combined with the enormous size of the crowd resulted in 1,426 people being crushed or suffocated to death in a long tunnel. Safety measures were taken in the aftermath, but with only limited success.

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