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MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA, March 5, 2001: It is interesting to Hinduism Press International to observe the stark difference in reporting of the on-going Muslim Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and the recently concluded Hindu Kumbha Mela. In the Hajj report, of which "source" above is but one example, there is not a hint of the sarcasm, ridicule and demeaning portrayals that permeated nearly every report on the Kumbha Mela. The single most notable point is that the Western Press makes nothing of this: "Once they complete the stoning ritual, pilgrims shave or cut their hair and then slaughter more than a half-million camels, cows and sheep near this tent city that only comes to life during the Hajj. For pilgrims in Saudi Arabia this year, most of the animals will be sacrificed at a large slaughterhouse in Mecca that was built at a cost of about US$125 million. Pilgrims can go to slaughterhouses to buy and slaughter animals themselves or they can pay a bank or company to do it on their behalf. Meat is sent to the needy in 27 countries." All this is presented without comment of any sort. Imagine what would have happened if a slaughter house of this immense proportions were set up at the Kumbha Mela and one-half million animals offered to the Deities? At least, there would have been photos of it on the wire services, but a search of the major wire services -- AP, Reuters, AFP, UPI and 31 others -- revealed not a single photo or even mention in a caption of the ritual slaughter at Mecca. Nor have we seen any comment in any article on the practice.