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Thomas Ryan, CSP Answers:
Well, it’s natural enough to want to go and see the place for yourself. Even people who know nothing about Islam use Mecca as a synonym for the ultimate goal. Every Muslim is required to make the pilgrimage (hajj) once in her or her lifetime; it’s one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Non-Muslims are not, however, able to participate in the hajj. The area around the two sacred cities of Mecca and Medina is a sacred area prohibited to non-Muslims. But nothing about the hajj itself is secret. Through several videos, you can vicariously share in the pilgrimage experience. In 1997 a team of Muslim camera men documented the hajj experience for ABC’s Nightline and the 25 minute video is available at this link.