The hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca required of all Muslims, is one of the largest and most meaningful movements of people in the world. Last year, more than two million of the devout from all over the world travelled to Saudi Arabia to fulfill an Islamic duty. Yet as historian Eileen Kane details, the hajj has been shaped by interactions with Europe for several centuries. Though we don't think of it this way, the hajj is very much a European affair.
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