Religion: Redbeards to Mecca

War-risk insurance has kited shipping costs skyward. Britain is harder pressed than ever for shipping space, and has not enough warships to safeguard her own sea lanes. Yet the Moslem faithful of India this week set sail for Mecca in British ships, convoyed by the Royal Navy, paying pre-war fares ($52 for deck space, $186 first class) for the privilege. Government subsidies will offset any possible loss to the shipowners. In his resting place (halfway between heaven and earth), Mohammed the Prophet was doubtless gratified.

Thirteen centuries ago Mohammed gave a spiritual and material boost to his native Mecca by calling upon...

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