Religion: The Case of the Red Hadjis

Religion may be the opium of the people, but to a Russian propagandist it can be a mighty handy gadget. Last week the Kremlin's latest piece of religious propaganda dropped right out of the sky over Turkey.

At Ankara airport landed a Russian transport plane, ostensibly out of fuel. Out popped 21 gaily clad Mecca-bound pilgrims, Communists all, yet Moslems to a man. Two of them, their passports showed, were Red army officers. While the prospective hadjis were still scattering affable salaam aleikums around the airport, Russian-embassy personnel arrived. Their eagerness was understandable : Russia is trying hard to woo not only...

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