Nov 8 - Millions of Muslim pilgrims from around the world take part in the Haj ritual of stoning the devil by throwing pebbles at three walls. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Millions of Muslim pilgrims from around the world continued to perform haj in Mecca on Tuesday. Among the rites they must perform during the three-day pilgrimage, hajis must walk seven times around the Kaaba, the cube-shaped building at the centre of the Grand Mosque, pray at nearby Mount Arafat and ritually stone the devil by hurling pebbles at three walls. This year, haj has come at a time of sweeping change in the Middle East, where a wave of uprisings has toppled veteran leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. But the march for change halts outside the gates of Mecca, where pilgrims say they leave politics behind. Home to Islam's holiest sites, Saudi Arabia regards itself as the guardian of Islam and assumes the responsibility of maintaining a peaceful haj season when Muslims from various sects gather at the same place and time. Around 2.5 million to 3 million pilgrims are believed to be in Mecca to perform haj, a duty that all able-bodied Muslims must undertake at least once in their lifetime.