It was almost as if even the Haram was no longer safe for the Muslims. The crash of the cranes resounded before the Hajj, and 107 people died. Right in the Haram. Not since the attempted rebellion of about three decades ago was the Haram subjected to blood being split. Previous Hajj tragedies were outside the Haram, and usually involved a stampede at Mina, or during the stoning of Satan.

Muslim blood continues to be cheap, even though the European Union is now opening up its gates to the refugees from Syria. However, it seems that not all are on board. The East European members have baulked. I don’t think they realized that EU membership would mean having to follow its decisions. They had enough of that in COMECON, the Soviet equivalent.

I suppose it helps that the refugees are not, say, Black Africans (well, some are), but lots of Syrians, who are racially akin to Greeks, Italians and other Mediterranean EU members. If they weren’t acceptable as whites, I doubt if the racially sensitive Germans or Scandinavians would have been so willing.

And wherever there is a chance of getting a visa, can you stop Pakistanis? One died in Hungary. I don’t know more about him. Like, was he pretending to be a Syrian? Was he claiming that the thick Punjabi accent with which he spoke Arabic was actually a Syrian accent? Could the Magyar-speaking Hungarian flatties tell the difference? And Germany was probably lucky not to get him. Syrian refugees would learn German, but Pakistanis would insist on speaking it with a strong Punjabi accent. And insist that it was the best accent.

The EU plan to accommodate 160,000 refugees is backed by a US plan to take on 100,000. Is this a sign of any sort that the government is about to lose? Because Russia has moved troops to Syria, and one way of making sure that militants and extremists don’t penetrate Europe would be if the refugees include mostly opponents of the militants: the minorities that are being slaughtered.

The sandstorm and the cranes crashing came on 9/11. It’s worth thinking about, 16 years have passed. True, for Pakistanis, that is also the anniversary of the death of the Quaid-e-Azam, and the world too has reason now to join the mourning. But it’s becoming a day laden with too much sadness. The Quaid seems to have a knack for picking them. His birthday is 25 December, Christmas day. The day of his death was just another late-monsoon date, but it has gained with the years. One hopes it doesn’t gain more, for that would cost too heavily in human life.

At the same time, we can see the British Labour Party’s outreach to Muslims, by its selection of a former Muslim MP, of Pakistani origin, Sadiq Khan, as its candidate for the Mayr of London.. I don’t know if he looks upon Narendra Modi a a role model, but he should. If Modi’s father was a tea seller, Sadiq’s was a bus driver. There is a difference though: Modi took the tea to customers, Sadiq didn’t sell tickets. Instead, he became a human rights lawyer. His Conservative opponent may well be Jimmy Goldsmith, Imran Khan’s brother-in-law by his first marriage. Pakistani loyalties will be divided, you can bet. But any way, London seems to be getting ready for a vast wave of refugees. Because in the end they will probably end up in the UK, or rather London. London is perhaps the only place in England which can tell the difference between a Pakistani and a Syrian.

Closer home, Chief Justice Jawad Khwaja retired after a very brief tenure, so brief that it could have been missed by anyone going abroad for a holiday. After the second shortest tenure of the office on record, he has been succeeded by Mr Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali. Chief Justice Jamali too will have a brief tenure, but it will in retrospect seem to stretch endlessly. Chief Justice Jamali will find himself retiring next year in December, it might not mean that he can achieve nothing. Generally, judges depend on the cases that come up, but in Pakistan, as Chief Justice Khwaja showed in the official language case, all judges have to do is take up cases that are there, but are not on the cause list for hearing.

Looking away from judges, to rappers, it seems they have their eyes set on the US Presidency. Kanye West has announced he will run in 2020, which is a little early, considering that the 2016 election is well over a year off. And the rapper will have to see how Wacka Flock Flame fares. Mr Flame has not made it clear which party he wants to nominate him, but he has promised to legalise marijuana as his first act in office. Will the Flame Administration be too high to notice who will be the Vice-President? There is a wide choice if there is to be another rapper, like Snoop Dog, or Tygah, or even 50 Cent.

But hasn’t someone told these candidates that the chances of the USA electing another black President so soon after giving one two terms is unlikely. Mr Flame should take particular note, and run under his real name, Juaquin James Malphurs. Or maybe the USA should wait until it finds a white rapper (of which there are many) willing to run. Rather than Snoop Dog. (President Obama is bad enough; President Dog is worse.). Like Atmosphere, or Good Meets Evil.