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From drunken nights out with a llama to testicle-eating fishes, it’s a mixed bag of stories you’ve been sharing on social media in 2013.

Among the top twenty Independent articles you’ve been tweeting and posting on Facebook this year, there are serious reports, ferocious comment pieces, astounding research and a fair few articles that pay tribute to the adage ‘the truth is stranger than fiction.’

Can a Muslim say happy Christmas to his friends?

Such questions are at the heart of a debate between the forces of Islamic intolerance and a group of scholars touring Britain with a message of moderation

Hajj pilgrims may be told to take swine flu vaccine

British Muslims may be required to provide flu vaccination certificates if they want to participate in the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca at the end of November, Saudi Arabia has warned.

Future classic: The world's first public museum gets a £61m makeover

The Ashmolean in Oxford is a brave mix of ancient and modern

Swine flu hits Hajj pilgrimage

Arab health ministers have decided to ban children, the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions from attending the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia this year in effort to slow the spread of swine flu.

Iran President rebuked by Khamenei

Iran's supreme leader publicly rebuked the president over his removal of a top official, a rare show of discontent with the hard-line Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by the country's most powerful figure.

Simon Carr: Tony's Godly guidance must be bolder

I think the tent isn't going to be big enough for Hinduism

Wish you were here?: Foreign correspondents recall the ghosts of Christmas repasts

From a frozen turkey in Kabul to a seafood barbie in Sydney, and from a mince pie in Paris to a Muslim feast in Beirut...

Foster and Hadid in running to remake Mecca

Two of Britain's most-renowned architects are in the running for the single most audacious renovation in history: the redevelopment of Mecca.

Olympic park toilets 'will not face Mecca'

Toilets which do not face the holy Islamic city of Mecca are among a raft of design principles announced today aimed at making London's Olympic Park the most inclusive and accessible so far.

Warith Deen Mohammed: Imam who preached a moderate form of Islam to black Americans

The divisive Louis Farrakhan may be the best-known voice of America's black Muslims, but in recent decades, the most influential has undoubtedly belonged to Imam W. Deen Mohammed, who preached a more moderate and racially tolerant brand of the faith, and brought hundreds of thousands of his followers back into the global Islamic mainstream.

Mark Steel: Wife-beating? That's fine - unless you're a Muslim

The Sun newspaper has come over a bit modest. Following a Channel 4 documentary about media reporting of Muslims, the paper accepts some of its stories were "distorted". But they're not doing themselves justice. They weren't distorted – they were entirely made up. For example, a story about a Muslim bus driver who ordered his passengers off the bus so he could pray was pure fabrication.

Muslims feel like 'Jews of Europe'

Minister's shock warning on rise of anti-Islamic prejudice

Leading article: Petrol cap in hand

In attending the Saudi King's energy summit at the weekend, the Prime Minister colluded in a publicity stunt of the first order. Not very long ago, he was so worried about appearing to jeopardise our national sovereignty that he signed the Lisbon Treaty by himself, as far from the glare of television cameras as he could.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project