Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Holiday of Ashura


A few days ago, hundreds of thousands of Shi’a Muslims, mainly in Iraq and in Iran, observed the holiday of Ashura to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of Muhammad.

Ashura rituals are public expressions of mourning and grief. In some instances (see AFP picture), Shi’a Muslims expressed mourning by flagellating themselves on the back with chains and beating their heads with swords.

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