Millions observe Ashura at holy shrine of Imam Hussain in Iraq's Karbala

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Iraq
Wednesday, 12 October 2016


Huge crowds of millions of black-clad Shia Muslim pilgrims thronged the Iraqi shrine city of Karbala Wednesday, weeping and beating their chests in mourning for the seventh-century martyrdoms of the grandson of Prophet of Islam and his companions.

- Message to corrupt politicians -
Fellow pilgrim, Karim Hussein, 40, from the southern port city of Basra, said taking part carried a message for corrupt Iraqi politicians, who have come under mounting fire in the past two years but have done little to reform.
It is "a message to the politicians to fix themselves, because he (Imam Hussein) rose up and revolted against corrupt rulers".

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The annual Ashura commemorations mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussein by the ferocious forces of the tyrant and despotic ruler Yazid of Umayyad dynasty in 680 AD -- a formative event in Shia Islam. Shia Muslims around the world mark Ashura, but attacks on those commemorating bloodshed 1,300 years ago often result in more mourning and loss, including in Afghanistan, where more than 30 people were killed in attacks on Shiites in less than 24 hours. Up to 18 were killed in Kabul on Tuesday in two attacks claimed by the Saudi co-religionist Wahhabi takfiri Daesh group, while a bomb hit a mosque in northern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing at least 14 more, officials said.
Shiites in Iraq too have come under frequent attack by Saudi co-religionist Wahhabi takfiri extremist groups, which consider them and all others as heretics. Some 30,000 security personnel were deployed in and around Karbala to protect pilgrims, although attacks inside the city are rare.
The pilgrimage draws huge numbers of faithful, with Staff Major General Qais Khalaf Rahaima, the head of the security command responsible for the area, saying that 4.5 million people had visited Karbala over a period of 10 days.
Haider al-Salami, spokesman for the Imam Hussein shrine, said in the morning two million people took part in a ritual run from outside the city to the mausoleum on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, black-clad pilgrims massed at the shrine to listen to a recitation of the story of Imam Hussein's martyrdom, with some beating their chests or heads and weeping in mourning.
Then came the ritual run, followed by the burning of a tent representing Yazid's forces destroying Imam Hussein's camp -- the last of the rituals.
"We will continue to commemorate the Imam despite terrorist threats," said Saad Jassem, a 35-year-old from nearby Najaf, another Shiite shrine city.
- Message to corrupt politicians -
Fellow pilgrim, Karim Hussein, 40, from the southern port city of Basra, said taking part carried a message for corrupt Iraqi politicians, who have come under mounting fire in the past two years but have done little to reform.
It is "a message to the politicians to fix themselves, because he (Imam Hussein) rose up and revolted against corrupt rulers".

Rating: 5 Read 840 times Last modified on Wednesday, 12 October 2016

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