Thousands of Shia Muslims across Australia marched to commemorate the battleground death of the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson and take a stand against terrorism.
Processions of men, beating their chests, marched along the edge of Sydney‘s Hyde Park and down Melbourne‘s Swanston Street as part of the Day of Ashura.
Hijab-wearing women of the Shia faith also marched separately at the weekend to remember Hussain ibn Ali who was killed and beheaded at the Battle of Karbala, in what is now known as Iraq, in the year 680.
But they also had a political message, with women in Sydney holding a placard which read: ‘Like Hussain we stand against terrorism and injustice.’
While the Prophet’s grandson died on October 10 in 680, Muslims commemorated the death of the important Shia figure on September 29 and 30 this year.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE DAILY MAIL (UK)
In their millions, Muslims have staged passionate mourning ceremonies in commemoration of the day in history that witnessed the martyrdom of the icon of sacrifice to the faithful.
The occasion, known as Ashura, marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussein and 72 of his companions in 680 AD in a land that is known today as Iraq, after they refused to pledge allegiance to the tyrant Yazid.
Ashura is the culmination of a 10-day annual mourning period in the lunar month of Muharram for the third Imam of Shia Muslims, who was a grandson of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him).
The rituals are observed in ultimate magnificence in the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala in Iraq, the latter of which hosts Imam Hussein’s holy shrine.
On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, traveling from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Lebanon and many other countries, descended on Karbala, with officials putting their numbers at 3 million.
An Iraqi TV channel said authorities had created a security belt around the holy city to protect it from possible terrorist attacks. In the past, Daesh and other Takfiri groups have targeted the pilgrims on their way to Karbala or carried out bombings inside the city.
FULL ARTICLE FROM PRESS TV (IRAN)
In one of the largest organized marches in the history of the world, tens of millions of Shia Muslims made an incredibly heartening statement, by risking their lives to travel through war-stricken areas to openly defy ISIS. This massive event that would have undoubtedly helped to ease tensions in the West was almost entirely ignored by corporate media.
Women, men, elderly, and children made their way to the city of Karbala on Sunday and Monday last week for the holy day of Arbaeen. Arbaeen is the event which marks the end of the 40-day mourning period following Ashura, the religious ritual that commemorates the death of the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson Imam Hussein in 680 AD.
As the Independent reports, massive crowds paid homage to the shrines of Imam Hussein and his half-brother Abbas in Karbala, where they were killed in a revolt against the Umayyad ruler Yazeed in the 7th century AD when they refused to pledge allegiance to Yazeed’s Umayyad caliphate.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE FREE THOUGHT PROJECT
Islam is the second-largest religion in the world. Religion estimated followers:
- Christianity 1.9 billion
- Islam 1.3 billion
- Hinduism 900 million
There are two main branches of Islam:
- Sunni 83%
- Shi’ite 16%
- Other 1%
Largest Muslim populations (in millions) by Country
Number of Muslims:
- Indonesia 170.3
- Pakistan 136
- Bangladesh 106
- India 103
- Turkey 62.4
- Iran 60.7
- Egypt 53.7
- Nigeria 47.7
- China 37.1
FULL ARTICLE FROM BELIEF NET
“God taught us how to converse with all people. There are no sanctities when it comes to dialogue. God Almighty himself spoke to the devil. Are there people like the devil? Also, the Quran is a book of dialogue with polytheists about the unity of God, and with infidels about the existence of God and the prophecy of Muhammad.” This is how the late Lebanese Shiite cleric Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah responded when asked about the increased talk of interfaith dialogue in the 1990s.
The occasion to talk about the late Fadlallah today, and about his call for dialogue with the “Other” — especially with other Christian and Islamic sects — is an initiative launched by his son, the scholar Sayyed Ali Fadlallah. The latter established the “Religions and Cultures Forum for Development and Dialogue,” in which 50 different personalities participated, including Muslim and Christian clerics and intellectuals from Lebanon and other countries of the Arab and Islamic world.
This forum was announced by Fadlallah during a ceremony held in Beirut on Tuesday, Oct. 30, attended by MPs, politicians, party leaders, intellectuals and media figures. The most prominent attendees included the head of the Loyalty to the Resistance (Hezbollah) Bloc, MP Mohammad Raad; the head of the Islamic Group in Lebanon’s political bureau, Azzam Ayoubi; a representative of former Lebanese President and Kataeb Party leader Amine Gemayel; and delegations from the Amal Movement and the Progressive Socialist Party.
A number of religious leaders were also in attendance, including the Rev. Fadi Daou, a representative of Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Bechara al-Rai; Rev. Sulaiman Wehbe, a representative of the patriarch of Antakya, Alexandria and Jerusalem for the Melkite Greek Catholic Church Gregory III Laham; a representative for the papal ambassador to Lebanon; Archbishop Daniel Sukkar, a representative for Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas; and a number of Sunni, Shiite and Druze religious scholars from Lebanon and the Arab and Islamic world. The most notable among the latter were the General Secretary of the Supreme Islamic Legislative Council Sheikh Khaldoun Oraymit, and Sheikh Sami Abou al-Mona, who represented the spiritual leader for the Druze sect Sheikh Naim Hassan.
FULL ARTICLE FROM AL MONITOR
(Reuters) – Protesters trying to march to the heart of Bahrain’s capital clashed with riot police on Friday, witnesses said, hours after a massive show of force by the mainstream Shi’ite Muslim opposition.
They said dozens of youths threw stones at police who used teargas and stun grenades to block the planned march to the Pearl roundabout, the centre of an uprising last year which the government suppressed with the help of troops from neighbors, including Saudi Arabia.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Bahrain, where the Sunni Muslim Al Khalifa family rules over a majority Shi’ite Muslim population, has been in turmoil since an uprising erupted last year demanding reforms after successful revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.
The protests escalated ahead of last week’s Formula One Grand Prix, drawing criticism of Bahrain from some governments, rights groups and media watchdogs who say police use excessive force and the government should find a political solution.
FULL ARTICLE FROM REUTERS
Hundreds of protesters were prevented from returning to a symbolic square in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, on Friday, following the funeral of a man the main opposition party said was beaten to death by security forces this week.
Activists said this video, posted on YouTube on Friday, showed members of the country’s national guard deploying in armored vehicles to prevent mourners from marching to an area of the capital formerly known as Pearl Square.
The square, also known as the Lulu Roundabout, was a center of the country’s protest movement in February before it was cleared by force and the monument at its center razed to the ground by the authorities.
FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES