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  Updated: March 21, 2005

Karbala sees big protest against anti-Husseini rites elements

By: Ismail Zabeeh

"A number of so-called intellectuals have called on Al-Marje Ad-Dini As-Sistani to issue fatwa or an edict to ban some of the Husseini rituals particularly Tatbeer (striking swords on head slitting it open to stream blood)"

HOLY CITY OF KARBALA, Iraq: A huge peaceful demonstration was staged in the holy city of Karbala to protest against anti-Husseini Sha’a’er, or Husseini rituals, elements on Thursday afternoon March 17 that asked Al-Marje Ad-Dini Sayyed Ali Al-Husseini As-Sistani to forbid these rites.

Some days back, Al-Mo’tamar newspaper published an article titled: “Iraqi (so-called) intellectuals urge Sayyed As-Sistani to ban some of displays of Ashura”.

"Tatbeer, Zanjeer-Zani (matam with swords, razor-blades) are linked, since its manifestation, to defending mazloomiyah of Ahlol Beyt(p) , hatred for their enemies and expressing readiness to stand against oppression in every land and each period"

Details of the article stated that a number of so-called Iraqi cultured intellectuals have called on Al-Marje Ad-Dini Ayatullah Sayyed As-Sistani to issue fatwa or an edict to ban some of the Husseini rituals particularly Tatbeer (striking swords on head slitting it open to stream blood), hitting backs with chains and pounding chests with hands saying that all this contradicts with what Iraqis seek world support and solidarity against terrorism.

The 57 intellectuals appealed to Ayatullah As-Sistani to urge doers of these Husseini rituals to stop “wrong beliefs”, as they claimed, “and which present bad and uncivilized picture to the world.”

They suggested to the grand Marje to tell those who want to display their love and devotion for Ahlol Beyt (A) through shedding blood that they should donate their blood to sick people in the name of Hussein (A). They called on the Marje to put a limit on these “uncivilized displays”.

The Thursday’s demonstration was held in the Holy Karbala – centre of Husseini crowds - by all Husseini organizations and bodies in the city showing their sticking-to in reviving and respecting Ashura rituals, protesting against the call to Sayyed Sistani and denouncing the so-called intellectuals’ condemnable stance which is a blatant interference in freedom of belief and in the most important practices of faith that are linked, since its manifestation, to the issue of defending mazloomiyah (oppressed-ness) of Ahlol Beyt (A), hatred for their enemies and expressing readiness to stand against oppression and brutality in every land and each period walking on the path of Al-Imam Al-Hussein (A) and supporting his stand to refuse obedience to non-Allah.

Carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against anti-Husseini rites elements and condemnation over the meddling and illiteracy in understanding these Sha’a’er (rituals), the protestors chanted slogans i.e. “May our souls be sacrificed for you O Hussein!!” and couplets to signify their devotion for Ahlul Beyt, or the holy progeny of holy Prophet Muhammad bin Abdullah (A), and cleared to all that they would never abandon these Sha’a’er which are a symbol of love for Ahlul Beyt (A) and enmity with their enemies.

The demonstration which began from Al-Mokhayyam Al-Husseini area (the place where Husseini tents were erected some 1,400 years ago in the tragedy of Karbala) culminated at the holy shrine of Al-Imam Abi Abdellah Al-Hussein (A) after touching through the streets of this holy city.           


 
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