Iraq: Ashura pictures from Baghdad (Warning: it gets a bit bloody)

So the pictures below are from my visit yesterday to the Khadimiya mosque in Baghdad during Ashura, a Shiite religious holiday and celebration. Perhaps commemoration is a better word. (Described, in part, in this Washington Post story that I worked on.)

The rub: the ceremonies celebrate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, who was whacked in 680 AD in the city of Karbala. The whole blood-splitting-open-the-forehead- thing–a practice that is actually frowned upon by most high ranking Shiite religious leaders, but the folks seem to love–symbolizes the martyrdom.

On the way to Khadiymia mosque in Baghdad

On the way to Khadiymia mosque in Baghdad

Age appropriate fun for entire family

Age appropriate fun for entire family

A Red Crescent first aid station. Each station treats "hundreds and hundreds" of worshippers for blood loss and dehydration, according to medic at the tent.

A Red Crescent first aid station. Each station treats

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About michaelhastings

Journalist
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4 Responses to Iraq: Ashura pictures from Baghdad (Warning: it gets a bit bloody)

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Iraq: Ashura pictures from Baghdad (Warning: it gets a bit bloody) - Michael Hastings - The Hastings Report - True/Slant -- Topsy.com

  2. vickielyna says:

    Michael,

    It takes a lot for me to be speachless but this accomplished that effectively. I don’t know what to think about people who teach children to hurt themselves in the name of martyrdom and concider it a religious celebration.

    Humans do things in the name of religion that they wouldn’t do otherwise. Not to mention it would be considered a crime in any another circumstance.

    What do they hope to get out of this? God only knows.

  3. leb46 says:

    *jaw drop*

    Who… who would do that?

    Is there an age limit on how old you have to be in order to receive these cuts? If there is, it certainly isn’t very old at all.

    I wonder if there’s a sort of macho-thing about the cuts- a sort of “if I shed enough blood to cover my entire face then I’m better than the guy next to me, who just has a little blood dripping from his forehead” thinking.

    What do you think, Michael?

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