[DEBATE] : Police Detain Ashoura Mourners in Iran
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Mon Jan 21 03:46:28 GMT 2008
I always thought that "theocracy" is a misnomer for the Islamic
Republic of Iran. -- Yoshie
Police Detain Ashoura Mourners in Iran
3 hours ago
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Police in the central Iranian city of Isfahan
detained a large number of mourners for mutilating themselves during
ceremonies commemorating the death of a revered Shiite figure, the
official IRNA news agency reported Sunday.
Every year millions of Iranian Shiites pour into the streets for
Ashoura, marking the 7th century death of Prophet Muhammad's grandson
Imam Hussein, and many flagellate themselves in memory of his
Some take it to the extreme of self-mutilation using knives and other
sharp objects to show their deep piety, but the practice is considered
illegal by religious authorities.
"These people were disturbing the public order," said police spokesman
Col. Alinaqi Alavi in Isfahan, according to the agency. "They were
using daggers as well as slashing their shoulders with spiked chains."
Alavi did not say how many people were detained, but local papers on
Sunday put the number at around 90.
During the ceremony, mourners will march and strike their heads with
daggers for hours to create a swelling which they eventually pierce
with their knife so it bleeds.
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