Afghan President Karzai Honors Bloody Ashura Festival

Writing a Green Beings post on activist Alice Newstead’s performance art on fish hooks for the sake of saving sharks, I referred to her ashura-like art ritual.

Minutes later I saw this NTimes article A Shiite Ritual Returns to Kabul. President Hamid Karzai himself attended the celebration, a ritual that includes self-flagellation to often-extreme bloodiness with knife-tipped chains and razor blades, is an important ritual to Shiite’s. via NYTimes

The Taliban — hardly a gentle people — banned Ashura festivals in Afghanistan.Now they’re back.

At the risk of being disrespectful and a cultural imperialist, it seems that blood, pain, scourging the flesh and total surrender of self is a way of life for these men. Honoring Allah with self-immolation and killing everyone in sight is not difficult, if this is your idea of human existence and religious surrender to a higher order. 

I’m tired of being politically correct on these cultural traditions. These Shiites seek a return to the stone age for all of us — in the name of religion. Anne 

The Passion of Hussain: Ashura