An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Ashurah: A Barbaric Observance!

There are many gross practices in many religions – but this one called Ashurah takes the cake! You have to got to see the last picture in this post of a father putting a knife on his son’s (not more than 2 yrs I am sure!) to bleed him – and with a feeling of evident pride – to see how brain-dead these folks are!! This is an article that you may read if you are ok with the gory pictures! Otherwise stay away!

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For those not familiar with the TV show “Firefly” and its subsequent film production, Serenity, the story line includes a savage breed of beings known as Reavers. Since the Firefly universe is set five hundred years in the future, one might — on a steady diet of Star Trek and other such sci-fi favorites — expect danger to come in the form of alien life. However, danger comes instead in the form of the Beast Within — the savage side of man’s nature that in civilized cultures is held in check by proper social conditioning, an instilled sense of morality, and regulation of the id by the superego.

AshouraIn “Firefly”, Reavers have lost that conditioning and that regulation. They have lost it to the point of being characterized as non-human. They pierce and tear their own flesh, wear the skins of their victims as clothing, and run their ships without using reactor core containment — meaning that Reavers suffer horrific and grotesque radiation burns and scarring. Reavers sow destruction, terror, torture, and death wherever they go. One of the facets of the show — and the movie to a lesser extent — is that Reavers inspire such terror in people that resistance is not just useless, but impossible — suicide and “mercy killings” are the usual responses to a Reaver attack.

AshouraSo what does this have to do with Islam?

Consider the photo to the right.

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First he’ll try to make himself look like [a Reaver]… cut on himself, desecrate his own flesh…

— Mal Reynolds, speculating that a survivor of a Reaver attack will turn himself into one

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AshouraThe pictures you see here are examples of the observance of the Day of Ashurah. I quote from a BBC news article on the gruesome spectacle (story in full here):

For Shia Muslims, Ashura is a solemn day mourning the martyrdom of Hussein in 680 AD at Karbala in modern-day Iraq… Some Shia men seek to emulate the suffering of Hussein by flagellating themselves with chains or cutting their foreheads until blood streams from their bodies.

And some men, well, they’d rather cut on their children instead:

Ashoura

One time when I was very young, probably no older than the bloodstained tot in the photo, my father accidentally cut my finger open while clipping my fingernails. I have no recollection of this incident, but my mother tells me that she has seldom seen him more upset than he was at my pain. No parent should ever take pleasure in the suffering of their children. Looking at that man’s expression, I can only conclude that he’s PROUD of injuring his own son.

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