Jan 20, 2008, New York Daily News:
Shi'ite Muslims at the al-Khoei Islamic Center in Queens prepare to flagellate themselves during a procession marking the festival of Ashura.
Ashura is a 10-day event marking the death of the Prophet Mohammad's grandson and revered saint, Iman Hussein, in Iraq 1,300 years ago.
Although condemned by many Muslims, the practice of self-flagellation among the Shi'ite during the Ashura is meant to express the pain Muslims felt on the day of Iman's death.
The practice of self-flagellation is commonly done with long chains tipped with sharp blades, which are used on a person's back....
Although self-flagellation is a painful and bloody act, Shi'ites believe it to be a statement against violence.
The event, which takes place around the world, is painful both physically and emotionally to those who take part in it.
Remember the photos the other day at Atlas Shrugs of the Ashura parade on Park Avenue, with the huge black banners (they seemed three stories high) symbolizing Shi'ite Islam, and the similarly huge white banners marked with red representing blood? That event involved no actual self-flagellation, no bleeding, but it did involve men standing on street corners ritually beating their chests while others looked on. I guess that's an example of Muslim "assimilation" in America: No people covered in blood, just crowds of bare-chested Muslims beating their chests on Park Avenue.Atlas Shrugs:
However, it turns out that this "assimilated," bloodless version of Ashura was just for Manhattan. Out in the boroughs, the Shi'ites are doing the real thing, as reported in today's New York Daily News. In a photo in the print version of the News, we see, at an Ashura festival in Queens, a barechested Mohammedan holding a long curved knife and with his back covered with blood. The online version of the News has a photo gallery of seven photos of the Queens Ashura "observations." They are weird, gross, and alienating, but the photo in the print version is the bloodiest.
This is happening in New York City. In the United States of America. And it's been brought to you, NOT BY LIBERALS, NOT BY TED KENNEDY, NOT BY BILL CLINTON OR GEORGE BUSH OR JOHN MCCAIN, BUT BY EVERY ONE OF US WHO HAS ACCEPTED THE NON-DISCRIMINATORY IMMIGRATION OF MUSLIMS IN THIS COUNTRY FOR THE LAST FORTY YEARS.
So there I am, with two of my little infidels in tow, dashing across town to hit Carnegie Hall. It seems Red has to have a classical concert in the bag for a report due tomorrow. I love these mandates, the kids as an impetus for some culchuh for a change. So imagine my surprise to stumble upon a sea of black down Park Avenue against a backdrop of loud Muslim prayers blaring over loudspeakers, no less. We were running late and I didn't have a picture card in my camera but Red said, "ma, there's a Staples down the block, you've got to get this". It was surreal ...