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FATAH: Bare-chested religious self-flagellation has no place on our streets

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For many years now, a medieval ritual is being enacted by Muslims on the streets of Canada to mourn the murder 1,400 years ago of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hussain Ibn Ali in the Iraqi city of Karbala. This is when his fellow Muslims loyal to the ruler of the Islamic Caliphate of the time slaughtered Prophet Muhammad’s entire progeny, save a few women and an ailing son.

To put this in perspective, the tragedy observed as ‘Ashura’ unfolded way back on Oct. 10, 680 AD.

The first time non-Muslim Canadians saw the spectacle of an ‘Ashura’ march was in 2010 when processions were held in cold weather in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal. Nothing other than mourning songs and symbolic light beating of the chest was displayed.

In the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent, self-flagellation is not just beating of the chests in wild unison, but extends to whipping........

© Winnipeg Sun