Saturday, January 27, 2007
Three years ago bombs went off in Karbala during Ashura: the holiday marking Mohammad’s grandson Hossein’s suicidal battle.
Iran is now immersed in Ashura mania, which is a bit like Halloween meets Death to America. It’s an opportunity to take to the streets and embrace the anonymity offered by huge crowds.
About a month ago neighborhoods started decorating for Ashura. Huge paintings of Hossein (or “Hossein’s friend” as one observant Muslim told me) went up alongside tents that are used for gathering to commemorate the death of Hossein. There seems to be more decoration than ever in Tehran. “The neighborhoods got more money for the decorations this year,” a man told us.
Iranians worship victim hood. They use graphic war footage of bombs falling on Iranian soldiers to recruit for the revolutionary guards. They embrace every opportunity for a good public cry. They portray themselves as victims rather than as aggressors.
Well, Inshallah, they don't want to repeat history with another suicidal battle.