Ashura: A Plague Upon Iran


The literal meaning of the word “Ashura” is 10th, as it is on the 10th day of Islamic month Muharram. Also, Muharram is the first month of an Islamic year. During my teens in Iran, I called Muharram the month of terror. For two days, I used to lock myself in the basement of the house to read my books or listen to my favorite music. I simply could not witness the savagery and ritual barbarism of Ashura of Shia Islam. This savagery continued for two days.

History tells us when Muhammad left this world, he did not leave behind a will, something for his co-savages to adhere to. Even though Muhammad was illiterate, he could have asked someone from his tribe to write and instruct that who would be next in line to lead his Islamic Ummah when he died. In my opinion, his carelessness regarding something this important reveals what kind man he was. Well, the infighting for leadership between the Islamic tribes begun.

Shias claimed that Muhammad verbally indicated that Ali was to lead his Ummah. Well, 90% of Sunni Muslims say, no he did not, and the Caliphate system was the way to go. Shortly after Muhammad’s death, the fourth of the “Rashidun” (Great) Caliphs, Ali ibn Abu Talib was killed by Ibn Muljam. But rumors assert a different version of this story. It says that a Persian warrior by the name of Brahman Jaziyah killed Ali, avenging the death of numberless Persians that Ali and his people had slaughtered.

Violence was part and parcel of Islam from the get-go. Then there was a battle between the forces of the powerful Yazid, son of Mu’awiya, and Hussein, the third son of Ali.

Yazid wanted Hussein to give him an oath of allegiance. Hussein’s stubbornness and pride prevented him from doing so, and instead, he refused to, despite his life being at risk.

Hussein traveled with his family and 72 companions to defend his honor. So a real fight was joined. On the one side was Yazid with his mighty army and wealth, and on the other side was Hussein. Hussein tried to start a dialogue with his adversary, Yazid.

After several warnings from Yazid that he was no match for his 10,000-strong army, Hussein stubbornly refused to relinquish his claim to the powerful Yazid, and so Hussein ended up with his head cut off by Shimr, impaled on a spear and presented to Yazid as a trophy. Along with Hussein, his band of relatives-followers got butchered. Well, friends, that’s the nature of the beast called war.

That day when Hussein’s head was cut off is known as Ashura. To this day, Shias bloody themselves, their children, even their babies with self-flagellation in a most horrid way in aza dari  (mourning) for what happened to Hussein. Now 1400 years have passed since that bloody war. What good does this do, other than perpetuate a sense of defeatism and fanaticism?

This infighting was between to two Arabs, two enemies of Persians. Iranians should free themselves of the yoke of the conniving mullahs. In fact, Hussein’s decree to murder and enslave the “inferior Iranians” has been recorded in history, but is kept a secret from the average Iranian Muslim — part of the culture of deceit that is built into Islam. Yet Iranians are told by the mullahs to go out during the month of Ashura and beat themselves over the death of Hussein, Iran’s sworn enemy! The long-suffering Iranian people must put the past behind them and use their excellent talents to not only join the advanced world, but lead it. What a shame to remain stuck in this horrid mentality of victimization.

Iranians truly don’t have a dog in this savage fight. In fact, they should rid themselves of all Islamic stains, Shia, Sunni, or whatever, and with it stop playing the victims of one power or another. Playing victim may give psychological relief, but doesn’t solve any problems on the ground. And problems of the ground we have aplenty.

This story has absolutely nothing to do with Iranians who are forced by the mullahs every year to beat themselves for an Arab man who was a killer of Iranian people, Hussein. But this ritual was semi-banned during the Shah’s time. Khomeini revived it, and explicitly told the mullahs that these Shia rituals had kept the Shiite sect alive. So every year, the Islamic government spent millions of dollars to keep Shi’ism alive.

In a nutshell, Ashura was a day when two Arab terrorists went to war together over power. One of them died, and ever since Iranians have been beating themselves for their killers to play the victim. This game has been forced upon Iranians for 1,400 years. Fortunately, many affluent and middle class Iranians never participate in this savagery of Shia Islam.

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