If you were blind folded, put on an overnight flight and dropped in the middle of Piraeus, you would most likely think you ended up in Islamabad upon seeing your shocking surroundings. These barbaric images are not from the sub-continent during the Stone Age, but of ‘modern’ and ‘progressive’ Greece in 2014.
For yet another year, the Greek port city of Piraeus has been turned into Islamabad, as hundreds of Shia Muslims gathered to celebrate what the Islamic followers observe as the holy day of Ashura. What you see in these pictures are not your ordinary religious celebrations, like our Orthodox Easter or Christmas, which includes family, prayer, & feasting. This is a religious event celebrated in blood & pain, as Shia Muslims mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, a grandson of their Prophet Muhammad.
According to tradition, Imam Hussein was killed along with his tribesman in the battle of Karbala, and was beheaded while his body was mutilated. The purpose of this bloody ritual is to self-inflict pain, in order to experience the physical agony of Imam Hussein’s mutilation. The celebration is practiced by Shia through flagellation, to the point of bleeding.