Children's foreheads slashed in Muslim saint's name

The 6-year-old boy screamed and shook his head to avoid the razor blade. But his father held him firmly as Hajj Khodor parted the boy’s black hair and sliced his forehead three times with the blade.

Ali Madani’s cries became more violent as blood gushed from the wound, covering his small, terrified face.

His father and a few other men, waving daggers, broke into a religious chant, recalling how the 7th-century Shiite Muslim saint, Imam Hussein, was decapitated, his head placed on a lance.

In marking the holiest day of Ashura, some Shiites believe children should learn at an early age about Hussein’s suffering, which is at the heart of their faith.
Lebanon’s top Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, has banned bloodletting during Ashura, even for adults.

Clerics in mainly Shiite Iran forbid it as well, saying the practice is un-Islamic because it harms the body.
But traditions die hard, especially in a rite as fervent and emotional as Ashura, marked Tuesday by Shiites across the Islamic world.

Niiiice. This is the kind of thing that can really get people to join a religion, eh?

As much as cutting off part of a baby boy’s penis I suppose.

Good point. Please note I’m not into religion. (Except the Flying Spaghetti Monster, of course.)

Its a well known ritual practiced in that part of the world, hardly news. I’ve been seeing the images of the Hezbollah slapping their heads with blood running down their faces since the war in the eighties put that region on television.

Isn’t it in Mexico where they get a bit carried away at Easter and volunteer to be crucified, nails through palms and all? Or the Thai Kavadis where they ram long bits of metal through face and skin. Or firewalking, and many other rites of manhood? Shia’s are hardly alone in the world when it comes to hurting yourself in order to prove something.

It’s the Philippines.

Sure, a guy named playingwithknives would say that.

There is a difference between being a religious nut and hurting your self and being a religious nut and hurting a 6 year old (or an infant, I agree with the Tim)

The point here is that while there are Muslims who take their religion too far, there are also people in other religions who take it too far. Like those Buddhists who light monks on fire.

None of which makes this ok.

Like those Buddhists who light monks on fire.

To be fair, those Buddhist monks self-immolated, and for reasons of corporeal political protest.

I hope those wackos at Jesus Camp aren’t watching.

Funny thing is that I saw some old, very catholic guy on TV decrying that some shia where doing it (sans swords nor whips, just thumping their chest with the bare hads) in his street. I bet that when a bunch of guys in Easter walk barefooted for hours through the same streets, donning a thorny crown and dragging a huge cross and some 30 feet of chains that is just “tradition”

Lay off the Mooslims, hey? It’s like, a, progressive, and peace loving religion, haven’t you heard?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, there are moderate Mooslims, but there are more batshit crazy Mooslims than there are batshit crazy Christians (or Scientoligists, for that matter.)

It’s actually been proven that muslims are 12% less likely to be crazy than christians, and a whopping 47% less likely to be batshit.

I’m all upholding local traditions and rites of all cultures, whether religion is part of it or not.

Just because we in the west don’t practice many rites which some might find offensive anymore doesn’t mean we should wipe them out globally, just in case something offends a pampered westerners sensibility.

Finally, some sanity in Qt3!

Says you!

Taking the developmental levels of individual countries into account, the Christian and Islamic religions are each pretty equally endowed with their extremists and crazies. The Philippines and Lebanon are pretty much equal in terms of the Human Development Index. Moving into sub-saharan Africa, you get horrendous situations like Nigeria where Sharia law means raped women get stoned to death. Then on the other hand you have Rwanda, where Muslims saved Christian Hutus and Tutsis while Christian priests rounded up those of either side and burned them in their own churches.

And then you have the “Western countries” where, in recent history, and disregarding Hitler, have been pretty accomodating of “other” religions.

Oh right, if we’re so accomodating of other religions, why are we putting so much effort into keeping our buildings from being blown up?

I like how you ignore his “developmental levels” qualifier, which is, you know, the crux of the entire issue. It’s like you’re not even trying anymore :(.

Say again? While I like to think that I “get” “dry” humor, this even goes over my head.