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Iraqi Official: US, European Media Refrain from Covering Arbaeen Ceremony

6 May 2018 17:47

Head of Iraq’s Radio and Television Union Seyed Hamid Hosseini criticized the US and European media for turning down requests to cover the Shiite Muslims’ ceremony of Arbaeen (40th day of mourning for Imam Hossein after he was martyred on the day of Ashoura over 13 centuries ago).

“We have invited the European and US media to participate and cover the Arbaeen ceremony but they officially rejected the proposal under the pretext that it is a religious act and paradigm,” Hosseini told FNA on Sunday.

He described Arbaeen as both a religious and political event, and said, “The European and US media cover ceremonies in India and Hajj rituals but they don’t participate in Arbaeen ceremony.”

Meantime, Hosseini said that Iraq hosted over 1,200 reporters and journalists from other world states during the last year Arbaeen ceremony.

Millions of Muslims in Iraq rally from the city of Najaf to the city of Karbala to mark the Arbaeen.

Every year, Muslims from across the world, including Iran, attend the 100-km rally, while hundreds of thousands more join them on the way to Karbala and to the holy shrine of Imam Hossein (PBUH).

Observers believe the big rally is unique in terms of quality and also the number of its participants. It starts from the holy shrine of Imam Ali (PBUH) – the first Shiite Imam – and ends up in the holy shrine of Imam Hossein (PBUH).

Large numbers of different student and popular groups join the rally.

Imam Hossein (PBUH) was martyred in the 680 A.D. battle fought on the plains outside Karbala, a city in modern Iraq that’s home to the Imam’s holy shrine.

In the battle, Imam Hossein (PBUH) was decapitated and his body mutilated by Yazid’s armies. All of Imam Hossein’s male family members, relatives, friends, soldiers who all together formed a 72-member army were beheaded in an unequal war with a 30,000-strong army of the enemy in the desert of Karbala.

The occasion is the source of an enduring moral lesson for the Shiites.

Imam Hossein’s martyrdom – recounted through a rich body of prose, poetry and song – remains an inspirational example of sacrifice to Shiites, who make up a majority of the Muslim population in Iran, Pakistan, Iraq and Bahrain.

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