The Raving Theist

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Why Religious Freedom Is So Important

April 23, 2003 | 11 Comments

From the cover story of today’s New York Daily News:

For the first time in three decades, Iraq’s Shiites were free to mark their holiest festival – free to crawl on bleeding knees, to whip themselves raw and to cut their own heads open with swords.

With Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein no longer able to torment them, millions of Shiite Muslims flooding into the holy city of Karbala eagerly tormented themselves in a remarkable explosion of long pent-up religious fervor.


“This year is particularly important because we’re free to do what we want,” cried Jamella Mousawi, 50, a housewife who walked for five days from Baghdad.

They whipped themselves with chains, sprayed blood from gashed scalps and waved flags – black for mourning and green for Islam.


11 Responses to “Why Religious Freedom Is So Important”

  1. Chris
    April 23rd, 2003 @ 10:41 pm

    This only further confirms my belief that we should nuke the whole middle east and take all their oil for our SUVs.

  2. MadMan
    April 24th, 2003 @ 4:29 am

    These people don’t DESERVE to be liberated. Hell, they don’t deserve to be alive.

  3. Ian Phillips
    April 24th, 2003 @ 8:24 am

    Why is what these people are doing wrong in any way? Incredibly stupid yes, but they are only hurting themselves and that’s fine by me.

  4. Jason Malloy
    April 24th, 2003 @ 10:04 am

    Settle down everybody, this was all an Associated Press mix-up. This photo was actually a promotonal intended for Rob Zombie’s new movie, House of 1000 Corpses.

  5. The Raving Atheist
    April 24th, 2003 @ 10:37 am

    IAN: I never said it was wrong. All I did was just print the picture and the text of the article verbatim. I did add a caption, “Why Religious Freedom is So Important,” but that’s hardly a condemnation.

  6. Rumblefish
    April 25th, 2003 @ 12:54 am

    sounds like a hoot.A got whole pillow case full of doorknobs for next year. Weather permiting

  7. anton
    April 26th, 2003 @ 8:09 am

    They say pictures are worth a thousand words. This one shows why Iraq will never be a secular democracy.

  8. richard Daniel
    August 12th, 2003 @ 5:46 am

    this is a wierd ass site

  9. S. Schmill
    September 8th, 2003 @ 12:19 pm

    This picture makes me hungry for McDonald’s french fries. Or maybe a big bowl of penne. I can’t figure out why…

  10. Rose, Birthday Flowers
    September 10th, 2004 @ 7:31 pm

    wow…. stunning picture, I wonder why is the real reason people do this.
    You can express your belives without do this kind of extreme acts.

  11. decrepitoldfool
    September 11th, 2004 @ 12:39 pm

    Funny thing is, this sort of march would almost certainly not be permitted in the US. At the very least it would be a big controversey while permits were denied, appeals were filed, and so forth. I am not sure what that means.

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