Those you who know me occasionally question what takes me to an Ashura procession many thousand miles from home year after year? Why not London… there too is a march on this day.
…it is the message of Karbala and the march of Ashura that takes me away from the serenity of Kent, the freedom I enjoy in England and my family… to march in a protest where the majority do not and live under persecution and prejudice. It is to support those who live it day in day out.
For me Hussain and Karbala stood for everything modern civil society stands for. A society where we have collective options to end persecution as a global society. Hussain had no such friends, no UN to go to for embargoes against a tyrant or coalition to call upon. Hussain and his supporters stood against tyranny and though they lost on the battle field to the last man standing the ideals they sacrificed their life for did not die with them 1333 years ago.
October 13, 680 A.D Hussain and 71 of his family and friends went up against an army 10,000 strong and lost to the last man standing. Their sacrifice was a display of audacious bravery to uphold freedom and democracy*.
The Ashura march across the world (including New York, Chicago, London and as far afield as Tokyo) is to demonstrate how many of us still aspire freedom and human rights and how many of us still remember the sacrifice a few made to ensure we remember it is our right to protest, demand, to elect our rulers, to stand tall against tyranny, be counted and more.
It is a symbolic stand a few made against the many to ensure a free and fair society for all. It transcends religion and gene pool, symbolic of humankind’s struggle against tyranny for justice and freedom.
Hussain did not have the third rock to call upon, for if he did Karbala would have turned out very different.
Those of you who march for the right of the few and the many when under threat, as individuals, unions, communities, occupies of the world and my fellow geeks. Considering attending the Ashura march in your own cities and towns and help the many on the third rock… who aspire for the freedom few of us enjoy and take as granted. March for the message and not the banners but be counted.
To Pakistanis who see their country, their communities and their own belief systems being hijacked for the agenda of the few, consider march along side a minority and send the resident evil and the world a message. That you too stand for a free and fair society and against tyranny. Remember if it us today it will be you tomorrow.
To find the Ashura protest procession near you google ‘Ashura <<Your city/town>> Nov 2013 – Ashura’ this year it is being observed on 15th November 2013. Search for #Ashura #Muhharam on Twitter… you know… use the tools we have for connectedness.
Labaik ya Hussain (We are here for you Hussain)
* The first four Caliphs of Islam were democratically elected by the equivalent of an electoral college.
List of Ashura marches across the third rock:
#Pakistan #Karachi #Lahore #Quetta #Peshawar #ThirdRock #muharam #Karbala #occupy #Amnesty #HRW #Protestwatch #Avaaz #Drupal #Freedom #Democracy #Hussain #HumanRights #Hope #Peace #HRW #humanrights #UN #Occupy
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