Moslems around the world marked one of their most important holy days with traditional rites and demonstrations of solidarity with the Iranian revolutionary leader the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Moslems around the world marked one of their most important holy days with traditional rites and demonstrations of solidarity with the Iranian revolutionary leader the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. In Beirut, thousands of people took to the streets to show their support for the Ayatollah and the occupation of the United States Embassy in Teheran by Islamic students. They also pledged support for Moslem Pakistan. And in Rawalpinki and Karachi in Pakistan, the traditional rite of flagellation marked the end of the Islamic month of mourning.
SYNOPSIS: Thousands of Beirut's Shi'ite Moslems took to the streets to show support for Iran, where the majority of the population also belong to the Shi'ite sect. Some of the marchers carried guns or swords, while others wore shrouds -- a sign they are prepared for martyrdom to prove their faith to the prophet Mohammed. the leaders of the march supported the continuing occupation of the United States Embassy in Teheran and called for a boycott of American goods.
Some of the demonstrators carried pictures of their missing leader Iman Mousa Al-Sadr, who disappeared a year ago after visiting the Libyan Jamahiriyah.
The marking of the Islamic holy days took on a different and more traditional face in Pakistan. Flagellation is supposed to remind both participants and observers that devout faith is a matter of life and death for true Moslem. Devotees must prove that they too would be martyrs for the faith, as the prophet Mohammed's follower and seventy-two companions reportedly did on the burning sands of Kerballa more than a thousand years ago.
In Karachi thousands of people witnessed the demonstrations of faith and sacrifice. This year's Moslem period of Ashura has taken on special significance around the world because of Moslem Iran's dispute with the United States. Leaders such as Pakistan's General Zia as well as the Iranian leader, the Ayatollah Khomeini, have rallied their people to Islam and resisted western influences. They have sought to return to Moslem traditions for the government of all activities in society.