Members of Lebanon's Shi'ite Moslem community have been commemorating the death of one of their earliest religious leaders.
GV ZOOM OUT TO SV Vast crowds of Shi'ite Moslems in Beirut celebrate the martyrdom of Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed and son of the Grand Imam Ali.
SV & PAN Crowds in streets PAN TO people sitting on buildings.
GV PAN Crowds in streets watching procession of Shi'ites children through the city. (2 SHOTS)
TV Big crowds in street outside mosque.
GV PAN Congregation inside mosque.
CU Sign in Arabic TILT DOWN TO Shi'ite leader talking inside mosque.
TILT UP TO GV OF Congregation inside mosque.
SV Congregation ZOOM INTO Sheikh talking in Arabic PAN TO CU OF sign in Arabic.
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Background: Members of Lebanon's Shi'ite Moslem community have been commemorating the death of one of their earliest religious leaders. Thousands took to the streets of Beirut on Tuesday (18 November) the day of the Ashoura festival, in a mass demonstration of their devotion to the Shi'ite sect.
SYNOPSIS: The Shi'ite Moslems also used the occasion to press again for a further investigation into the disappearance of another religious leader, Imam Musa Sadr. The Imam and two companions vanished without trace in 1978 after attending celebrations on the ninth anniversary of Libya's revolution. Members of Lebanon's million-strong Shi'ite community believe he is being held in Libya. The Libyan government, however, says the Imam and his companions left by air for Rome. Shi'ite political and religious leaders have called on Arab governments to try and secure the release of the missing Imam.
The Shi'ite sect was founded about 1300 years ago amid the controversy of succession following the death of the Prophet Mohammed. Prayers were offered in Beirut, and throughout Lebanon, for the man who founded the Shi'ite sect called Hussein, the son of the Grand Imam Ali.
Shi'ite Moslems are unlike Sunni Moslems in ways that compare with differences in early European Christianity. The Sunni interpret the Islamic Holy Book, the Koran, to mean that portraits, like those of a religious leader, are to be frowned on. Portraits of Iran's leader Ayatollah Khomeini, however, are often seen carried high above crowds of Shi'ite Moslems.