: Does that image look familiar? It looks quite like a storyboard for Mel Gibson’s Passion, perhaps? Nope. It’s part of the story of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein as told by Hammorabi in a long and illuminating post. I said below that I saw eerie similarity between the blood lust of Passion (and, as a commenter points out, Christian self-flagellation) and the self-flagellation we’ve seen in religious processions in Iraq.

See also Zeyad’s story of his amazement at seeing a procession of the faithful beating themselves on their backs in perfect rhythm. “The most comic incident was that my Christian friend got a bit dizzy and almost threw up while he was witnessing the scene. He was really freaked. ‘You’d better get used to it’ I told him later that night. ‘Expect a lot of this stuff every year from now on.”