: 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.”

  • thanks for blogging jeff jarvis….and thanks for allowing reader comments….good leadership….dk

  • In Iran also these days we have a very special ceremony for imam hussain.most of country is covered in black in rememberence of him and the mourners weep for imam and beat themselves,some with hands and some with some metal traditional areas it gets more dangerous cause they beat themselves with some big knives called “ghameh”,it causes blood government has officially banned teheran and modern cities the philosophy of ashurais changed.its a special day for boys and girls to meet and cause they are for ceremony noone tells anything to northern part of teheran where more rich group people live you can see for example a guy in his skates mourning for imam!or nowadays the traditional songs for imam hussain has changed to remixes.trance for imam!!sorry to write alot,wanna tell you about ashura in Iran.

  • hari

    Well, duh, Jeff. Islam is derived from Nestorian or Arian Christianity; IOW, it’s based in heresy, and it continues to perpetuate that heresy. It also is anthropocentric rather than theocentric.

  • angell

    Hari–Islam is derived from Christianity like you are derived from a billy goat.

  • anne.elk

    Angell, I think you’re grossly mistaken (as usual?).
    From a Christian site: Google and ye shall find.
    Origin of Islam: The Youngest of Major World Religions
    The origin of Islam can be traced to Muhammad in about 622 A.D. This relatively young religion claims to be the restoration of true monotheism started with Abraham, and thus, supersedes both Judaism and Christianity, which were allegedly corrupt and incomplete. Islam is based on absolute submission to the one “true” god, Allah. Muslims are called to conform to the “five pillars” (disciplines) of Islam in order to achieve eternal salvation.
    Origin of Islam: Some Background
    The origin of Islam is credited to Muhammad, who lived between 570 and 632 A.D. He is believed by Muslims to be the last and greatest prophet of God (“the seal of the prophets”). It was through him that the Qur’an was dictated. Muhammad was born in Mecca, but he was chased from that city in about 622 A.D., after speaking out against the polytheism and paganism of the culture. He then established himself as a religious and military leader in Medina, and later returned in triumph to Mecca in about 630 A.D. From Mecca, Muhammad was instrumental in establishing Islam as the formal religion of all Arabia.
    For the Muslim, the Qur’an is the holy book of Islam and the true word of Allah. Muhammad claimed that the Qur’an comprised the preexistent and perfect words of Allah, dictated in Arabic by the angel Gabriel. Islam teaches that the Qur’an contains the complete and uncompromised revelation and will of Allah. The Qur’an is slightly shorter than the New Testament of the Bible and is divided into 114 “surahs” (chapters). Each surah represents an episodic vision received by Muhammad in the desert, which many Muslim historians have depicted as seizure-like events over many years. While Islam respects certain versions of the Jewish Torah (first five books of the Old Testament), the psalms of David, and the four gospels of the New Testament, the Qur’an is held alone as the religion’s true authority. Islam teaches that the Qur’an is only truly understood in Arabic, and therefore, it has become a religious obligation to read and quote it in the original language. According to Islam, Allah cannot be known in a personal sense, but his will is perfectly revealed in the original Qur’an.
    From an Islamic site Prophet Muhammad
    Islam is the religion, the way of life of Muslims of the world. There are over one billion Muslims spread across the globe in all nationalities, languages and ethnic backgrounds. Islam was the religion of the first couple, Adam and Eve. It was also the religion of messengers of God like Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. The essence of their message was the same:
    Believe and obey the One true God and obey His messengers.
    Jesus (peace be on him) was the second-last prophet of God. He foretold the coming of the last Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him).

  • Joe Peden

    I see myself as Christ, with the Christians, Liberals, Islamists, and the Bureaucracy torturing me. At last someone to identify with.
    BTW, what the hell does “Christ dying for my sins mean?” Do I have to die for my own sins, too? Etc.. These kind of “Christian” slogans are pure gibberish, although in the looming war between the Liberal Religion and the Christian Religion, the Christians are going to win.

  • Uh er… not to get into the inter-religious posturing here, but yes, Islam and Christianity are related some way that scholars are still arguing about, and probably always will be arguing about. Also self-injury to show devotion to one’s deity is not exactly a new thing, nor is it limited to the Middle East (I believe that among Teutonic tribes or was it the Huns? it was the custom to spill one’s own blood by cutting oneself during devotions. I can’t find the reference now, possibly it comes from Tacitus who was writing third-hand accounts so YMMV as to the truth of this.) But— I am not sure why Jeff brings it up in context with the Passion movie. It looks almost as if Jeff is making fun of these peculiar foreigners and their {shudder} peculiar customs. Watch out, Jeff, not PC.

  • hey

    ah.. it seems like jeff is relating the shia tradition to the passion… though not sure on the point
    ct seems to have his history relatively straight, although the lovely religious bigotry diminishes his scholastic achievements
    and yes, one can expect very intense shia celebrations in iraq for the next few years, as they exult in being allowed to observer the occasion
    I imagine that the degree and extent of the mortification/self-flagellation will diminish as religious freedom becomes less novel and economic opportunities pick up
    also, i seriously hope that all participants in the observances sterilize their equipment and don’t share swords, flails, etc. Ideally they would give each other a wide berth, as they beat themselves over the head, resulting in extremely dangerous conditions wrt blood borne pathogens
    these observances are serious and extreme public health risks, and will hopefully receive thoughtful and respectful assistance in reducing the danger to participants and the community of disease transmission.
    Potestas and others, please try to get this some attention. You only need one person who has had an unfortunate catastrophe in his personal life to participate in these solemn observances to create a serious epidemic amongst people who would not be taking the precautions that a more hedonistic and less religious person would, as the religious person would not be aware of the risks they are exposed to, thinking that they do not have the typical risk factors (multiple partners, same sex partners, or IV/injection drug usage) that a hedonist might.
    may all iraqis (and soon iranians) be free to observer, or not to observe, ashura as they see fit forever

  • All bigoted blogroaching aside, my Rorschach test response to that picture was more Ides of March than the Passion. I think it’s the daggers…

  • cows

    hey ct, yo momma..

  • Stan

    As everyone knows, Mel Gibson practices an ultraconservative version of Chrstianity, that pre-dates the Vatican. In fact, it predates the Vatican by 900 years — exactly the same year that Islam was founded. Watch the Passion — as I have three times now — and you’ll see that it is heavily influenced by the Prophet Muhammed, especially Act 2.

  • Weirdo commenter alert! Weirder than usual, anyway. But it’s useful to know what the Voices are saying to some people via their dental fillings. Would they happen to have given you this week’s winning lotto numbers, Stan?