Sunday, December 27, 2009
Tonight Is Said To Be The Loudest Night Of Chants
TEN PROTESTERS WERE KILLED TODAY, on a Shia holy day, by a regime that is supposed to be upholding Shia rule. It would be wonderful if this could be the end of the current government.
One of the ten killed is the nephew of the man most consider to be the rightfully elected President.
The government crackdowns on mourning ceremonies in the past week provoked many people in the more traditional neighborhoods of south Tehran as earlier clashes have not, some residents said.
“People in my neighborhood have been going to the Ashura rituals every night with green fabric for the first time,” said Hamid, 33, a laborer who lives in the southern Tehran neighborhood of Shahreh-Ray and declined to give his last name. “They have been politicized recently, because of the suppression this month.”
Yet few protesters expected the scale of the bloodshed that broke out on Sunday. The memory of Hussein is so potent among Shiites that killing for any reason is strictly forbidden on Ashura, and Iranian rulers have always tried to avoid violence or even state executions during a two-month period surrounding the holiday.
“Ashura is a very symbolic day in our culture and it revives the notion that the innocents were killed by a villain,” said Fatemah Haghighhatjoo, a former member of the Iranian Parliament who is a visiting scholar at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. “Killing people on Ashura shows how far Khamenei is willing to go to suppress the protests.”