As Muharram is approaching, Shia Rights Watch writes to embassies to ask for protection of Shia Muslims during their Ashura gatherings. Muharram is the first month of Islamic year when many celebrate New Year and many others postpone their celebrations in order to commemorate the death of a peacekeeper, Husain.
The letter is as follows:
Dear Honorable Ambassador,
On the occasion of the Hijra New Year, it’s our honor to extend to you our greetings and sincere wishes. We at Shia Rights Watch hope for this year to be prosperous for you and the people of your country.
As you are celebrating the New Year, Shia Muslims in your community are commemorating the death of a man who stood for justice and the rights of others, Husain. Husain ibn Ali is the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson. During this important time, it is important to model the spirit of acceptance and respect by taking actions to prevent any violations and hatred towards this minority. During past years, Shia minority faced forms of violation and pressure during the month of Muharram, and it would add to the sincerity of the government to protect Shia Muslims this year, so they perform their rituals under the safety provided by their government.
We encourage you to make respect, brotherhood and non-violence part of your New Year’s resolutions.
At SRW we believe that respect and protection of religious freedom are the keys to peaceful coexistence and mutual respect. We call upon all governments to respect the rights of their citizens and protect their lives and property. Please keep in mind that Muharram rituals are not the political movement, but rather religious and spiritual gathering that advocate for peace and brotherhood.
Director of SRW