If you know Shia Muslims you certainly know that month of Muharram is the most significant time of the year for this people. The very first universal campaign against violence and discrimination took place by Shia Muslims after the tragedy of Karbala in the month of Muharram in 680 CE.
In this universal campaign all Shia Muslims wear black attire for nearly two month and attend seminars and conferences to spread the message of freedom, respect, and non-violence. Shi’ism is the only faith that holds universal campaign against human rights violation as part of their religious rituals.
This very peaceful and humanitarian campaign has been a concern for human rights violators as they perceive this campaign as a danger to their political and selfish interests. Every year thousands of Shia Muslims are killed because of their participation in this universal call for human rights.
Muharram of 2013 started today, November 5th. Already Shia of Iraq, Iran and Egypt reported receiving threatening letters to prevent them from raising their voices against oppressors.
I wonder why such a peaceful gathering with very much needed message is being attacked. Such attacks prove that this campaign is actually accomplishing its goal. The goal of Muharram campaign is to increase awareness against human rights violations, end oppression, increase respect and harmony and finally call for non-violence. If the campaign was not effective, anti-human rights violators would not spend millions of dollars to stop it; they would not kill Shia Muslims to prevent their rituals and they would not fight with Shia Muslims.
What amazes me is that the more anti-Shia groups kill Shia Muslims, the more Shia participate in this campaign. This ritual is getting a lot of attention from international committee every year.
It is fair to call this campaign the only effective campaign in human rights field since most of the other movements do not get much attention, or at least international attention.
As a Shia Muslim I assure all that this campaign is not a political movement and only calls for unity and peace. I also invite all fair and just humans to join this international campaign and stop human right violations.
By Hawraa Zakery, a Shia rights activist and specialist on November 5, 2013