Shia Cleansing Festival Is Not For the Faint of Heart

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Every year, thousands of Shia worshippers take part in the ceremonies, performed to mourn the death of Husayn ibn Ali, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. It is going on now in Shia nations and in Queens and Manhattan, New York. Most of the worshippers in New York are less physical.

It is considered controversial in Islam. Self-harm is against sharia but they are harming themselves and the children.

They use knives to cut open their heads and beat themselves with chains during a show of faith.

Many believe it cleanses them of their sins.

They have more about the story and a video at The Sun. These photos are from Afghanistan, but they perform it in New York.

Photo credits AFP or Licensors

We grabbed this two-year-old video from YouTube:

Manhattan Ashura:

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