Sunday, December 27, 2009

Iranian Regime Opens Fire on Crowd During Ashura

The Iranian regime opened fire today on crowds attending Ashura, a holy day of mourning in Shi'a Islam.

At least four people were killed including Seyed Ali Mousavi, the nephew of Mir Hossein Mousavi. It is believed that Mousavi actually won last June's "election." Today's violence was the deadliest in Iran since the aftermath of that "election." At least four deaths have been confirmed but it is believed far more people have lost their lives.

The significance of the Iranian regime attacking its own people on Ashura cannot be underestimated. Farnaz Fassihi of The Wall Street Journal writes:

The weekend's deaths could become particularly heavy with symbolism in Iran, given that Islam bans fighting and killing during this season. During its eight-year war with Iraq, Iran routinely halted its military attacks during this time. Similarly, during Iran's 1970s Islamic revolution, protesters picked Ashura as the signature day to come out en masse against the Shah, assuming correctly that he wouldn't attack on that day.

As a result, many Iranians were shocked at the reports that Iran's security forces beat protesters and opened fire into this weekend's crowds. Analysts said that if public outrage over the violence aligns the so-far dormant religious class against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the crackdown could prove to be a milestone.

It would be an even bigger milestone if President Obama lent a word of support to the people of Iran. But so far he has not commented on the violence. Perhaps he doesn't want anyone meddling with his vacation in Hawaii.

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