One of the world's biggest and most dangerous pilgrimages is underway
Shia Muslims are travelling near Isis-held areas of Iraq for Arbaeen
Tuesday 25 November 2014
One of the biggest pilgrimages in the world is underway, with millions of Shia Muslims risking their lives to travel through Iraq. They are making their way to the city of Karbala, 62 miles south-west of Baghdad, for the holy day of Arbaeen on 12 December - a journey that has previously been the target of numerous terrorist attacks.
Arbaeen marks the end of a 40-day mourning period following Ashura, the religious ritual that commemorates the death of the Prophet Mohammad's grandson Imam Hussein in 680. Shia Muslims revere him as their third imam and mourn his defeat at the battle of Karbala, when he and his companions were killed and beheaded by Caliph Yazid’s army.
The city holds the Imam Hussein Shrine, which was the destination of an estimated 20 million people from 40 countries in 2013...
The logistics must be awesome.
Hopefully there are no construction cranes ready to fall... No Mina-type incidents, either.