Young Journalists Club | Latest news of Iran and world

News ID: 5425
Publish Date: 7:56 - 04 November 2014
Thousands of Shiite Muslims marched peacefully from Hyde Park to the Botanic Gardens to mark Ashura - the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar.
They shouted and chanted their praise for Imam Hussein, the grandson of the prophet Muhammad, holding placards saying "Hussein = peace for all", "Hussein against terrorism" and chanted "Down with ISIS".

Hussein was killed in 680AD by the forces of the Umayyad caliphate.

"We have at least 3000 people here," Basim Alansari, one of the organisers, said.

"The feeling is actually great because everyone is together in one message and, obviously, everyone believes in that message."

According to Shiite tradition, Hussein offered to be exiled but was encircled by soldiers and killed with his family on the orders of Yazid, the caliph of the Umayyad dynasty.

The Ashura Australia website says that, through the peace procession, Shiite Muslims are strongly condemning any act of terrorism in Australia or elsewhere.

"Imam Hussein's stance was against terrorism as it existed then and as it has appeared again now," the website says.

Synchronised chanting is a big part of the annual Ashura procession in Sydney, and women lead the way. 

"It's a day of mourning. We use the mourning to project and remember our values," Mr Alansari said.

Participant Aya Mustafa, who volunteered as an usher for the march, said she had an injured leg but was so overcome by the story of Hussein that she felt nothing as she marched down Macquarie Street.

"The atmosphere is amazing, you don't feel anything else," she said.

She said there was some discussion about cancelling the event following recent attacks on a Shiite Islamic centre in Greenacre this week, supposedly by Islamic State supporters.

"But we don't want to live in fear. If they kill us, we are happy to die," she said.

Spiritual leader Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Al-Ansari said they trusted the authorities to keep the community safe and find the people responsible for the shooting of Rasoul Al-Musawi outside the Greenacre prayer centre on Monday morning.

"We are living in a safe country and we have very good systems of authority and police that are keeping the security of this country," he said in Arabic through an interpreter.

The NSW Transport Management Centre has warned motorists to allow for plenty of additional travel time. 

"Emergency services will be on site and rolling road closures will take place," it said.

"Buses will not be diverting during the parade; however passengers may experience some delays and should allow extra travel time."

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