Iraqi Shi’ites Defy Suicide Bombers to Mark Ashoura

With Violence Omnipresent, Even Pilgrimage Is a Test of Faith

At least 27 Iraqi Shi’ites were killed yesterday and well over 100 wounded in a myriad of attacks against pilgrims headed to Karbala for the Ashoura ceremonies. Several more were killed today.

But after six plus years of violence, the constant threat doesn’t hold the same weight it once did, and the pilgrims continue to march in force, defying the dangers of the pilgrimage to make the trip to Karbala.

And while the walk to Karbala used to be one of the least interesting parts of the holiday, braving the bombings is itself becoming a test of the faith of worshipers.

One of those welcoming the pilgrims declared “almost 30 processions were attacked all over Iraq and what do we have today? Hundreds more tents were set up and more processions were organized.” Ashoura, it seems, will go one.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of