Electric Relaxation


Forgive the tardiness, ModBloggers, but your editor has thrown out his stupid shitty back and has been laid up on the couch in substantial pain for the past 15 hours or so, because he is the oldest man alive. Please accept, as penance, this intense series of photos from Chris of Shi’a Muslims in Nabatiyya, Lebanon, participating in traditional rites in observance of Ashura, the “holiest day of the Shiite Muslim calendar.” According to Chris (and Wikipedia!), it “marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.” Apparently, this sort of bloodletting (which the men are doing to themselves with those large machetes*) is frowned upon by some Muslim clerics, but…well, not all of them, I guess. More photos after the jump.

*Says Chris: “They actually cut their scalps with straight razors and chant with the machetes. Only the really hard-core guys cut themselves with the machetes (and chains).”

See more in Cultural Rituals (Culture)

69 thoughts on “Electric Relaxation

  1. where are the wounds from which so much blood would spill?

    p.s. coolest religion in the world.

  2. @heretic138 and Aviram

    Chill! Although I think that organized religion is discriminatory and generally harmful, just think: without religion this beautiful ritual wouldn’t exist.

  3. @ heretic138 : I agree

    PS : coran authorize up to three wifes… just tell me : how many their profet used to have ?

  4. I am constantly amazed at how much a simple scalp wound can bleed. It really gives you the most blood for the least amount of damage of any place on the body I can think of.

    This sort of ritual while I find it fascinating and beautiful the religious aspect of it makes me very uncomfortable and concerned. So I’m torn on how I feel about it.

    Argax: Thanks for reminding me that while most non-believers are intelligent, thoughtful people not all of us are.

  5. yeah, so, who cares if you think religion is shit or for the weak minded or whatever other hate you can bring on. nobody is forcing you to follow it. why can’t you live and let die for christs sake?

  6. “why can’t you live and let die for christs sake?” -#12

    Becuase they obviously don’t care for Christ. Haha! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

  7. Destruction – Curse The Gods

    Allah , Buddah , Jesus Christ
    Whatever your god may be forget those idols let me told you
    They’re tales of morbid brains
    Everybody thinks has right
    That these gods are the only truth
    Fanatic faith , fanatic deeds
    Join my religion or die , Jews killed Jesus Christ slaughtered
    jews
    Millions die for their faith
    Each religion prays that killing is a sin
    How stupid logic can be
    Curse the gods too many people have died
    Curse the gods that fools have died for a lie
    Beware of those fools that Icep of talking you
    God loves you , for you his son died
    Fuck them , believe in yourself
    Gods reality is just a lie
    Curse.

    that’s it.

  8. They actually cut their scalps with straight razors and chant with the machetes. Only the really hard-core guys cut themselves with the machetes (and chains).

  9. Doesn’t appeal to me. But I prefer to see these Muslims drawing their own blood rather than the blood of others; by hi-jacking planes and flying them into tall buildings, exploding themselves on London Transport, or sewing their children into explosive vests and sending them into shops.

  10. Oh my god. If this post was a gorgeous tattoo of Jesus and Mary no one would make these “religion is shit” comments. Believe it or not, just because someone is religious it doesn’t make them evil.

    I like that everyone is wearing white to maximize the effect.

  11. I find it ironic someone said ‘live and let live’ to people having a moan about religion, cos that is exactly what religious extremist WON’T do, and pretty much all the world’s problems would disappear if everyone lived by that simple code. Humans suck though, so we all know this ain’t gonna happen.

    And No.24 – like hell people here don’t bitch about tattoos of Jesus. People here bitch about everything, what are you on about?!?! Did you even search modblog for Jesus/Mary tattoos to back this claim up before you posted? :p while you’re at it, search for the one of the massive Star of David ripping out of some dude’s chest – plenty of Jew hating going on too, so don’t worry, nobody is left out! But thats prob cos all the swastikas have turned us into nazis….

  12. I heard that in Wrestling they make a small cut with a razor blade to the forehead/scalp area to get that bloody effect too.

  13. Wow.
    All you commenting on the religious aspect are a bunch of assholes.

    Thems some damn tasty looking photos.
    Jordan (and Chris) i demand more of this fine shit. Now.

  14. All I can think of is blood borne diseases. T____T I DO NOT like strangers’ blood splashing into my open wounds, thanks.

  15. Well..At that that time I was drinking beer so fuck that! That’s just crazy!

  16. @Dagon: you said it

    @Will & the rest of you hung up on religion here: whoah, what happened to our community’s striving for acceptance of others and their beliefs? We don’t need to agree with them but there’s some seriously hateful shit coming from y’all today…

  17. fucking brutal….. looks like the album artwork for OLD MAN’S CHILD “in defiance of existance” record.

  18. @ Corey

    I’m not hung up on religion and I’m usually into acceptance of others and their beliefs.

    If you want to know where I’m coming from consider this:-

    I lost a good friend on 9.11, a colleague was blown to bits on the Tube in London, and a couple of mates on a trip to Israel were killed when a child sewn into a suicide vest exploded in a shop where they happened to be. My good friends (and many others) died because of a filthy shit religion.

  19. @35

    Yes you lost friends, and I am sorry for that.
    But just because one or a few lunatics did something to the extreme, dosen’t mean an entire race or culture is.

    This in reality is a topic that could be thrown into so many directions, that debating is silly.
    But alas, Modblog.

    and to #19.
    To me personally, I would not classify Buddha as a god.
    Defined, Buddha means to be enlightened, or to be the awakened one.
    Again, topics.

    Good night.

  20. MUCH better than suicide bombing! Interesting and it makes me want to learn more (tho this seems like pretty much a guy-thing).

  21. Religion isn’t to blame. People are to blame. Some people will take whatever excuse they can get to do questionable things, and some choose religion for that excuse.
    That does not mean all religious people do this.
    That does not mean religion makes people do this.
    What this does mean is that there are people out there who do awful things and try to justify them with religion. By blaming their religion for their acts, you’re putting yourself in the exact mindset that they are in. That’s right, you just thought like a terrorist/crusader/what have you. Pat yourself on the back.

    And now, let’s stop scapegoating and start putting the blame on what is truly at fault – individuals.

    Signed,
    Your friendly neighborhood non-believer.

  22. This is tottally unacceptable, their mothers are gonna kick their arse’s when they find out they’ve ruined perfectly good clothe’s lol
    :)
    excellent photo’s

  23. All that I can think of is how much of a field day law enforcement would have if this were attempted in the US. I wonder if disposal / reuse of the bloodied garments is a part of the ritual?? Interesting stuff.

  24. @will
    yous say;
    “I lost a good friend on 9.11, a colleague was blown to bits on the Tube in London, and a couple of mates on a trip to Israel were killed when a child sewn into a suicide vest exploded in a shop where they happened to be. ”

    I say:
    If i was your friend i’d be scared shitless.

    Doesnt seem like there is any safe heaven from that”filthy shit religion” maybe its not the western world they hate maybe its just you Will?? coincidence or conspiracy??? The drama deepens.

  25. “The horrible truth is that, numerically and statistically speaking, Christian Civilization is the bloodiest and most violent of all civilizations in all of history, and is responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths. Even so, Muslims will never associate this violence and blood bath with the teachings of Jesus (peace be on him).”

    [url]http://www.islam101.com/terror/christianViolence.htm[/url]

  26. “The horrible truth is that, numerically and statistically speaking, Christian Civilization is the bloodiest and most violent of all civilizations in all of history, and is responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths. Even so, Muslims will never associate this violence and blood bath with the teachings of Jesus (peace be on him).”
    http://www.islam101.com/terror/christianViolence.htm

  27. …and for those whom have selected to disconnect themselves from Christianity.
    American violence in history runs in parallels. We are all living on the same planet.
    If one chooses to believe a history falsified by language, so be it. Its easy to live life with blinders on.

  28. @38
    There is no free choice in Islam. Muslims are hijacked by their “faith’, there’s no freedom of religion or non-religion if you’re born into a muslim family.
    The people pictured here are all victims, but still less victims than their mothers – daughters – wives and all non-muslims.

  29. I witnessed this ritual in Pakistan ten years ago. Regardless of your opinion of religion (and mine isn’t exactly positive), it is a intense thing to witness. The men who I saw used whips (like a cat of nine tails) on their bare backs, and some pounded their chests until they bled. A very primal experience indeed.

  30. #45
    I could say the same thing about most hard core xtian familes. You don’t have a choice. Either you stay with the faith, or you’re disowned and told you’re going to hell.
    Most religions are far more similiar than they would like to believe.

  31. @46
    There is always a choice.
    If you can’t get away from religious extremism because of the people around you, you GET OUT. Move elsewhere.
    The moment you think you have no choice is the moment choice is stripped from you.

  32. I urge everyone to watch documentaries like “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against The West”. I’m a believer that ALL religion is delusional and the foundation for which grevious crimes are committed. But it helps to keep in perspective the fact that not all Muslims (or Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Deists, Daoists, and the rest of them all) are fundamentalist freaks.

    http://atheistmovies.blogsspot.com is a really good resource for all things atheist and anti-religious. Docos and e-books and everything.Seriously, go educate yourselves.

  33. Do you suppose that the sheer number of christians has something to do with how many kills they’ve made?

    How do the numbers stack up as a percentage?

    I mean, if there were only one follower of religion A, and he killed 50 people, and there were 10million followers of religion B, and they killed a total of 50 people…
    You see where I’m going with this?

  34. Anything done for a religious reason is done for a baseless reason. I wish people would just be honest and say, “I know, deep down, that God doesn’t exist, but this makes me feel good so I’m doing it”.

  35. @59… every day I feel pressured to say God doesn’t exist, but I know in my heart that s/he does, no matter what my culture or my academic training or my peers try to tell me.

    I wish people would be honest with themselves and say “I know, deep down, that there is a God, but I’m too afraid to be looked down upon by secular culture and seen as an anti-intellectual if I admit that knowledge.”

  36. ok seriously what happened to talking about the ritual and the reason it’s on the site???

  37. bashing people’s religions is just as tacky and distasteful as them forcing them religions on us. Chill guys :)

    I too feel uncomfortable that this is tied to religion and could be used to show off to others. Religion should be a private matter between yourself and the god(ess) of your choosing.

    But really this is a crazy (in a good way) ritual to watch. I’d love to see it in real one day :D

  38. “If everyone believed exactly the same thing as ME, everything would be fine.”

    *facepalm*

  39. looks like bme is not religion 4 u all
    why do u lie to urself?
    religion is just another way to lose ur freedom.
    remember it.

  40. Geez…

    Where did all the people go who thought the kavadis at the Thaipusam festival were awesome? Hinduism is an organized religion too in case you weren’t paying attention. Westerners always act like monotheistic religions are bad and polytheistic religions and Buddhism are automatically good. There have been plenty of Hindu mass murderers and Buddhist fanatics through history. Communism is an atheist ideology but has resulted in mass killings too. The Unabomber was a far-right-wing nut. People will always find some way to justify their own evil – you’re ignorant or biased if you think it’s religion that causes violence.

    By the way, these people in the photos are SHI’ITES for those of you who fail to read captions. The 9/11 hijackers and all the various Al Qaeda terrorists are some flavor of Sunnis so they probably hated these guys. It’s like Protestants vs. Catholics.

  41. honestly, i’m much more disgusted by fundamental christians trying to teach religion in the public schools than I am at what a group of people choose to do to themelves, granted the social structure of their society is probably so incredibly fucked up in terms of gender politics, and that’s pretty bad, but who cares if they wanna cut on themselves.

  42. @Aly
    clearly, you didn’t grow up in a strongly religious family, the courage that it can take to come out and say that you don’t believe in god can require such strength. there are areas where atheism is considered akin to insanity. but if you want to believe in god, that’s cool with me.

  43. @almost everyone

    especially some people out there, who jumped the moment they saw “muslim” written all over the article to make referencre to some other sh*t that’s going on in the world. Shame on you.
    Muslim DOES NOT equal terrorist, i quote Will “But I prefer to see these Muslims drawing their own blood rather than the blood of others”, for f*ck’s sake. As far as I’m concerned, I’m a muslim and so far in my life I have witness greater terrorism against me, my country and my people than muslim against you. so SHUT UP.

    I am not religious. However, I have witnessed this ritual many times in my life knowing that I come from a place in Lebanon concentrated with shia muslims. It is pretty impressive and the cause behind it is beautiful, because not only does it refer to the betrayal of Husayn but also expresses today’s betrayal of the muslim world (and especially of Shias)..

    Peace.

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