Arbaeen in Karbala: Insufficient and flawed coverage by mainstream Media

by Ali Abbas Taj @aliabbastaj

Arbaeen at Karbala that concluded on 13th December is the largest human gathering in history to commemorate Imam Hussain’s universal stance for freedom, dignity and justice.  Over 17 million people participated in this event to commemorate Imam Hussain.

The Mammoth human march into Karbala during this Arbaeen
The Mammoth human march into Karbala during this Arbaeen

Unfortunately, the global media provided both an insufficient and flawed picture of this mammoth event. BBC was a typical culprit with its typically biased and simplistic take on the event:

“He was killed in a 7th Century battle for the leadership of the Muslim world, a defining event that helped seal the schism between Sunni and Shia Muslims.”

The schism had started much earlier but the actual codification into different sects began much later when students of the Sixth Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq were attributed to be the founders of the various schools of Sunnism.  At the time of the Karbala, muslims were divided into Shia (partisans) of Imam Ali and Muawiyah Ibne Abu Sufyan -the founder of the Umayyad dynasty of Caliphs. Shia and Sunni, followers of Shia or Sunni jurisprudence did not exist until time Abbasid times.

Several notable partisans of Muawiyah (or Uthmanis) fought alongside Hussain a.s. Similarly most of those who fought under the Rightly Guided Caliph Ali fought against Hussain, as they considered Yazid their Caliph.

Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Holy Prophet refused to submit allegiance to the tyrannical regime of Yazid Bin Muawiya – whose ascension to the Caliphate was against the very Treaty that was earlier agreed upon by his father and predecessor Muawiya.  For defying tyranny, Imam Hussain and his close family and friends – which included Christians and even Hindus as per the narrative of the Hussaini Brahmins of South Asia – were martyred in the sands of Karbala. The surviving women and children from the family of the Holy Prophet were then chained and presented in the court of the despotic Ummayad caliph Yazid Bin Muawiya.

Like other media conglomerates, BBC also engages in the simplistic Sunni vs Shia binaries.  The Arbaeen gathering at Karbala included not just Shias but Sunnis, Sufis and even Christians.

Iraqi Christian delegations pays its respect to Imam Hussain on Arbaeen
Iraqi Christian delegations pays its respect to Imam Hussain on Arbaeen

Arbaeen is a way to remember that one should always stand up to oppression and stand with the oppressed

Like Gandhi said:

“I learned from Hussain how to achieve victory while being oppressed.”

Arbaeen is a truly open, inclusive and global event and its coverage, woefully inadequate. Arbaeen stands in stark contrast to the activities of ISIS. In London, England, those who commemorated Arbaeen were clear in their opposition to ISIS


Readers are requested to Politely get in touch with the major media houses (BBC, CNN, CBS, NBC) and inquire as to why Arbaeen was not provided with adequate and informed coverage.  Those who commemorate the freedom struggle of Imam Hussain are the largest victims of Salafi-Deobandi terrorist groups like ISIS. The muslim world is split between those who want freedom and Justice and who stand with Imam Hussain vs the modern day Kharjites like ISIS who want destruction and oppression.

3 thoughts on “Arbaeen in Karbala: Insufficient and flawed coverage by mainstream Media

  • December 15, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Al-Hussain (A.S) belong to Muslims but why Christians and Hindus visited him while we are not the same. I am confuse about shia because of this reason. Please I need an explanation

    • October 8, 2016 at 9:02 am

      Imam Hussain a.s sacrifice was to save Humanity along with the idealogy of ISLAM- the religion which was propagated by his grand father(Prophet Muhammed s.a.w) and not the ISLAM- which was distorted after the death of prophet Muhammed s.a.w by the caliphs. The distortions had gone to an extent of prayers being said in the state of intoxiation, marrying ones stepmother and aunt, making fun of the ayaths of the holy quran . Such were the traits of Yazeed ibn muawiya , who was made caliph by his father muawiya. So when the question of paying allegiance to yazeed was put in front of Imam hussain a.s ,he denied it by saying “No one like hussain will pay allegiance to someone like yazeed”. Hence he was martyred along with his loyal companions and family in karbala to an extent that even 6months old child was not spared. Thier bodies were trampled by their hoses and heads were paraded on spears along with their house hold ladies(ladies from the family of prophet muhammed s.a.w) being chained with their veil being forcefully snatched from them.
      The companions of Imam hussain a.s who were martyred included wahab kalbi who was a christian , it is also said that an Indian king who was hindu had sent an army to help Imam Husain, but by the time it reached karbala the massacare had already taken. This community still exists in India by name of Hussaini Brahmins.

  • January 22, 2022 at 2:31 am

    Іf ѕome one ᴡants expert view concerning blogging tһen i sugɡest him/hеr tо ppay a quick visit this webpage, Ꮶeep up the ood

    Feel free to syrf tօ my hhomepage stellar


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *