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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Marsellus Wallace Would Be Proud

(click to enlarge) Do you remember Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) from the movie Pulp Fiction? He uttered the oft quoted line: "I'm gonna go medieval on your ass." Take in deeply the photo, and then read on. Tens of thousands of Shiite Muslims in Iraq engaged in their blood-soaked celebration to mourn the death in 680 AD of Muhammed's grandson: Following dawn mosque prayers, about 8,000 people, including young children, dressed in black as a sign of mourning and marched between the two shrines to the beat of deep bass drums. Some slapped chains across their backs until their clothes were soaked with blood, while others beat their heads with the flat side of swords and knives until blood ran freely. In Pakistan, a Sunni Muslim suicide bomber detonated himself among a crowd of Shiite Muslims celebrating this most holy day. The Shiites, predictably, went on a "rampage" afterwards destroying shops and cars. The schism between Sunnis and Shiites arose out of the death of Muhammed's grandson (Imam Hussain) in 680 AD and the rivalry between the two sects over who should succeed the prophet has lasted for the last 1326 years, with no obvious signs of abating. These people in large part still exist in the Middle Ages and there are no two ways of looking at it. If you accept that premise, you cannot at the same time expect to deal with them as we would with, say, Belgium in a trade dispute.

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