Today marks the 10th of Muharram, or Ashura, a solemn commemoration for the martyrdom of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The sacrifice of Imam Hussein, his companions, and his family carries invaluable lessons that we as American Muslims can weave into our lives, including standing up to injustice. Karbala serves as a cornerstone to social justice movements throughout history which revolve around human rights and equity.
“Those who are silent when others are oppressed are guilty of oppression themselves.” – Imam Hussein
Ashura epitomizes the importance of resistance to tyranny and speaking up against injustice. The sacrifice of Imam Hussein and his companions requires us to summon the courage within ourselves to challenge the oppressive conditions of our times. It evokes within us our responsibility to speak truth to power and defend the rights and dignity of all marginalized communities. Yet, Ashura also reminds us that the fight for justice is not always a popular movement. We must remind ourselves of this as we continue to battle anti-Muslim animus and biases as Americans.
“The Muslim Public Affairs Council remains committed to the principle of never wavering in the pursuit of justice. On this Ashura, we express our solidarity to all those commemorating the sacrifice of Imam Hussein. We will continue to defend the rights of marginalized communities, Muslim and non-Muslim, across the United States and abroad.” – Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC President
MPAC will continue our work for Sunni-Shia unity and countering sectarianism, an aberration within the greater Muslim community that is a manifestation of religious extremism.