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Daily Archives: August 2, 2014

The Wahhabi Sack of Karbala (1802 A.D.)

Among the most atrocious acts committed in modern Islamic history has been the sack of Karbala in 1802. Unfortunately, this remains a little known fact to most Muslims. However, at a time when the cultural and religious heritage of the Muslim world is once against under severe threat, when shrines and mosques are bulldozed by the self-styled holy warriors and caliphs of our time, it remains more essential than ever to familiarize ourselves with these historical events. It is crucial to note that the Wahhabis—not unlike modern-day militants—were inspired by a mix of religious zeal and a desire for wealth. By 1802, the Wahhabi-Saudi state had seized control of the vast majority of the Arabian peninsula and even managed to raid into southern Iraq, then under Ottoman control. One of the worst massacres was committed at Karbala in April 1802, right before the beginning of the holy month of Muharram, during the pilgrimage to the shrine of Imam al-Husayn b. Ali (d. 680). The following are two accounts, one by an eyewitness, a non-Muslim Frenchmen, and the other by a Wahhabi propagandist writing in Arabia during the eighteenth century. (more…)