MUSLIM SHI'ITES celebrate Ashura, one of Islam's holiest and bloodiest days

Ashura — a religious holiday commemorating the death of Imam Hossein, Shi’ite Islam’s most revered martyr, was marked by Iranian security forces opening fire on protesters during anti-government demonstrations, killing at least nine people and arresting more than 300.

In what marked the largest and most violent anti-government protests in the Islamic Republic since the summer, thousands of Basij militia forces, police and anti-riot forces armed with guns, batons, pepper gas and tear gas clashed with protesters in squares throughout the Iranian capital. Protestors fought back fiercely, at times tearing out slabs of concrete from city sidewalks and smashing it to hurl stones at security forces, witnesses said. PBS

Traditional Ashura: Less violence but a whole lot of blood. Look at the ‘happy’ bloody faces on the children forced to be unwilling participants in this barbaric ritual.

FOX NEWS Hundreds of Shiite men in Iraq struck the heads of boys with daggers in an annual ritual to mark the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Imam Hussein at the 7th century battle of Kerbala, Reuters reports.

The ritual of Ashura has grown more significant and become more controversial since the fall of Saddam Hussein, who denounced public displays of worship by his country’s majority sect, angering some Iraqi Shiites. The annual bloodletting, known as “tatbeer,” according to Reuters, continues with blood spilling onto streets during a march to a shrine in northern Baghdad.

The ritual has been long debated among Shiites, some of whom say it gives the sect a barbaric image.

Even in Britain, MUSLIM teenagers are forced to beat themselves bloody in celebration of Ashura.

RELATED VIDEOS: Religion of Hate