Thousands of Shiâ€™ite Muslims trudged through snow-covered sidewalks in Dearborn Sunday afternoon in a procession to remember the death of a Muslim leader killed in 7th century Iraq.
The 2-mile procession featured colorful flags in honor of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Islamâ€™s prophet, religious songs, and cries of â€œWe support you, Oh Hussain.â€
The worshippers started at the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center on Warren Ave., the main commercial strip of Dearborn, and then walked to nearby Hemlock Park. There, they recited poetry and tapped their chests in mourning rituals known as latmiya.
Dearborn Police Lt. Wayne Seccombe estimated the crowd was between 2,000 and 5,000.
â€œWe are here as lovers of Imam Hussain, lovers of freedom, of justice, of democracy,â€ said Imam Husham Al-Husainy, the head of the Karbalaa center and the paradeâ€™s organizer. â€œImam Hussain is still alive with us, even though he was martyred 1400 years ago. His spirit is still alive.â€
The parade was held close to the 40th day after the death anniversary of Imam Hussain, who was killed in battle. Shiâ€™ite Muslims, a minority among the broader Muslim community, remember Hussain every year during a holiday known as Ashura.