Good idea! Lebanon's progressive Shiites donate blood on "Ashoura day" instead of making fools of themselves with the display of bloodletting in remembrance of their prophet.
...What do Rosa Parks, Oskar Schindler and the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson Hussein have in common? According to the organization “Who is Hussain,” all were important historical figures who stood up for the rights of others. To honor the memory of Hussein on the occasion of Ashoura, the group held a blood drive in Hamra Thursday. Ninety-two people donated blood, which was donated then to the St. Jude’s Cancer Center at the American University in Beirut Medical Center.
On a day when many people ritually shed their blood to honor Imam Hussein, a tradition known as “tatbir” in Lebanon, the organization sought to aid others. “Instead of having your blood on the streets you can have it in another person’s veins,” said Riham Hijazi, who coordinated the drive.
Who is Hussain is hardly the first blood drive organized to coincide with Ashoura. Hezbollah has for many years actively discouraged violent self-flagellation and encouraged the devout to donate blood instead. Two hospitals in Beirut’s southern suburbs of Bahman and Dar al-Hawraa, also held blood drives this year.
What sets Who is Hussain apart is its targeting of a young, multinational and diverse audience. The international campaign, which was founded in London last year, seeks to educate the public about the historical figure Hussein bin Ali in part by comparing him to civil rights leaders such as Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King. With a sleek website and social media savvy, the organization hopes to cast Hussain in a new light for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.......