A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Montazeri's Seventh Day will Coincide with ‘Ashura: Critical Mass?

I didn't post much on Grand Ayatollah Montazeri's funeral, which got pretty extensive general media coverage. There was little likelihood the government would crack down too violently on the funeral of a Grand Ayatollah revered as a major source of tradition. But the real test may be, as many have noted, the fact that the traditional mourning on the seven-day anniversary of his death, will coincide with ‘Ashura, the Shi‘ite day of mourning for Imam Hussein. That's going to be critical mass. Gary Sick comments that "It is possible that Ayatollah Montazeri will prove to be a more influential figure in death than he was in life."

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