Millions of ardent lovers, in a demonstration of unfathomable love and devotion for their beloved, walk seamlessly and untiringly from one sacred city to another, day and night, braving inclement weather and ominous security threats. Men and women, young and old, they come from different corners of the world and converge at one place. They call it heaven. It is not an excerpt from a gripping page-turner, laced with figments of imagination. It is a beautiful miracle I saw unfold before my eyes two years ago. A miracle that repeats every year. If you haven’t guessed already, I am talking about the largest and the greatest rally against terrorism and extremism that takes place in the second lunar month, forty days from Ashura, which marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (AS) and his followers in the desert plains of Karbala 14 centuries ago. It’s not merely a walk. It is a mark of protest against all forms and manifestations of terrorism, fascism, imperialism, despotism, and oppression perpetuated by state and non-state actors. It is a rallying cry in support of the oppressed, weak and powerless. It is a reaffirmation of pledge to uphold the principles exemplified by the ‘master of challengers’ in Karbala.
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