Finland: First Ashura procession

Finland: First Ashura procession

Iraqis in Finland staged a peaceful gathering in Helsinki on Sunday to mark Ashura, a festival for Shi'ite Muslims. Police say the event drew some 200 participants to Helsinki's Kulosaari district.

The procession, which included people of all ages, made its way from the Kulosaari mosque to the Iraqi embassy.

Event organiser Ahmed al Hillo says the march was a stand against terrorism and restrictions to freedom of speech.

"The media portrays Iraq's Ashura festival as a bloody event with fights between police and pilgrims. We want to remind people that all Iraqis aren't terrorists," says al Hillo.

Finland is home to some 3,200 Iraqis. This was the first time an Ashura procession was staged in the country.

Source: YLE (Engish)

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