LOFTON / Re: Mass self-flaggelation for the Muslim holiday Ashura

Volokh, Eugene VOLOKH at
Tue Jan 22 11:25:21 PST 2008

    Folks:  Please remember that this is a list for discussions that are
pretty closely focused on the law of government and religion.


	From: religionlaw-bounces at
[mailto:religionlaw-bounces at] On Behalf Of JOHN LOFTON
	Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 11:07 AM
	To: religionlaw at
	Subject: LOFTON / Re: Mass self-flaggelation for the Muslim
holiday Ashura
	We need to get out of Iraq and return to the days when Iraqis
tortured each others and themselves --- though how this could be I do
not know since Bush said this is a "peaceful" religion.

	John Lofton, Editor,
	Recovering Republican
	"Accursed is that peace of which revolt from God is the bond,
and blessed are those contentions by which it is necessary to maintain
the kingdom of Christ." -- John Calvin.

	-----Original Message-----
	From: Volokh, Eugene <VOLOKH at>
	To: Law & Religion issues for Law Academics
<religionlaw at>
	Sent: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 1:46 pm
	Subject: Mass self-flaggelation for the Muslim holiday Ashura
	    A blog reader asked about this; my guess is that there
	any generally applicable laws barring the public drawing of
blood in the
	first instance, but if there were, it seems to me this would
raise some
	interesting questions under state statutory or constitutional
rules that
	provide some heightened scrutiny for burdens on religious
	(Note that New York courts have adopted a sort of intermediatish
	scrutiny under the state religious freedom guarantee.)  But I'd
	heard of this practice -- does anyone know whether it is
	mandated, not mandated but religiously encouraged, or (to the
	these distinctions can be effectively drawn) merely a part of a
	tradition that accompanies the religious holiday?  Thanks,
	Hi Prof. Volokh--
	I wonder if you'd be willing to address on the Volokh Conspiracy
	legality/illegality(?) of the mass flagellations that are part
of the
	Muslim holiday Ashura, which is occurring this week.
Specifically, some
	really gruesome photos of a public celebration in Queens, New
York have
	appeared online:
	I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me that having a large group of
	draw blood from each other is a huge public health hazard.  How
far does
	freedom of religion go?
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