By Rebecca Peppiatt
THOUSANDS of Muslims stopped traffic and caught the attention of curious onlookers on Tuesday morning between Bennett Springs and West Swan as they took part in a religious pilgrimage held in Perth for only the second time ever.
The annual Arba-een walk is the world’s largest annual public gathering, usually held in Iraq.
But with COVID-19 travel restrictions, Muslims living in Australia have been unable to travel overseas to take part in the event which usually involves walking for three or four days to the shrine of Imam Husayn.
“He was a man of integrity and one that stood against corruption and tried to change things in a peaceful way but he couldn’t,” event organiser Ibrahim Alabsawi said.
“He was attacked and brutally murdered but nothing stopped him from sticking to, and standing by his morals.”
Almost 2000 Perth-based Muslims took part in a local version of the pilgrimage, walking from Bennett Springs Sportsfield Oval, down the Reid Highway to the Fadeck Cultural Centre in West Swan.
The walk marks the end of a 40-day period mourning the death of Husayn.
Like in Iraq, free food and water was offered to the pilgrims on the walk along the way.
“I used to go to Iraq every time and we thought we need to keep that memory alive and also our counterparts in England and America, they’re all doing the same now,” Mr Alabsawi said.
“So this movement has gone worldwide.”