Misrepresenting and Falsifying the Opinions of the Scholars
Amongst those who promote blood rituals, there are some who have waged a mass propaganda campaign (in support of the rituals) involving means such as the creation of websites, the production of promotional videos, the sending of bulk emails, and the distribution of hundreds of thousands of booklets (often posted directly to the homes of Shias).
These various forms of propaganda intend to demonstrate the desirability of performing the rituals, using evidence from the verdicts of scholars and to a lesser extent from the Quran & Ahlulbayt; and they even claim to use medical science to state the alleged benefits of blood flagellation.
Unfortunately these propagandists often use dishonest means to promote their beliefs. They quite readily misrepresent the opinions of great scholars and sometimes use completely fabricated information. We advise people to verify all sources used by any of the apologists.
The video below shows an explicit case of fabricated information being presented (perhaps unintentionally). The cleric claims that Grand Ayatullah Behjat reports of a fatwa given by Grand Ayatullah Esfahani in support of Tatbir (in reality he was strongly opposed to it). A rather audacious claim is also made that Ayatullah Behjat kept in his possession some clothes drenched with the blood of other people, and he desired to be buried with them! A great and pious man like him would not want to be buried with najis (ritually impure) items.
The next video proves that this story, that has been propagated by some blood flagellators, is a fabrication. Ayatullah Behjat himself refutes the whole story.
The above example is only one of many. The most common deceptive method used by the propagandists is to misrepresent the actual rulings of the scholars. Often they will present rulings which primarily state the permissibly of these rituals (due to them not being mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah) but they will omit the rulings from the same scholars which prohibit the rituals based on other strong Islamic principles. We encourage people to look at the fatawa page of this site and compare the rulings to those that have been presented in the propaganda material.
The following are just a few of the other methods used by them to mislead people:
1, To quote scholars encouraging Azadari and then using the same quotes to encourage blood shedding. Prime examples are the sayings of Ayatullah Khomeini in support of Azadari. Although he did greatly encourage Azadari, he was against the blood rituals.
2, To quote some historical sources without mentioning that they are not considered authentic. Sometimes the sources are misquoted.
3, To refrain from quoting Islamic narrations that discourage such practices.
4, To claim that blood shedding does not give the religion a bad image but instead draws people towards the religion.
5, To quote minority opinions that do not represent the majority.