A powerful blast ripped through the Mosque of the Martyrs in Shiraz, Iran on Saturday. The bomb was detonated in the area where men worship as evening prayers were ending. Eight people were killed instantly, and at least 66 were wounded. The death toll is expected to climb, based on the severity of injuries sustained by several of the wounded.
The last major bombing in Iran took place in the southern city of Zahedan, in February of 2007. That bombing was perpetrated by Sunni militants. Details are sketchy surrounding todays bombing, but it was reported that the mosque that suffered the attack hosts weekly lectures on Wahaabism, the fundamentalist brand of Sunni Islam practiced by the royal family of Saudi Arabia and the terrorist organization al Qaeda, and fundamentally opposed by the majority Shi'ite population of Iran.
I admit to wistful feelings when I heard about the blast today. Shiraz is prominent in my families lore and history. My mother tells me frequently that my very existence on planet earth is due to three days leave in Shiraz and a particularly good bottle of Shiraz.
I found a couple of random pictures of Shiraz. There are people there, living their lives and raising their families and muddling through as best they can. And some of them were attacked today, probably by the same fundamentalist whackjobs whose very reason for being is to attack Americans, given half a chance. Can we just for one day put aside our fears of the perceived Iranian threat, and feel a little compassion for the people who were attacked in their place of worship today?