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Washington, D.C. – July 12, 2023 – The Shia Muslim Foundation (SMF) is honored to acknowledge and appreciate the recent tweet by Senator Gary Peters, Chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, recognizing the sacrifice of Imam Husain, a pivotal figure in Shia Islam.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, led by Senator Peters, is renowned for its influential role in maintaining national security, examining government efficiency, and ensuring public safety. The committee's focus includes critical aspects of the U.S. government that affect American lives daily. It is instrumental in developing policies that keep our homeland secure, ensure efficient governmental operations, and protect civil rights.

Senator Peters' recognition of Ashura and the values it signifies, such as sacrifice, justice, and equality, is not just an acknowledgment of a significant religious observance but also signifies a shared understanding of these universal values, central to the mission of his committee and the American ethos at large. This resonates deeply with the Shia Muslim community that finds these values embodied in the life and sacrifice of Imam Husain.

This tweet comes accompanying President Biden's acknowledgement of Ashura, reinforcing the importance of these shared values at the highest levels of U.S. leadership.

Rahat Husain, the Executive Director of SMF in Washington DC, applauded these gestures, saying, "Such acknowledgments from leading political figures like Senator Peters and President Biden, help to foster inclusivity, mutual respect, and understanding among diverse communities. It also strengthens our shared commitment to the values of justice, equality, and sacrifice, mirrored in both the American spirit and the ethos of Ashura."

The Shia Muslim Foundation will continue to work tirelessly to foster understanding and dialogue around Shia Muslim traditions and values, promoting a more inclusive society. It appreciates the commitment demonstrated by Senator Peters and President Biden to uphold and highlight these values that serve to unify us as a nation.

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 27, 2023 — The Shia Muslim Foundation (SMF) today extended its heartfelt gratitude to President Joe Biden for his thoughtful acknowledgement of Ashura and the profound sacrifice of Imam Husain (as).

In a tweet that touched the hearts of Shia Muslims across the nation, President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden recognized the observance of Ashura, expressing solidarity with the Muslim community and honouring the profound values of sacrifice, justice, and equality. This important acknowledgement is not just a tribute to Imam Husain, but also a testament to the inclusive and diverse nature of the United States.

"We are sincerely grateful to President Biden for his recognition and understanding of our faith and its significant observances," said Rahat Husain, Executive Director of the Shia Muslim Foundation. "Imam Husain (as) is a beacon of resilience and integrity for Shia Muslims, and his sacrifice in the Battle of Karbala underscores the ultimate stand against oppression and injustice. President Biden's tweet reflects a deep respect for these shared human values."

The SMF, with its ongoing commitment to promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding, helped in facilitating the President's message. By continuously educating and engaging with local and national leaders, the SMF aims to strengthen the representation of Shia Muslims and foster an environment of mutual respect and understanding.

Imam Husain’s sacrifice is a cornerstone of Shia Muslim faith, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to justice, integrity, and the dignity of all people, regardless of their background or faith. President Biden's recognition of Ashura is therefore not only an honour to Imam Husain but also a clear message of unity and respect for diversity.

"Through our ongoing efforts, we hope to foster a better understanding of Shia Islam and its valuable contributions to our diverse society," Husain added. "We look forward to more instances of interfaith and cross-cultural dialogue like this, which contribute significantly to the strength and vibrancy of our nation."

The Shia Muslim Foundation is deeply committed to promoting social justice, mutual respect, and understanding, values that align with the teachings of Imam Husain. We are heartened by President Biden's message and remain steadfast in our mission to serve the Shia Muslim community and promote understanding and harmony among all people.

**About Shia Muslim Foundation**

The Shia Muslim Foundation (SMF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting understanding, co-operation, and respect among all faiths. Through interfaith dialogue, education, and community service, the SMF serves as a beacon of peace and understanding in an increasingly complex world.

The sacred city of Karbala, known as the heart of Shia Islam, was filled with the spirit of unity and devotion as over 1800 volunteers gathered to honor Imam Husain by performing the noble act of cleaning and maintaining the holy site. This collective act of service took place on the day of Ashura, which commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Husain (peace be upon him), a pivotal event that continues to inspire and guide Shia Muslims worldwide.

The municipality of Karbala, recognizing the significance of this occasion, mobilized its technical and engineering resources to implement a comprehensive service plan. This initiative aimed not only to receive the incoming pilgrims but also to preserve the sanctity of the Husaini ceremonies and rituals.

Engineer Hassan Mohammad Ali Al-Sharifi, the director of the Karbala municipality, detailed the plan in a press release followed by Shia Waves. The municipality prepared all its facilities for the implementation of the plan, and they deployed over 500 specialized heavy machines for the cause.

The city of Karbala holds profound significance in the hearts of Shia Muslims. It is here that the Battle of Karbala took place in the 7th century, resulting in the martyrdom of Imam Husain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This event stands as a symbol of sacrifice, resistance against injustice, and the quest for truth and righteousness. Today, millions of pilgrims from around the world travel to Karbala to honor Imam Husain's legacy, particularly during the mourning period of Muharram and on the Day of Ashura.

"The actions taken by the volunteers and the municipality of Karbala represent the essence of what Ashura is about: selflessness, service, and unity," said a spokesperson for the Shia Muslim Foundation (SMF). "The holy city of Karbala, with its rich historical and spiritual legacy, continues to inspire acts of devotion and community service in the modern age."

The SMF also praised the municipality's efforts in maintaining the holy city's cleanliness and infrastructure. "Such initiatives reflect the inherent spirit of respect and devotion towards our holy sites. They play a vital role in preserving our religious heritage, ensuring that future generations can continue to learn from and be inspired by the lessons of Karbala," the SMF spokesperson added.

As the Day of Ashura marked a time of deep reflection and community service, the collective actions of the municipality and volunteers illuminated the enduring relevance of the lessons from Karbala. Their commitment to the upkeep of the holy city serves as a testament to the living legacy of Imam Husain (peace be upon him) and the values that continue to guide Shia Muslims around the world.

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