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Shiites (not Sunni) Muslims flagellate, cut, beat or smear themselves with red paint on Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram, to empathise with Husayn (Muhammad's grandson) who was killed on Ashura.

Husayn was killed because he refused to be obedient to Yazid, the second caliph and has since become a martyr to the Islamic religion. Husayn was a descendant of Ali, the forth caliph, and since Shiites believe that only descendants of Ali are entitled to rule the event is only important to Shiites, not Sunnis.

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Q: Why do Shiites smear themselves with red paint on Ashura?
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