The New York Daily News (thanks to Ruth King) has a slide show of photos from the Ashura celebration of the al-Khoei Islamic Center in Queens, where flagellants drew blood from their backs and heads.
The News says: "Although self-flagellation is a painful and bloody act, Shi'ites believe it to be a statement against violence." Uh huh. How long will it be before we start seeing this in New York? What will prevent it? The News also says: "The event, which takes place around the world, is painful both physically and emotionally to those who take part in it." That much is certainly true.