Shiite tattoos: A show of pride amid tensions

  • A growing number of Shiite Muslims in Lebanon who have inked themselves with Shiite religious and political symbols as a show of pride in their community since neighboring Syria's civil war broke out in 2011, fanning hatreds between Shiites, Sunnis and other faiths across the region. (AP)
  • Alodi Issa, 22, poses for a photo showing off his tattoos with Shiite Muslim religious slogans in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. The tattoo in Arabic reads, "Oh, the revenge for Hussein. Ali, Fatima. 313, Oh Abu Fadel al-Abbas." (AP)
  • Tayseer, 30, civil servant, shows a tattoo of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, which he got five months ago, as an expression of “deep love” for the man he says is protecting Lebanon from Islamic State group and other extremists fighting in neighboring countries. (AP)
  • The Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah has sent thousands of its fighters to Syria to support Syrian President Bashar Assad, alongside Iranian, Iraqi and other Shiite militias. (AP)
  • The Syrian conflict, which began with government forces crushing protests against President Bashar Assad, became a fight between predominantly Sunni rebels against Assad's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiism. (AP)
  • Ali Hussein Nasreddine, 50, poses for a photo showing his tattoo of Shiite Muslims' first Imam Ali, and his son Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammed in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP)
  • Among the most popular tattoos is "313," the number of commanders Shiites believe will accompany their last imam, Mahdi, when he returns to save the world from oppression. (AP)
  • Zulfiqar, 30, poses for a photo showing his tattoo of Shiite Muslims' first Imam Ali, left, in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP)
  • Farah Najm, 21, an aviation maintenance student, poses for a photo showing her tattoo of the sword of Shiite Muslims' first Imam Ali, in Beirut, Lebanon. (AP)
  • Abbas, 23, poses for a photo showing off his tattoos of Shiite Muslim religious slogans with Arabic that reads "We are all your Abbas, oh Zeinab," in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP)
  • Ali, 22, poses for a photo showing off his tattoo of Shiite Muslims' first Imam Ali, in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP)
  • Tattoos are forbidden by Sunni clerics but are generally accepted in Shiite circles. (AP)