Saudis persecute Shi’ites as unbelievers
As always in these cases, sheik yer’mami is rooting for both sides:
Well, they’ve chased every other religion out of the country, so that leaves the Shi’ites to beat up on. And you know there’s a problem with the vaunted “Islamic tolerance” when IslamicÂ intolerance is so rife even among different Muslims, all the way back to the dispute over Muhammad’s successor. “Shiites in Saudi Arabia discriminated against as “non-believers’,” fromÂ Asia News, September 4, via JW. Continued…
Washington (AsiaNews) – Saudi authorities treat Shiite followers of Islam as equal citizens, by stamping out the “systematic discrimination” to which they are subject in the education, justice, work. This is what a report by Human Rights Watch, published yesterday calls for.
In the kingdom of Saud, Shi’ites represent 10-15% of the population, and are always treated as second class citizens. The Islam followed in Saudi Arabia is the puritanical Wahhabi, Islam which regards Shia as a betrayal of Islam and the Shiites as the atheists, no different to members of other religions.
In fact Saudi Arabia the practice of any other religion except fundamentalist Sunni Islam is forbidden. Temples, churches, pagodas are prohibited, as well as public displays of religious objects and private religious gatherings.
In defending the rights of the Shiites, the HRW report, of approximately 35 pages, begins with an incident last February in Medina, where some Shiite pilgrims clashed with the religious police (Muttawa), who monitor the implementation of Wahhabism and social customs. Following these clashes, there were many protests and arrests.
HRW gives voice to the demands of Shiites: equal opportunities in civil service and the army; the possibility of building their mosques and their courts, freedom to publish books. The human rights organization also suggests the possibility of sharing the holy places of Islam, Mecca and Media, among the different forms of Islam.
Among the various forms of discrimination, the report cites in particular those in the education system and in the judiciary, where the Shiite witnesses are often excluded by the courts because of their religion….