Why do many Saudis look like Indians

Saudi Arabia : Shiites are victims of hate speech and IS terrorism

Like an Indian, Abduljaleel Alarbash had stuck a feather in his hair for a selfie in the mountains of Kansas. The 22-year-old Saudi laughed and looked into the camera, who had been studying at the US University in Wichita for two semesters. In mid-May he traveled back to his home country Saudi Arabia for a few days. Last Friday he was killed by a suicide bomber in Dammam. Thousands of people came to the young student's funeral, which turned into a silent protest demonstration by the Shiite ethnic group against the Saudi royal family.

Twelve percent of the population are Shiites, which corresponds to around 2.7 million people. All of the important oil plants are located in their settlement areas in the east. Nevertheless, the members of the minority have been treated like second-class citizens by the government in the capital Riyadh for generations.

Hardly any opportunities for advancement

In Saudi Arabia, the Shiites have no access to high political offices, few well-paid jobs and little chance of advancement. They suffer from far too little government investment in housing, schools, universities and business. Since the Saudi air war in Yemen, however, the situation has worsened again. Sunni clerics call for holy war against the Shiite Houthis in the neighboring country. At the same time, they threaten their own minority in their hate sermons and openly denounce them as the fifth column of Iran.

The slain Abduljaleel Alarbash, on the other hand, is considered a hero among his fellow believers. Without him, last Friday in the Imam Hussein Mosque in Dammam in eastern Saudi Arabia there would have been a similar terrible bloodbath as the week before in Qatif, in which 21 worshipers were torn to shreds and more than 120 injured - the worst attack on Shiites in the history of the kingdom. This time the terrorist came fully veiled and disguised as a woman. The student in front of the mosque door became suspicious because the women's prayer for that day had been canceled for security reasons. When he wanted to confront the suspect, he set off his charge. A few hours later, the “Islamic State” also assumed responsibility for this second attack in eastern Saudi Arabia within eight days. "It is our duty to kill Shiites and to cleanse the Arabian Peninsula of this filth," said the audio message that announced further attacks in the home of the Prophet Mohammed.

Incitement against Shiites

With this new terror series, the usual sermons of hatred against Shiites are linked for the first time on Saudi soil with the murderous IS ideology. Triggered by the excessive agitation against the Houthis in Yemen, further young Saudis who sympathize with the “Islamic State” (IS) could in future be incited into acts of terror against their own Shiite compatriots.

And so a few days ago outraged Shiites confronted the Saudi Crown Prince and Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef with unusually harsh criticism when he visited the site of the attack. "If you do not do your part to end the incitement to hatred, you are a silent accomplice in these crimes," said a young man, demanding that all newspapers that incite hatred of Shiites be closed.

Within hours, more than 800,000 people had clicked on the video of his courageous performance on the YouTube Internet channel. The perpetrators are driven by a sick ideology that is spread by self-appointed clerics and uneducated zealots, seconded the Jeddah journalist Khaled al Maeena. "But we kept our mouth shut for too long and watched in silence as these imams spat their hatred and untruths about Muslims of other denominations around them."

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