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Incidents of Anti-Shiism, May 2021

Shia Rights Watch continues monitoring international anti-Shia violence. Events noted in this statement are a collection of violence against Shia Muslims reported by grassroots activists and journalists. Shia Rights Watch highlights that this report samples the true scope of anti-Shiism. 

In the month of May, violence from the nations of Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria were reported. Shia Muslims are targeted individually and in groups by terror organizations and through lacking due-process enforced by structural anti-Shiism. 



On the tenth of May, the detonation of a bus in Pul Matak of the Parwan Province resulted in the death of 11 and the injury of 25 others. Many of those on the bus were women and children. 

In a separate incident of violence on the same day, a roadside bomb exploded, resulting in the death of dozens. Two were killed.  

Kabul remains a hotbed for violence against Shia Muslims. Early in the month, two gunmen fired machine guns towards two Hazara civilians, killing them instantly. Investigations have found the two assailants to be members of local extremist groups. 

In Kabul, a bomb placed inside a mosque in the Shakar Dara area detonated, killing 12 and wounding 15 worshippers. 

Late in the month, another incident in which passengers were targeted took place. On the 29th, a roadside bomb detonated in Parwan district, as a bus carrying University professors and students passed. The detonation killed four and 13 others were wounded as a result of the incident. 

In Kapisa Province, a missile bombing targeted a wedding party resulting in the death of 10 and the wounding of eight others. 


On the sixth of May, authorities arrested Muhammad Hatem and sentenced him to three months in detention of charges of participating in religious congregation. 

Sources reveal video and audio evidence of torture used on a resident of al-Malikiyah. Activists have long reported violence against Shia Muslim detainees. Those held in Jaws Prison report the use of violence, threats against family members, and false promises. 


In the month of May, a mass grave was discovered in Nasiriyah holding the bodies of more than 700 children, women, and men. Investigations show the causes of death to be  by immolation. 

Violence against Shia Muslims by the hands of ISIS continues across Iraq. National authorities have thwarted numerous attacks throughout the country. Nonetheless, armed offences targeting the security of the nation continue. 

Shia Muslims residing in the nation’s capital face unparalleled violence in the hands of terror groups. On the 13th of May, authorities thwarted a bombing attempt and arrested an assailant with ties to ISIS. The bomb targeted civilian gathering areas during Eid celebrations.  

The frequency of targeting of individuals Shia Muslims by gunshots continues to be of concern in cities such as Baghdad. Shia Muslims identified by their faith are targeted by unidentified gunmen, shot and left for authorities to find. Locals have reported five separate instances of individual assassinations. Local inquiry points to higher death counts that go unreported. 

In Diyala, ISIS assailants launched coordinated attacks in the Governorate. They targeted villages, power transmission infrastructure and security points. Many civilians were injured and killed. A number of others were kidnapped and their whereabouts remain unknown. 

In Tuz Khurmatu, missile bursts caused infrastructural and material damage all across the city.

ISIS attacks have also taken place in Daqaq and Samarra. 


Violence against Shia Muslims in Nigeria continues as authorities open fire on peaceful protestors. On the seventh of May, Nigerian security forces opened fire on protestors calling for the release of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife.

No new developments have been reported in the case of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife. 


Despite promises of protecting Shia Muslims against violence, Shia Rights Watch notes no explicit security or counterterror measures have been announced across Pakistan. Shia Muslims report experience living in fear of being targeted by terrorists which run rampant all over the nation. 

In Quetta City, the explosion of a roadside device injured five civilians. 

In Karachi, terror groups targeted a funeral ceremony. Sources report that assailants opened fire on participants injuring dozens of people. 

Late in the month, peaceful demonstrations in the city of Chaman were the target of a bomb. Assailants placed an explosive device in the location of the demonstration. The device was detonated while participants gathered resulting in the death of six. Many were wounded. 

Saudi Arabia 

Detainee Zuhair Ali al-Mohammed was found deceased while in detention. Sources report the cause of death to be a function of torture followed by neglect. 

Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia make up a minority, largely populating the Eastern Province. Many Shia Muslims report practicing their faith in private in fear of facing discrimination. 

Families of those prosecuted have expressed concern for their loved ones and report lacking un-biased due-process. 


Shia Muslims in Syria face heightened risk of targeting by terror organizations amidst national and political turmoil. 

Toxic substance ends the life of a Shiite preacher in Aleppo countryside: Medical and human rights reports revealed the assassination of religious preacher Ahmed al-Jumaili with a toxic substance in the city of Maskana. 

Perpetrators of the act of violence have yet to be identified. 



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