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Hajj of 2013, Full of Shia Rights Violations

Saudi Arabia and Wahhabis misuse Hajj season to spread their anti-Shia ideologies. Saudi authorities distributed books that call Shia Muslims infidels and apostate.

Hajj is an annual ritual that Muslims attend in Saudi Arabia. It also serves as a conference for Muslim representative from all around the world to exchange ideas, news and plan for the Islamic nations. However Saudi forces use this gathering to spread extremist ideologies. Shia Muslims are the only minority group that faces many limitations and restriction.

During Hajj, Shia Muslims cannot read of their prayer book, they cannot pray according to their faith, they cannot visit their holy sites, most Shia mosques are closed down, and many times they are degraded by the forces in Makkah and Madinah (two most important Muslim holy sites).

Hajj of 2013 was full of Shia rights violations as Shia Muslims faced many difficulties. Saudi Arabia should not use this ritual gathering to spread hatred among Muslims says SRW.

Books and lectures founded by Saudi kingdom and delivered by extremists scholars resulted in death of death, targeted killings, arrestments, insecurity and torture of thousands of Shia Muslims in the world. SRW hold Saudi Arabia responsible for the human rights violations that are taking place around the world. International Courts should investigate and punish all those who advocate and found extremist ideologies.

Eight Deaths in October

Shia targeted killings continues in Pakistan. Pakistani Shia Muslims lose loved ones due to their Shia faith. There were eight targeted killings so far in the month of October.

Pakistani Shia Muslims have been attacked by anti-Shia terrorist groups. Thousands of Shia have been slaughtered, shot and killed. Most of the targets were professionals and educated figures.

Pakistani government has failed to protect Shia population and this issue must be addresses immediately, says SRW.

20 Shia are Killed Daily in Iraq

October death toll reached 258 by Sunday the 13t in Iraq.

On average 20 Shia Muslims were killed every day in Iraq in October. Increasing number of car bombs target Shia populated areas of Iraq.

Thousands of Shia children lost home, family and caregivers and many women lost their support. Death toll is increasing dramatically and the government failed to support and protect majority Shia Muslims.

SRW is concerned for the security of Shia Muslims and believes the killing in Iraq must be stopped by identifying violators, stopping foreign founding and cleaning country from terrorists.

Children of Iraq

iraqi-girl-205x300Terrorists and human rights violators impact the world in a non-reversible way. Their most dangerous impact is how they change the future of the children of their targets. In fact children are the main victims of wars, human rights violations and crimes done by terrorists.Children in Iraq are paying very high price for being Shia Muslim. Many Iraqi children wake up finding no mother to feed them, no father to provide for them and no home to rest in. An estimated one million children are considered orphan in Iraq and the number is increasing as Shia rights violations and targeted killings in escalating.

The fact that adoption is not common in Iraq and most families are already under the poverty line, orphans are left alone to find ways to survive. About %57 of the Iraq’s population are under the age of 25 and %6 are senior citizens according to CIA Factbook. Based on these numbers more than %60 of the population are vulnerable and need special care.

Children and youth who are the main resources of the country and the future of the country is in their hand suffer from food insecurity, trauma, are homeless, are not safe, and do not any education. The future of Iraq, which once was home to the oldest civilizations in the world with a cultural history of over 10,000 years, is not very promising.

When I think how terror acts leave thousands of children helpless, uneducated, sick, weak and insecure, I wonder if terrorist have any sense of humanity in them. I wonder what can change humans to such unpredictable creatures that have no logic, no empathy, and no mercy. Yet is it worse when it’s done as “religious” acts.

Picture from http://www.growingupglobal.net.

By Hawraa Zakery, A Human Rights Activist and Shia Rights Specialist         on     October 15, 201

Faulty Accusation: Another Tool for Saudi Forces

According to Shia Rights Watch activists, a Shia Muslim group leader was arrested in Medina, Saudi Arabia. Abdul Salam, a Shia Muslim who takes groups to Hajj from Iraq was arrested on September 30th. He was forced to sign a confession letter saying he cursed Prophet Mohammad’s companions. He was promised to be released after signing.

Cursing companions is one of the accusations that non-Shia Muslims use to incriminate Shia Muslims. Abdul Salam did not curse anyone but Saudi forces forced him to sign such prewritten confessions.

There is no update on the situation of Abdul Salam, and Shia Rights Watch is concerned about him. Cursing companions is outlawed and has legal punishments in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi forces have no right to accuse anyone and force them to sign faulty confessions.

Saudi forces use the Hajj season to pressure Shia Muslims. Every year Shia Muslims face many difficulties upon their entrance to this country.

SRW has repeatedly contacted the Saudi embassy in USA and asked them to stop discrimination against Shia Muslims, however Saudi Arabia is still the leading human rights violator and international human rights committees cannot win the battle between Saudi oil and human rights.

Letter to Iraqi Ambassador Lukman Faily

His Excellency Lukman Faily

Ambassador of Republic of Iraq to the United States of America
Iraq Embassy
3421 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20007

Dear Mr. Ambassador:

On behalf of Shia Rights Watch we are writing to highlight our concerns regarding the safety and security of the Shia Muslims in Iraq as Shia targeted killings, and bombings is increasing dramatically in this country. The pain and sorrow that Iraqi Shia are facing is beyond human’s capacity and will affect their healthy function.

As you are aware there have been 5700 death in Iraq since January 2013 and the death toll is increasing every day. Hundreds of families lost their loved ones in explosions; many children are left as orphans and more families have become homeless or lost their caregivers and breadwinners; Visitors and pilgrims are attacked constantly. Most recently an elementary school was attacked in the Tal Afar village and killed 12 children and collapsed the school. Most attacks take place at busy market places, funeral gatherings and near Shia mosques and shrines. Also majority of the bombings and explosions are planned as coordinated series and that means there are systematic approaches to target Shia population, especially innocent citizen.

Shia Muslims are not safe mostly in Sunni led countries or in countries in which they are minority. However Shia of Iraq are majority and the country is led by Shia government, therefore Shia Muslims are expected to be more secure and safe.

SRW is concerned that Iraqi government is not doing what it takes to secure its citizen and block outsider’s financial resources and ideological influences. There are reports that reveal mountains and isolated areas of Iraq are occupied by terrorists and Al-Qaida forces. Terrorists must not find Iraq a safe place to plan their anti-human activities.

The organization urges the Iraqi government to identify extremists and their resources and immediately stop them. Also the government should train forces to secure the cities and capture those who are responsible for the death of thousands of Shia Muslims in Iraq.


Mustafa Akhwand

Director of Shia Rights Watch

Letter to Secretary John Kerry on Violations of Religious Freedom in Malaysia

OCTOBER 3, 2013 | By Shia Rights Watch

Letter to Secretary John Kerry on

Violations of Religious Freedom in Malaysia

October 2, 2013

The Honorable John Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary of State,

   We are writing to you today to bring to your attention serious violations of religious freedom in Malaysia. Malaysia’s fragile political consensus is threatened by the government’s active promotion of only one form of Sunni Islam. Religious minorities face both societal abuse, limits on religious expression, discrimination, and the demolition of unregistered places of worship.

We urge you to highlight the importance of freedom of religion and expression during your visit. As President Obama said so eloquently in his 2009 speech in Cairo, as a way to move forward, we must “say openly the things we hold in our hearts, and that too often are said only behind closed doors,” because we all share the “common principle…of justice and progress, tolerance and dignity of all beings.” Unfortunately, Malaysian politics is often not tolerant of dissenting views.

Malaysia presents itself as a model, moderate Muslim-majority country. Too often however, religion is used as a political wedge issue for politicians seeking support among the majority Malay and Sunni Muslim population, leaving many ethnic and religious minorities marginalized and with reasonable fears about their lack of civil liberties and legal recourse. Non-Muslims and dissenting Muslims are often disallowed from voicing their concerns, face death threats, detentions, or attacks by vandals. The government maintains a secret list of banned religious organizations. The fears of religious minorities and the expansion of Muslim/non-Muslim political competition in Malaysia are not “soft” side issues but may have critical policy and strategic impacts that could limit U.S. interests in Southeast Asia.

Shia Muslim practice is restricted, their mosques raided by police, their publications banned and confiscated, and recently 21 Shia practitioners were arrested in August and September 2013 because their faith is considered “deviant” from the “true Islam.” Hindus and Christians have faced explicit discrimination in cases adjudicated by the Sharia courts involving issues such a marriage and divorce, parental rights, conversions, and funeral rites. In addition, the Malaysian government has failed to grant equal rights to non-Muslim places of worship or to fully protect them from demolition or vandalism.

Ten thousand Hindu temples/shrines have been demolished or desecrated (includes private shrines located on plantation estates). In addition, following a High Court decision ruling that the government’s ban on the use of “Allah‟ in non-Muslim publications infringed upon constitutional rights, including freedom of expression and freedom to practice one’s religion, several non-Muslim places of worship were attacked, including at least 10 Christian churches and a Sikh gurudwara.

We urge you, as Secretary of State, to highlight the universal notions of freedom of religion and freedom of expression to the Malaysian government and seek promises from the Malaysian government to promote tolerance and respect for all religious minorities, end the ban on religious publications and other restrictions on religious expression, recognize all religions and give them freedom to practice their peaceful rituals, and release anyone being held for their religious activities or religious freedom advocacy.














Dr. Joel C. Hunter
Senior Pastor
Northland – A Church Distributed

Amjad Mahmood Khan
National Director of Public Affairs
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA

Jeff King
International Christian Concern

Paul Marshall
Center for Religious Freedom
Hudson Institute

Brent McBurney
President & CEO
Advocates International

Faith J. H. McDonnell
Director, Religious Freedom Program
The Institute on Religion and Democracy

Greg Mitchell
The Mitchell Firm

Rev. Sue Taylor
Church of Scientology National Affairs Office

CC: Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, Ambassador-at-Large, International Religious Freedom


Turkey joining Anti-Shia violators?

t_flagRapid changes in Middle East’s policies that result in growing Anti- Shi’ism is now effecting Turkey, says Shia Rights Watch.

Turkey is a home for many Shia Muslims who identify themselves as Turkish Shia Muslims. In fact there is a significant number of Shia in this country. Although there is no accurate information on the exact size of the Shia community, it has been estimated to constitute as little as 7 percent and as much as 30 percent of Turkey’s total population. However there is many more Shia Muslims living in Turkey as thousands of Shia flee from Syria to this country after Shia targeted killing increased in their home country.

Mehmet Ali Tugtan, professor at Istanbul’s Bilgi University states “we are against Israel, pro-Muslim brotherhood, against Al-Assad, pro-Free Syrian Army and within the Free Syrian Army we are more pro-Sunni element”. The growth of support for Muslim Brotherhood and Sunni elements in Turkey are warnings signs that concern Shia Muslims in this country.

Many Syrian Shia Muslims admit not accessing Turkish government’s refugee camps so they won’t be identified as Shia Muslims. Even native Shia of Turkey are experiencing escalating fear of discrimination in their own country.

SRW strongly urges the Turkish government to take necessary steps to prevent Shia rights violation and assure all citizens that they will be safe. Everyone has the right to practice its freedom of religion and Turkey authorities must respect all and stop spread of extremist ideologies immediately.

A Week Full of Sorrow for Iraqis

painPain and sorrow increases as many Iraqis lose their loved ones every day.

 First week of October turned to a bloody week in Iraqi Shia Muslim populated areas. At least 202 people have been killed in six apparently coordinated bomb attacks in different cities.

One bomb attack in mainly commercial area of Baghdad killed 22 people.

Another explosion happened inside a cafe north of the capital and killed at least 66 people.

On the same day a suicide bomber killed 27 in the Shia Turkomen village of Qabak, just outside the town of Tal Afar.

One car bomb in the Tal Afar village targeted an elementary school while children ages 6 to 12 were in class. The dead included 12 children, the school principal and two policemen. Another 90 people were wounded, according to sources. The village is home to only about 200 residents, and part of the single-story school collapsed as a result of the blast. At least 12 people were killed and 23 wounded in that attack, according to police and hospital officials.

For the second time in less than 24 hours a suicide bomber managed to pass security checkpoints and target Shia pilgrims making their way to a golden-domed shrine in northern Baghdad where two revered Shia Imams are buried.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but suicide bombers and car bombs are frequently used by al-Qaida’s Iraq branch. It often targets Shia civilians.

Almost 1,000 were killed in Iraq in September alone according to the UN and the violence against Shia Muslim continues with no prevention strategies from Iraq government.

ongoing violence in Iraq is shame for humankind, says SRW.

Birth of Anti Shia Ideologies in Western Sahara

MorocoAs Anti-Shia activities spreads around the world, more and more countries adopt them. Once Saudi Arabia was the center of Shia rights violations. The failure to initiate prevention policies by international committee because of political interests resulted in widespread of Wahhabi ideologies. Now the anti-Shia ideologies spread from Arabia to many other countries, even very isolated territories such as Western Sahara in Africa.

SRW has been contacted by number of Shia Muslims of Western Sahara in Africa. Shia Muslims of that area have been threatened by anti-Shia groups, according to sources. Anti-Shia terrorists give out handouts that degrade Shia Muslims. The handouts created an environment in which Shia Muslims of the area do not feel safe.

SRW is concerned that new activities endanger Shia Muslims’ lives and result in conflict between people. Very similar hand outs and lectures resulted in mob attack and killing of Hassan Shahateh, a very famous Shia Muslim leader of Egypt in June 2013.

The organization calls in native and local authorities in the area to immediately investigate the anti-Shia activities and prevent any human rights violation. SRW urges the authorities to secure the area so all citizen, regardless of their faith, feel safe and live in peace. Western Sahara’s local forces must prevent spread of anti-Shia ideologies immediately says Msutafa Akhwand, director of Shia Rights Watch.

UN Complaint