On Tuesday October 27th an Ismaili Mosque was bombed, killing one person and injuring at least a dozen others in the southern Saudi town of Najran. This ISIS perpetrated attack occurred days after an ISIS gunman killed five people and injured nine others during an Ashura event in the eastern Saudi city of Saihat.
Muharram has been one of the deadliest times to be a Shia Muslim as terrorist groups use the gatherings this month as an opportunity to initiate attacks against the worshippers. Despite the regularity of these attacks, Shia worshippers continue to stand strong and not let this ever present threat of violence interfere with their worship.
Shia Rights Watch stands with the victims of this senseless violence and calls for greater protection for Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia and around the world.
Over this past week in Iraq, roughly 62 Shia Muslims were killed in bombings and shootings around the country. These bombings during Muharram targeted groups of Shia Muslims in Baghdad in Markets and at Shrines. One of the larger attacks occurred on Monday.
On Monday October 26th a man wearing a suicide belt detonated himself near a tent serving refreshments to Shia pilgrims in Baghdad. The pilgrims at the time were commemorating the death of Imam Hussein in the city when this attack occurred. According to early estimates, between three and seven people were killed with at least 19 injured.
No organization has yet to claim responsibility for the attack but many of the attacks against Shia Muslims during Muharram have been claimed by ISIS. Shia Rights Watch condemns the actions of the group or groups that orchestrated this attack and calls for greater work to be done to ensure that religious gatherings are safe spaces for worshipers.
Jordanian Sheikh Abu Qatada has recently published an article that denounces Shia Muslims and calls them filthy. Published in “Al Risalah”, a magazine that is produced by Jabhat Al-Nusra, the Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, Qatada continues to spread hatred of Shia Muslims.
This magazine is a major propaganda tool for Al-Qaeda to attract foreign fighters to the group. Calling Shia Muslims heretics and enemies, Qatada vows that their movement will dominate every land and wipe every religion off the face of the earth.
It is this hate speech that incites violence against Shia Muslims. These are the roots of the terrorist attacks that the world witnesses every day against Shia Muslims and other religious minorities. Shia Rights Watch strongly condemns the actions of Abu Qatada.