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Western Media, Politicians Ignore Saudi’s Sectarian Mass Execution of Shias


While the western media and politicians rail over the killing of Christians during the horrific terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka this past weekend, there was little if any reaction or righteous indignation over Saudi Arabia’s brutal mass execution of 37 Shias Muslims only a few days later.

On Tuesday, the government of Saudi Arabia beheaded 37 Saudi citizens, 34 of whom belonged to the persecuted minority Shi’ite (Shia) sect, executed for supposed “terrorism-related crimes” and for what has been described by some journalists as mere “terror thinking.

According to political commentator and dissident Ali Al-Ahmed, director of the Gulf Institute in Washington, it was the largest mass execution of Shiites in the kingdom’s history. Amnesty International said they believed the men were convicted “after sham trials” which relied on confessions extracted by torture.

As the global outrage over the supposed violent killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi fades, the Saudi authorities seem to be wielding their sword more confidently – and even attracting new direct foreign investment

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

In addition to the Shia killings, the government lived-up to its barbaric reputation by publicly pinning the executed body and severed head of one convicted Sunni extremist to a pole.

Tuesday’s violent purge marked the largest mass execution in the Kingdom since January 2016, when 47 people were executed for alleged “terrorism-related crimes”. Among those executed were four Shias, including prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. His death triggered mass protests across the Muslim world, including Iran where angry Shias sacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran, leading to a chilling of relations between the two regional hegemons. The Wahhabi establishment in Saudi Arabia hated and feared al-Nimr because of his popularity and potential to generate a political following which might ultimately challenge the ruling families theocratic dictatorship.

It is also believed that this current wave of Saudi persecution and murder of Shias is connected to the Trump Administration’s hawkish stance on Iran and Yemen, with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman feeling even more emboldened to target Shias due to U.S. President Donald Trump’s unrelenting diplomatic and economic attack on Iran.

“This is political,” said Ali Al-Ahmed. “They didn’t have to execute these people, but it’s important for them to ride the American anti-Iranian wave.”

Many in the west are unaware that the majority of victims of religious or sectarian persecution and killing are in fact Muslim, and not Christian which the western media seem to infer. A study conducted by Center for Strategic and International Studies entitled, Islam and the Patterns in Terrorism and Violent Extremism, shows that Muslims, and particularly Muslim minority sects, suffer more than any other demographic when measuring global patterns of violence. The numbers may be much higher than this study shows, as it does not include Saudi Arabia’s four year-long massacre (backed by US and UK) of Shias in Yemen, or the continuous Israeli killing and ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Palestine.

CSIS strategic chair Anthony Cordesman explains:

“It is far too easy for analysts who are not Muslim to focus on the small part of the extremist threat that Muslim extremists pose to non-Muslims in the West and/or demonize one of the world’s great religions, and to drift into some form of Islamophobia—blaming a faith for patterns of violence that are driven by a tiny fraction of the world’s Muslims and by many other factors like population, failed governance, and weak economic development.”

READ MORE SAUDI ARABIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Saudi Files

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