Ayatollah Shirazi criticizes Saudi Arabia’s arrest of Sheikh Al-Amri
Rasid - 18 / 8 / 2010 - 1:23 am
Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi
Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi

A senior Iranian cleric criticized on Monday what he called the “violations and abuses” against Shias in Saudi Arabia.

According to the official Iranian news agency IRNA, Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi, one of the top Shia clerics living in Qom city south of Tehran, criticized strongly the violations of rights and the mistreatments of the Shias living in Saudi Arabia.

Thus, Shias constitute the majority of the population in Iran; while conversely, Saudi Arabia is predominantly Sunni followers.

In his speech Monday, Gran Ayatollah Shirazi said to a crowd of worshipers at the shrine of Lady Fatima in the holy city of Qom that Saudi authorities restrict Shias from building mosques and Hussainyats. Following to his statement, he said that Saudi authorities issued an order to attack a farm and a building in Medina in which belong to the followers of Ahl Al-Bayt doctrine.

He also pointed out disgracefully to the arrest that happened in Medina of the great cleric’s son Sheikh Kasem Al-Amri.

Grand Ayatollah Shirazi called on the Saudi authorities to learn from the Iranian style of engagement with its citizens, especially with its citizens from the Sunni’s doctrine, in which Sunni’s doctrine followers have places in the Iranian parliament and also enjoy their full right to practice their rituals and rites according to their doctrines without facing any problem with anybody.

Also, he said that the Shias in Saudi Arabia are dissatisfied of the practices of their government against them.

Why do the Saudi authorities continue to treat its citizens in such practices? Aren’t they the citizens of that country? And lived there since so many years? Why they do not have the right to practice their faith according to their beliefs? There is Sunni minority living in Iran, but does Iran treat its Sunni minority as same as Saudi’s treatment to its Shia citizens, he asked disgracefully.

In a response to the Saudi authorities, Shirazi expressed his hope that Saudi authorities would end the restrictions on the followers of Ahl Al-Bayt by giving them their right to exercise their rituals and worships in these places (Medina).

Saudi authorities had arrested Sheikh Al-Amri in the second time of this month under the pretext of violating municipal laws by allowing street vendors to work in a private farm owned by his father.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights in Cairo condemned the continued detention of Al-Amri, and also the attack by the security police on the house and the farm of his father Sheikh Mohammad Ali Al-Amri, this includes destroying religious paintings and posters in the mosque and the office that are located within the vicinity of the farm itself.

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