It is almost impossible to express our deep sorrow for the tragedy which resulted in the deaths of 21 Shia worshipers at the Imam Ali Mosque in Qudaih during Friday prayers last week. Body parts were scattered all around, blood covered the walls and pieces of broken glass pierced the victims’ bodies.
Thousands of people from all over Qatif came to the mosque, full of grief and sorrow. They were looking for answers to what had happened; and they completely condemned terrorism and those supporting extremism.
Seven months have passed between al-Dalowa and al-Qudaih attacks; both crimes took place in religious sites during sacred religious events, and the victims in both cases have been innocent citizens performing their rituals. And the perpetrators are Saudi citizens involved in extremist groups.
The acts of the extremists have not been limited only to Shia; they have penetrated the state’s institutions, interests, and forces, and have affected many foreigners in Saudi Arabia. Anyone who contradicts their ideologies is vulnerable to violence and death.
Many people try to avoid facing the facts that have led to such terrorist acts against Shia citizens, and even try to find false justifications. We are bound to read and hear more of this false nonsense that attributes what has happened to external influences.
We are not here for recrimination; the martyrs have not yet been buried. Our national duty is to share the bereaved families’ grief over both these heinous incidents and, however painful the facts are, to seek out a way to recover from this deadly disease, which is spreading like a cancer in our society.
Takfiri argument considers Shia Muslims polytheists and worthy of death. This discourse also applies to Saudi Shia. For instance, some media and sites label Shias rafida, descendants of Abdullah ibn Saba', sons of Alqami, shrine-worshippers, Iranian traitors, magi, Safavids and other descriptions which are against Islamic teaching and against human rights.
The discourse of hatred which is being promoted through the various media is polarizing young people. It is pushing them to join jihadis and extremist groups that call for killing and elimination of those they perceive as violators.
Sectarian discourse is dominating the scene in Saudi Arabia causing more and more tension and chaos. Whenever a crime like these two occurs, its perpetrators try to clear their names even though they are the instigators.
Recognizing that Shias are Saudi citizens and have the same rights and duties as Sunnis, and stopping questioning their loyalty will preserve national unity and security.
To protect the state from the consequences of sectarian argument, the Saudi authorities must stand firmly against those who instigate violence and who seek to fuel sectarianism