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SpIzo

Shi'as test religious freedoms

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Shi'ites test religious freedoms in Saudi Arabia

Wahhabi Sunni scholars consider Shi'ism a heresy

Wednesday, February 8, 2006; Posted: 8:02 p.m. EST (01:02 GMT)

QATIF, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) -- Several thousand Saudi Shiites took to the streets on Wednesday to mourn the death of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson, pushing the boundaries in a country that regards them as heretics.

Participants said the mourning ceremonies were large in the kingdom because Shiites are slowly testing government pledges to let them practice their religious rites more freely.

Within the confines of Shiite towns and villages in the Eastern Province, youths dressed in black beat their heads and chests to echo the suffering of Imam Hussein and mark Ashura, the main event in the Shiite calendar.

"O Hussein, you have been wronged!" said banners, referring to the killing of Imam Hussein 1,300 years ago in Kerbala in neighbouring Iraq.

For Shiites in Saudi Arabia, which imposes the strict Wahhabi form of Sunni Islam, marking Ashura so openly reflects a desire for greater freedom since Iraqi Shiites emerged from decades of repression under Saddam Hussein after the 2003 U.S.-led war.

"If we can't link the slogans we use to our situation today, then what's the point in these ceremonies?" said Adel Omran, organizer of a mock battle scene of Kerbala, which for Shiites is symbolic of political and social injustice in the world.

One banner echoed a phrase from Imam Hussein that championed freedom, saying: "If you can't have your religion, then at least be free in this world." Men who packed mosques overnight wept in silence as they listened to sermons about Hussein's suffering.

Police had set up checkpoints in the area. A car carrying bearded religious police, a special Saudi body charged with upholding Wahhabi values in society, drove by one gathering.

Shiites are believed to make up around 10 percent of Saudi Arabia's native population of 16 million and complain of being marginalized by a government allied to Wahhabi Sunni scholars who consider Shiism a heresy.

King Abdullah, since ascending the throne last year, has overseen a modest easing of restrictions on Shiites in the Eastern Province.

To mollify the authorities, Ashura organizers say they have made sure that Shiites chant slogans about the Prophet Mohammed as well as Hussein and his father Ali.

"Since the seventh day we've also been saying 'I answer to you, Mohammed!' " Adel said. Ashura reaches its climax on Thursday, the 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/02/08/...reut/index.html

Edited by SpIzo

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Qatif is heavily shia though.. They have came out in crowds mourning Imam Hussein alot of times before too. How was this time any different? I guess they were much larger in number reason why it caught more attention.

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(bismillah)

(salam)

They did everything in public in Khatif anyways from before ;). There's a mosque there as well, with loud speakers and everything. I prayed their once, I lived 4 hours away from there, so not been there many times. That was probably the first time I prayed Shia way in public, with Jamaat.

Medina is also heavily populated with Shias, but sad that they don't have much power there..

Edited by Ali_Imran

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Guest Katayon

Saudi Shi'ites take to the streets in the Saudi city of Qatif, February 9, 2006. Several thousand Saudi Shi'ites took to the streets on Wednesday to mourn the death of the Prophet Mohammad's grandson, pushing the boundaries in a country that regards them as heretics REUTERS/Zaki Ghawass

subhanAllah

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Qatif is heavily shia though.. They have came out in crowds mourning Imam Hussein alot of times before too. How was this time any different? I guess they were much larger in number reason why it caught more attention.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Weren't the Shi'as in Saudi supressed and prevented from holding gatherings and processions to commemorate Ashura???

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To mollify the authorities, Ashura organizers say they have made sure that Shiites chant slogans about the Prophet Mohammed as well as Hussein and his father Ali.

"Since the seventh day we've also been saying 'I answer to you, Mohammed!' " Adel said. Ashura reaches its climax on Thursday, the 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram.

so otherwise the Prophet (pbuh) is not mentioned and the only reason they mentioned him was to appease the officials?

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^

Salam,

Holy Prophet said" Hussain is from me and I am from Hussain" *COUGH*

It means zikar of Imam is actually the zikar of Prophet, and the zikar of Prophet is actually the zikar of Imam :)

khz tc

Edited by Tatheer Fatima

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To mollify the authorities, Ashura organizers say they have made sure that Shiites chant slogans about the Prophet Mohammed as well as Hussein and his father Ali.

"Since the seventh day we've also been saying 'I answer to you, Mohammed!' " Adel said. Ashura reaches its climax on Thursday, the 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram.

so otherwise the Prophet (pbuh) is not mentioned and the only reason they mentioned him was to appease the officials?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

stop mentioning sahabas in ur mosques as well, only mention prophet and Allah.

sahabas like usman umar abu bakr are written even in masjid al haraam. shirk :Hijabi:

bughz e ali caused the army of yazid, which includes u, to kill the family of prophet in karbala.

they also used to chant the same slogan as nasibis/wahhabis do :Hijabi:

sunnis always ask where the shais were at karbala, forget that, where were the sunnis then? :)

yes thats right, they were at the opposite side, the army of yazid , which included omar ibn saad bin abi waqqas :Hijabi:

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