January 5, 2016

THERE IS NO SA'UDI ARABIA:

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr: Shia cleric was a thorn in Saudi regime's side : Nimr, whose execution has sparked condemnation across the Middle East, was a vocal backer of pro-democracy protests (Mark Townsen,  2 January 2016, The Guardian)

Nimr's staunch and vocal support of the movement in regions where the Shia have a majority but have frequently complained of marginalisation, saw the 56-year-old cited as the driving force behind the protests while affording him hero status among Saudi's Shia youth.

To the Sunni kingdom's ruling elite, however, Nimr had become a high-profile thorn in its side. Inspired by the Arab spring, Saudi Arabia's mass anti-government protests of 2011 included public speeches by Nimr that urged an end to the Al Saud monarchy and pushed for equality for the state's Shia community.

According to his supporters, the cleric was careful to avoid calling for violence and eschewed all but peaceful opposition to the government. On one occasion, he urged protesters to resist police bullets using only "the roar of the word". As his role in the protests became more prominent, he warned the Saudi authorities that if they refused to "stop bloodshed", the government's repressive tendencies risked it being overthrown.

Bahrain is toast too.

Posted by at January 5, 2016 5:12 PM

  

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