Saudi Executions Draw Anger Around the World

 In Foreign

Saudi Executions Draw Anger Around the World

Saudi Arabia executed 47 people in 12 cities across the nation on Saturday, among them a prominent Shi’ite Cleric named Nimr al-Nimr, 56. That one person alone has created tensions and threatened diplomacy with their Shi’ite minority, as well as other Shi’ite nations such as Bahrain, Iran and Lebanon.

saudi executions

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was executed as a terrorist today along with members of al-Qaeda – European Press Agency photo

Arab Spring

Al-Nimr was an activist during Arab Spring i 2011, and rallied people against the Saudi government. He was charged with terrorism for those actions and sentenced to death. His execution and that of al-Qaeda leaders with him, may provoke protests, and possible violence.

Anger mounting

Four of the prisoners executed were Shia, the others Sunni. Human Rights groups are condemning the action, as are Shi’ite nations.

“Nimr’s martyrdom will put Saudi Arabia in a maelstrom. Saudi will not pass through this maelstrom.” Ali Larijani, Iran’s Parliament Speaker

Al-Jazeera reported,

The execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr may deepen discontent and spark protests among Saudi Arabia’s Shia minority, largely concentrated in the kingdom’s east. Protests may also erupt in neighboring Bahrain, which has seen low-level violence since 2011 protests by its Shia majority demanding greater rights from its Sunni-led monarchy.

The execution of Al-Qaeda members convicted of deadly bombings and shootings in Saudi Arabia raised concerns over revenge attacks. The group’s branch in Yemen, known as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, warned Saudi security forces last month of violence if they carried out executions of members of the global network.

“…a grave mistake that could have been avoided with a royal amnesty that would have helped reduce sectarian tensions in the region…We have warned the concerned sides that any such reckless act means a catastrophe for the nation.” Sheikh Abdul-Amir Kabalan, Deputy head of the Shi’te Council in Lebanon

Saudi beheading – photo via vocativ


Most executions in Saudi Arabia are beheading with a sword. The country is home to Wahabbi Islam, one of the strictest forms of Islam in the world. Oh, did you think Saudi Arabia was a “moderate” Muslim nation?

PBS wrote,

“For more than two centuries, Wahhabism has been Saudi Arabia’s dominant faith. It is an austere form of Islam that insists on a literal interpretation of the Koran. Strict Wahhabis believe that all those who don’t practice their form of Islam are heathens and enemies.”

And there you have it.

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