Growing Anti-Shia Drive in Saudi Leads to 6-year-old’s Beheading

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This post was last updated on February 13th, 2019 at 06:15 am

Including anti-Shia images and rhetoric in school curriculum, Saudi Arabia has reached a level of discrimination from where coming back could be considered as almost impossible. An incident that took place recently left the entire world jolted, when the Wahhabism ideology of the Kingdom killed a young, innocent child.

The fault of 6-year-old Zakaryia Bader Al-Jaber was that he was born in a Shia Muslim family and was in Saudi Arabia, which have emerged as the only two reasons for his death, as per the reports. In the week on January 27, Zakaryia and his mother were visiting the shrine of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina, when a cab driver brutally slaughtered the child after learning about his religious beliefs.

The driver had approached the Shia family at a coffee shop in al-Tilal neighborhood and asked the mother about their religion. He then snatched Zakaryia from her mother and stabbed him multiple times with a piece of broken glass until he was beheaded in front of his screaming mother.

It was a tragic incident for the mother, where she could only watch and scream. It was reported that she later collapsed out of trauma. The officer stationed on the location had reportedly tried to save the boy from the attack, but he couldn’t.

A Washington-based campaign group, Shia Rights Watch said, “There was no intervention from anyone and no response from authority thus far.”

Media reports have also claimed the cab driver as a ‘mad man’. However, the incident has not been deemed as the result of mental illness. It is rather staunched as the act of Wahhabis radicalization. Besides, this is not the first time that the religious minorities in the Kingdom had witnessed it.

Activists and rights groups believe that the abuses towards Shia Muslims in the country and their ability to practice their beliefs is remaining unchanged.

Education system in Saudi encourages children to hate all the non-Wahhabis in the country, especially the Shias. The Human Rights Watch reported, the annual Ashura commemoration of the Saudi Shias were also restricted. Besides, dozens from the community remain imprisoned merely for participating in the protests during 2011.

Wahhabism in the Kingdom has spread to an extent that the issue of practicing extremism is difficult to rectify. Many believe that the problem could be solved by taking baby steps. However, the escalated radical incidents prove otherwise.

The death of Zakaryia depicts the soared hatred amongst the people against the minorities. The child has been slit to death because of his religion that he was still learning. Can Saudi Arabia justify the violence that its Wahhabism ideologies are spreading in the name of Islam?


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