Happy New Year, everyone!
Unfortunately, the new year is marked by the execution of a prominent Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. As always, most Islamic countries are not willing to listen to the voices of minorities, be it Shias, Ahmadis or other religious factions.
The U.N.’s top human rights official has strongly criticized the executions saying that those sentenced to death were accused of non-violent crimes. International law allows death penalty only for most serious crimes that are consistently defined as murder and other forms of intentional killing.
Sheikh Nimr, on the other hand, only criticized the House of Saud and called for free elections in Saudi Arabia.
The terrifying news is that Saudi Arabia influences the beliefs and actions of Muslims all over the world. The recent shootings in San Bernardino, California by a Muslim couple is an example of this fact. The couple had traveled to Saudi Arabia in the years before the attack.
The wife, Tashfeen Malik, was actually born in Pakistan and had attended a local center of Al-Huda International Seminary during her college days, in the city of Multan, Pakistan. The Al-Huda International Seminary is headed by Farhat Hashmi. She is known for promoting a very conservative Islamic ideology that is based on Wahhabism.
Interestingly, the Wahabi ideology has been one of the main exports of Saudia Arabia (apart from oil) and is the basis of many Islamic terrorist organizations.
We live in an extremely violent and unsafe world. Wahabbism is a bane that has led to countless deaths since its inception. With the San Bernardino shootings, 2015 ended on a sad note. With the execution of Sheikh Nimr, 2016 has started on a terrible one. And Islam has been the source of all this misery and anguish and pain.
I hope the rest of year is peaceful and the barbaric aspects of Islam are kept at bay. Wishing everyone a wonderful year ahead!