Monday, April 27, 2009

Saudi Arabia grows impatient with Shia's

CSM, here
"....These religious and economic realities help explain the graffiti on view here: "Death to Wahhabi," "Down with the government," and "We will not forget our prisoners."..... Recent developments in Medina and Awwamiya reflect deepening frustration among Saudi Arabia's Shiite minority at continuing discrimination in jobs and schools as well as government tolerance for hateful anti-Shiite rhetoric from Wahhabi clerics, according to more than a dozen Shiite activists, writers, and clerics interviewed in the oil-rich Eastern Province. Shiite leaders also warn of rising militancy in a younger generation that is losing faith in the older leadership's approach of working peacefully for change......the Saudi government is increasingly sensitive to dissent from its Shiite minority, which accounts for around 10 percent of the population. But Shiite leaders say it is local problems – not outside events – that drive Shiite frustration. .....The Medina clashes set off several days of Shiite protests in Eastern Province. Awwamiya's Sheikh Al-Nimer then gave his provocative Friday sermon, before going into hiding. "We will demand our dignity be restored in all permissible ways.... If it comes down to it ... we will call for seceding from this nation," he proclaimed..."

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