Saudi authorities continue closing Shia mosques
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia: After Saudi authorities sealed shut
two more mosques in the Kingdom's oil-rich Mominin-dominated Eastern
region, the number of Shia mosques closed in the country has reached
Rasid News reported that security forces closed the only Ismaili
mosque in Ras Tanura and have been preventing Shia citizens from
performing daily prayers since last Friday.
The Shia mosque of Abqaiq was closed on the same day and some online
sources reported the closure of another Shia mosque in Jubail.
Last month, the authorities also ordered all Shia mosques to be closed
in the cities of Khobar, Dammam and Khafji and issued orders banning
Shias from building mosques outside Najran and religious centres (husseiniyaat)
and cemeteries outside Qatif and Al-Hassa.
Shia Muslims have long complained of being treated as second-class
citizens in the Kingdom.
The Saudi government has been closing Shia mosques using various
excuses, and has refused to issue building permits for the erection of
new places of worship.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a recent report
strongly condemned Saudi Arabia over its” systemic state
discrimination" against Shia Muslims across the Kingdom, saying that
the unfavourable treatment of Shia Muslims "extends from education and
employment to the justice system."
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