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Opinions of Thursday, 7 January 2016

Columnist: Sandow, Anas

Shia National Imam condoles with Family of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

The Office of Shia National Imam, Ghana uses this medium to warmly wish Christians in Ghana and the world Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I thus congratulate Christians on this auspicious festive season.

Having heard of the unfortunate murder of Sheikh Nimr al Nimr in the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we hereby use this medium to express our sincere and belated condolence to the bereaved family of the top Shia cleric and the entire Saudi Arabia Shiite fraternity.

The murder of Sheikh Nimr al Nimr who was an avowed critic of the Kingdom`s human rights abuses, sectarian discriminations, extremism and terrorism within and across the Kingdom was convicted of terrorism and brutally murdered in cold blood. Shia leaders and clerics from time immemorial have been victims of `Muslim` terrorism. Imam, Ali(Son-inlaw of the Holy Prophet), the Prophet`s daughter Fatima, his children Hassan and Husain, Shia clerics like Shaheed al-Sadr, Baqir al Sadr, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, Ayatullah Musah Sadr, Hassan Lakis, the former Ugandan Shia top cleric have all been victims of Wahabi terrorism.

We were greatly saddened to hear the news of the gruesome murder of the Shia cleric, we therefore strongly condemn in no uncertain terms the broad daylight heinous murder of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr on political and sectarian grounds by the Saudi Wahabi Monarchy.
Apart from his support for elections in Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Nimr supported Kurdish majority control of Iraq Kurdistan. Al-Nimr believed that Shia clerics would not promote violence and murder in the name of God and Prophet Muhammad(s) like the way and manner the Saudi sponsored terror organizations worldwide such as ISIL-ISIS, al Nusra, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Ahrar al Shaam, al-Shabab, Jama-at Ahlu Sunnah Lida`wati wal Jihad (i.e. Boko Haram) kill in the name of Islam .

Nimr was a critic of Monarchical system of governance as it was abolished by Prophet Muhammad. Al-Nimr criticized Bahrain's Sunni monarchy, which brutally suppressed massive pro-democracy Shia-led demonstrations in Bahrain in 2011. He believed that the Saudi kingdom is "particularly reactionary", act`s mainly out of self-interest to preserve the Monarchy, which is neither Islamic nor Democratic and that peaceful protest was needed to influence the kingdom in general to adopt civilized system of government in where there will be a popular elected legislature, efficient executive, independent judiciary and the press.

Al-Nimr stated that in the case of internal conflict in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Shia would have the right to ask for international intervention in analogy to requests for foreign military intervention by Kuwaitis and Saudis to the US in the 1990–91 Gulf War and people from Darfur during the Sudan crisis.
In November, 2015, several rights advocates and organizations from different parts of the world have collectively requested the US to press its key ally Saudi Arabia to waive the unjustified death sentence against Sheikh Nimr and several political prisoners.
Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, International Institute for Religious Freedom (IIRF)European Center for Democracy & Human Rights (ECDHR), European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR), Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, Center for Inquiry (CFI), Freedom House Human Rights Foundation, Human Rights Watch, Hindu American Foundation (HAF), Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (MHRSA), Muslim Public Affairs Council etc were signatories of the petition against the Un Islamic and Uncivilized death sentence imposed on the Shia cleric.
We therefore admonish the authorities of the Kingdom to emulate teachings of the Holy Qur`an, Sunnah of the Holy Prophet and his house hold, adopt moderation, respect and honor public opinion, rights and freedoms of the minority, good governance, rule of law and justice so as to avoid the name of Islam and Muslims from being defamed. Today the world is scared of Islam as a result of the Kingdom`s ideological beliefs. This ideology has caused a lot of extremism and terrorism. ISIS, al-Nusra, al-Shabab, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Ahrar al Shaam, Lashkar, Ansar Bait al Maqdis, etc are by-products of the Saudi Wahabi ideology. These Wahabi Muslim groups carry out suicide bombing in markets, schools, hospitals, cemeteries, including crucifixion and slaughtering of Christians and `Muslisms`, Izidis, abduction, eating of human flesh, burning, caking, drowning of non Wahabis as Jihad(Holy War) taught by the Holy Qur`an and Prophet Muhammad(s).
A case in point was Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Wahabi cleric who publicly endorsed Palestinian suicide bombing as lawful in Islam. Similar verdict was passed by a Saudi Wahabi cleric on Bahraini National Television that ….. “All Christians, Shiites, Jews, and Izidis should be killed”

We wish to convey our heartfelt sympathies to our brothers in Saudi Arabia and the Shiite fraternity worldwide. While the Shiite fraternity and other well wishers in Ghana and the sub-region join us in expressing sincere condolences to the Shiite community in Saudi Arabia at this tragic moment, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and sympathizers of Sheikh Nimr al Nimr worldwide, who will need fortitude and courage to come to terms with their grief over his martyrdom. We Shiites do not endorse belligerent retaliation, we believe vengeance is Allah`s, much as Allah is forgiven and Merciful his vengeance and punishment are swift and severe”. The Holy Qur`an states “And those who have committed injustice shall know to what kind of retaliation they will be retaliated” Qur`an 26:227

Office of Shia National Imam, Ghana