Saudi Shiite Detained For Protesting To King

Saui authorities have detained a leading Ismaili activist who complained to the King of Saudi Arabia ovr allgedrights abuses againt the Shiite minority in the country. Ahmd Turki Al-Saab was arrested days after he and five othr Shiites from the southern province of Najran handed King Abdullah a 300 page report over abuses by his governor in the province. Najran, which borders Yemen, is the home of the Ismailis, a Shiite sect, which has long complained of discrimination against them, and in 2000 there were open clashes over fears authorities were trying to encourage Sunnis to move into the area. The Ismailis successfuly petitioned King Abdullah two years ago to halt the settlement of up to 10,000 Yemeni tribesmen outside Najran city.

In their report concerning Yemen settlement, the representatives presented documented evidence the Saudi government was carrying out a settlement policy whose goal was to dilute the power of Ismailis and increase the power and position of Sunnis in their province. Their report presented evidence of violence and discrimination by the governor. The 2004 census indicated there were about 420,000 Ismailis living in the province.

Frequnetly ignored in discussions about Muslim versus western conflict is the story of the internal conflicts raging among Muslims which has gone on for centuries and continues to be a source of discord.

  • Aslam

    Are these the same Ismailis followers of the Aga Khan or they belong to some other breakaway group? Please investigate and respond.