Following my brief visit to Gujarat in January 2014 when I had visited a number of madaris in Mahuva and Bhavnagar, it was felt that a follow-up visit for a longer period was required.
Updated on 12 March 2018
The World Federation of KSIMC and its Regional Members stand together with rest of the world to mourn and condemn the execution Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a leading Shia Muslim cleric in Saudi Arabia. He was among 47 people executed by the authorities, some of whom were Shias. Sheikh al-Nimr was a sentenced to death in October 2014 after a deeply flawed trial.
Sheikh al-Nimr was sentenced by the Specialized Criminal Court in Saudi Arabia for “seeking ‘foreign meddling’ in Saudi Arabia, ‘disobeying’ its rulers and taking up arms against the security forces”, allegations which he vehemently denied and protested his innocence since his arrest by the Saudi Arabian authorities. Sheikh al-Nimr led peaceful protests and and all his activities were peaceful in nature, as confirmed by a number of human right groups. The Guardian newspaper is quoted as “Crucially, according to his supporters, the cleric was careful to avoid calling for violence, his advocates insisting he eschewed all but peaceful opposition to the government. On one occasion, Nimr urged protestors to resist police bullets using only “the roar of the word”.
Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Said Boumedouha said: “The death sentence against Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr is part of a campaign by the authorities in Saudi Arabia to crush all dissent, including those defending the rights of the Kingdom’s Shi’a Muslim community.
Sheikh al-Nimr’s trial has been seriously flawed. Eyewitnesses, whose testimonies were the only evidence used against him, were not brought to court to testify. This violates the country’s own laws. The Sheikh was denied the most basic means to prepare for his defence and was not represented by legal counsel for some of the proceedings because the authorities did not inform his lawyer of some dates of the hearings.”
We support and concur with the statement of Amnesty International in this regard. The intimidation of Muslims on any basis, let alone on sectarian grounds is unacceptable and is indeed in violation of international human rights laws. This ongoing oppression of individuals, which is a clear violation of human rights law, must not be tolerated by International Governments which claims to stand for justice.
We call upon the world leaders, the United Nations and the International Community to condemn the execution of Sheikh al-Nimr and hold to account the Saudi Arabian authorities for breaches of human rights violations and upholding the basic legal rights of it's citizens.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, in particular the family of Sheikh al-Nimr and the Muslim communities who supported his peaceful stance for human rights and democracy.
The end of the calendar year is always busy at The World Federation and I would like to take some time to tell you about the projects we are currently working on.
Following their successful visit to Iraq in May 2016, the delegation moved on to Lebanon.