15.08.2017 Author: Catherine Shakdam

Why Repress When One Can Kill on Sight? – Saudi Arabia’s Campaign in Qatif

673434234The mainstream media is finally catching on to Saudi Arabia’s mad race for absolute ownership of its nationals by way of a grand religious cleanse. For those who breath under the skies of al-Saud’s kingdom absolutism is a burden those who resist have paid in blood and agony.

The city of Awamiyah sits today besieged by its very own government under allegations its residents pose a threat so grave that they ought to be slaughtered where they stand, never to be spoken of again …

Breaking that silence which of late has surrounded the many a grave ignominies the kingdom has perpetrated against those infamous ‘others’ it has judged ‘disposable’, The Independent wrote on THAT Shia genocide:

“Traditionally Shia, Awamiyah – a 400-year-old town in the eastern Qatif province home to around 30,000 people – has been surrounded by siege barricades put up by the security services turned violent on 10 May. Since then, the situation has rapidly deteriorated. Locals report at least 25 people have died in shelling and sniper fire, and pictures purportedly of streets covered in rubble and sewage look more like a scene from Syria than an oil-rich Persian Gulf city.”

A kingdom raised on religious exclusionism – as per the perverse tenets of its devolute interpretation of the Islamic Scriptures, Wahhabist Saudi Arabia has clamored for the murder of all religious minorities … starting with its self-proclaimed nemeses: Shia Muslims.

Branded an apostate faith, a heresy to the throne of al-Saud since it offers context and rationality to what Saudi Arabia’s ruling religious elite would like to wield as a weapon of mass oppression, Shia Islam has long been branded an extension of Satan’s pitchfork. Interesting if we keep in mind whose hands are carrying those swinging swords our friendly Nejdis prize so much!

Today Riyadh is taking oppression and mass murder to whole new heights, courtesy of an apathetic international community, whose ability to challenge al-Saud’s genocidal impulses have been reduced to a whimper of discontent on account money stands to be made.

Who cares for the cries of the innocent when capitalism can claim its pound of silver and gold? Who will hear of the horrors committed by a regime which friendships have offered immunity when a blanket of secrecy has been pulled over the public’s eyes?

Outrage nowadays has become but the sick expression of geopolitical opportunism.

While state officials feel rather compelled to comment on phantasmagorical war crimes in Syria to support their campaign for regime change against democratically elected President Bashar al-Assad, nothing of the abominations Riyadh has committed on a daily basis against its people – nevermind the massacre of Yemeni women and children, ever make it to the front page, let alone the floor of parliament … any parliament for that matter.

As far as western capitals are concerned political pragmatism dictates that our humanity be sold to the wolves … here Saudi Arabia’s terrible regime. When I write terrible, I mean it in the most literal way possible. My intent behind such the use of an adjective is to convey the notion – ney to posit that Riyadh is not only the fountainhead of terrorism, but the carrier and manufacturer of THAT ideology which has spawned death, misery and bloodshed across continents.

Awamiyah’s rubbles are not just a cautionary tale or even the confirmation of Riyadh’s violence, Awamiyah’s rubbles are the reminder of al-Saud’s theocratic ambitions: the murder of all who do not bow.

Here I must ask how Riyadh’s modus operandi in Awamiyah is any different from Daesh’s barbarism? Does one state-run, state-manned genocidal campaign differs from the murderous rampage Daesh militants ran in Iraq and Syria.

Awamiyah looks too much like Mosul for any of us to dare look away! Awamiyah’s cries of terror echo too much of Iraq’s Yazidis for us to turn a deaf ear.

If The Independent should get brownie points for speaking Awamiyah to the forefront of mainstream, this bastion of journalism may have checked its bias at the door to appreciate the plight of an oppressed minority, lumped up to the very criminals who have driven swords through their limbs and tore down their places of worship.

The Independent writes:

“Information from Awamiyah is difficult to verify; foreign media are not allowed near the area without government chaperones, which means the world is reliant on heavily-controlled Saudi state media, unreliable Shia-focussed news sites and social media from inside the city for even the smallest glimpse into what is going on.”

Earmarked for destruction by Wahhabist Saudi Arabia, Shia Muslims have also been written off as guilty of Islamic radicalism by association even though they most of all have suffered from its intolerance. Speak about a rock and a hard place…

If by “Shia-focussed news sites and social media”, The Independent refers to those voices who have braved death to speak the truth of a genocide the world is purposely ignoring, than yes information has been hard to come by. Why? Because those who do speak are being hunted down.

The darkest pages of our collective History, that of the Crusades, or the Spanish Inquisition are being re-enacted and we argue objectivity! Is there any objectivity to be had when soldiers hold babies up high to better drop them?

Is there any objectivity to be had when mothers are to see their sons be executed, never to be allowed to bury them for their allegiance was to the progeny of the Prophet of Islam and not the House of Saud?

“They told my little girl, ‘We will kill your father and throw his head between your legs,’” said an eyewitness in Awamiyah.

Such is the regime our ruling elite remains infatuated with…

Catherine Shakdam is the Director of Programs of the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies and a political analyst specializing in radical movements, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


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