Catalyst: Sheikh Nimr’s Execution Will Herald Downfall of Saudi Regime
TEHRAN (FNA)– Saudi Arabia has executed 47 people for alleged terrorism, including the prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
Riyadh, the terrorist capital of the planet, claims most of those executed on Saturday, January 2, were involved in a series of attacks carried out by Al-Qaeda from 2003-06. However, it also detained hundreds of members of its Shia community after pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011-13. Several of those held had been sentenced to death, including Sheikh Nimr. Saudi grand mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh has described the executions as just. This is far from the truth:
1- The 2011-13 protests for democracy and human rights were peaceful. Repeat, those who took part in those lawful demonstrations, including Sheikh Nimr, were not involved in terrorism activities and had no links with Al-Qaeda.
2- It is true that Sheikh Nimr was publicly criticising the House of Saud and calling for elections. He, however, never called for violence. Still, Riyadh went ahead with no evidence to accuse him of being behind attacks on police – working on behalf of Iran!
3- The West is not totally blameless for what is going on in the Persian Gulf state. The Saudi regime is but an extension of US-Israeli will in the region, and as such its anti-Shia, anti-democracy campaign has been but an expression of their Colonial-Wahhabi legacy.
4- For the sake of political correctness and geopolitical interests, human rights violations and executions in Saudi Arabia seldom make the mainstream media headlines in the West. Despite the outcry, Riyadh’s allies stood by them. Which means the Global West is part and parcel of the ongoing tyranny in Saudi, has contributed to it, laboured to defeat the opposition, and cooperated with the unelected regime when their interests intersected.
5- Despite the worldwide outrage, the regime is unlikely to face rebuke from the the UN Human Rights Council. The US and UK have established military bases in Saudi, transforming it into a main base for regional military presence and aggression. It’s a reward to the silence they provide on human rights abuses and for their military support of the Saudi-led war on Yemen. To the further chagrin of human rights groups, the regime sits on the UN Human Rights Council, which is ridiculous at best.
Taken in total, the execution of Sheikh Nimr and other political prisoners in mass only further stains the House of Saud’s troubling human rights record. Clearly, there is no evidence to suggest the regime has made any progress in implementing political reforms and safeguarding human rights. Its court system is not fair and the West is wrong to assume their beheading vassal will ever change course. Under the circumstances, the people of Arabia, both Shia and Sunni, can and should press ahead with their peaceful drive to regain their democratic rights and to keep on holding demonstrations to realize their demands.
Sheikh Nimr execution is a catalyst, a tipping point that will certainly fuse together all segments of the population – beyond religious affiliations and political affinities – in one giant revolutionary wave. It will feed the flames of dissent and ultimately bring about the Saudi regime’s undoing. As maintained by Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Sheikh Nimr was innocent and his ISIL-like execution was a “political mistake.” Sooner or later, it will entangle the House of Saud.