Nigeria Crackdown: Smell of Wahhabism
Shia Muslims in Nigeria said the government's bloody crackdown on the religious minority is influenced by Wahhabism, a radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia.
Abdul Giwa, a spokesman for the Islamic Movement of Nigeria [IMN], said he believed the Abuja authorities are launching a campaign of blood and destruction against Nigerian Shia under the influence of the extremist Wahhabi ideology, Reuters reported on Friday.
"We feel repressed," said the IMN spokesman. "We have the freedom of religion. What the government should do is tolerate and understand us."
The IMN stands accused of holding "unlawful processions" and "obstruction of public highways" since last December when the army forces launched a crackdown against the group.
On December 12, 2015, Nigerian forces attacked Shia Muslims during a ceremony at a religious center in the northern city of Zaria. The forces claim the Shias in the ceremony had blocked an army convoy passing through, attempting to assassinate the army chief of staff who was in the convoy.
One day after the incident, Nigerian forces attacked the home of Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky, arresting the prominent cleric and IMN leader after killing his supporters. A judiciary investigation into the incidents concluded that army forces had martyred 348 members of the religious community in the two-day attacks.
In this regard, the London-based rights group Amnesty International published a report in April on the raids, documenting evidence showing Nigerian military forces' burning people alive, razing buildings and secretly dumping victims' bodies in mass graves.
Since then, tensions have been running high between the regime and Nigeria's Shia Muslims who demand the release of Sheikh Zakzaky.
Last month, at least 11 people were killed and several others injured when Nigerian forces opened fire at Shia mourners commemorating Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein [AS], the third Shia Imam.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team