On Madinah

I did not want to write about the tension in Madinah over the past few days and the reason is simply because there was no reliable, trusted news sources that I can use to draw any conclusions or make an informed opinion. Mainstream media were sticking to the official story which, as usual, played dumb and pretended that it was no big deal. Websites on both sides, Shia and Sunni, were extremely biased and that was expected considering the sectarian nature of the incidents.

So what is the truth about the tension in Madinah? I’m not sure if anybody knows.

But here is what I know: what happened is serious and unacceptable under any circumstances. All parties involved were supposed to respect where they are and exercise some form of self-restraint. The Prophet’s Mosque is Islam’s second most holy site, and the least they could do is to emulate the prophet manners and ideals. Sadly, they all failed to show any respect to this great religion that they claim to represent.

Now I could delve into some of the disturbing details, or cast blame on either party, or analyse the long lasting effects of these sorry incidents. But I don’t want to do that because it will not make any difference.

Let me just finish by saying this: I’m truly and deeply ashamed to see what happened in Madinah. It should not have happened, and we must make sure it will not happen again.

P.S. I’m turning off comments because I will be traveling with my family for a couple of days. I will turn them on after I come back. Comments are back. Please be rational and respectful. Offensive comments will not be tolerated.

19 thoughts on “On Madinah

  1. I don’t know what happened and I never been more careless, one thing i know on the other hand which is every man represents himself aka stands for himself, random nincompoops’ actions don’t resemble my religion.

    c u soon <3

  2. I’ve been informed about this incidents through a group on facebook on human rights in KSA.
    I wish I could say something without seeming biased, but I can’t. like you, I don’t know if the source I’m reading from is reliable or not. I’ve seen a vid where a guy is holding his cell phone camera from the roof, and people objecting to being videoed, but he could be any guy.
    I have a small fact to state: minority is always the one to suffer.

  3. Dear Ahmad,
    Thanks always for your enjoyable blogs
    I understand your position toward (not) writing on this.
    Some points I think worth mentioning.
    1-There were literally thousands of people witnessing the happenings on both sides, so there (are) many ways to verify the truth.
    2- The event contained very basic aspects of human rights, freedom of practicing your believe, the freedom to expres your opinion, to defend your rights by peacful means, and the right to have an equal standing infront of the law, and infront of the law enforcing bodies (including police).Its very easy to pick any of these, and talk about them without involving the suni-shiaa part of the problem.
    3-Not all mainstreem media have kept them selves away from the event, They were only the local ones. A lot of press agencies and newspapers around the world have covered the event, and I think, at least, some of them have applied the balancing rules.
    4-Not all what you wrote about, in the past, were black and white issues, Many of them were in that area where we don’t know all sides’ evidences.
    5-I share your concerns that we need to be balanced in looking at this ultra sensitive issue, and I wish we don’t see any more of this in our loved country.

  4. Being neutral does not necessitate opposing both sides, i understand your intent not to be biased but speaking the truth is not as same as taking sides, anyway, as my brother alqudaihi mentioned, there are thousands who went to Madinah for,Ziarah, and I am sure you know some of them, this 7-days vacation coincided with the prophet Mohammed (PBU) death, so, eyewitnesses could be considered reliable source, in addition to many news agencies,except the local ones, wrote about the events, and I’m sure they have nothing to do with any party and youtube videos could give some clues about what happened as well…

    I think the religious police is the main obstacle in the reform process in Saudi Arabia, despite the replacement of Almaglooth, the head of Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice , Madina events made it clear this is not enough. by looking at the clips, I felt the holy war has been declared against Shiite, not because I’m Shiite, but because the massive hatred against anything considered Shiite, i think the riot police chose the wrong side to support, i saw many Shiite been hit and beaten by police,including poor innocent woman was walking , instead of containment of the situation and arresting the Wahhabis extremists.

    I’m shocked the local press didn’t cover the events the way they are supposed to, and some blamed the Shiite who have been stabbed and hit!!!.

    The religious police cant force anybody to adapt their believes, Wahhabism itself is a minority in Islamic world. All Saudis have the right of religious freedom, this is not about Shiite but about accepting the other.

    I read many topics arguing the loyalty of Shiite, i think this is a crime, i still cant figure out why following any tiny little event, Shiite loyalty must be verified? we discuss critical issues but some can’t think of anything else but Iran.we are here centuries before the the Islamic revolution in Iran, some keep saying that Shiite are troublemakers but i think this flattening of the problem.

    I think without real legislation states the religious freedom is granted, these event would break and consequences are dangerous to everybody. this is not something can be done overnight, those who spread hatred against other sects in Saudi Arabia must be questioned as a matter of urgency. We need to feel safe and secure in our country.

  5. I don’t think its a big problem that can’t be solved. The idea is to have set rules that should be followed during the special events of the shia. The shia are big on special occasions and the sunni/salafi are diametrically opposed to recognizing special occasions. The rules should be that no behaviour of the shia during the special occasions should be offensive in terms of words or exaggerated visual actions.

    The committee for virtue and vice need to hire a few shia members to directly deal with any offending parties. Also their should be a point man chaperoning the mourners among the shia who should liason with the committee and/or police. God knows best.

  6. مع اتفاقي ومضمون واستنتاج مقالك النهائي، إلا أنني لا أتوقع أنه من الإنصاف أن نحكم على ردة الفعل بنفس ما نحكم به على الفعل الأول المسبب، ومهما كانت ردة الفعل خاطئة_ولا أرى فيما رأيت من أدلة مصورة وشهود عيان أي شيء خطأ_ أقول مهما كانت ردة الفعل خاطئة، فهذا ليس مبرر إطلاقاً للحكم عليها ومساواتها بالمسببات.أنا لا أتكلم هنا عن معتقدات الطائفتين، فهي ليست قاعدة صحيحة للحكم على الأحداث، لا يعنيني أن تكون شعائر الشيعة غير مقبولة لدى السنة، ما يهمني أنه من غير الحضاري التعامل مع الاختلاف أو حتى التجاوز بمثل هذه الوحشية والقسوة، متى كان الإسلام والرسول صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يتعامل مع المخالف بالضرب والطعن والسب والشتم، هذا مع المخالف من الرجال، فما بالك بالنساء.
    أنا لا أريد من السنة أن يقتنعوا بالضرورة بمذهبي، ما أريده هو الاحترام والتناقش بالمعروف.
    أرجو منك أخي الكريم مراجعة هذه النقطة، وإعطائها حقها، من منطلق احترام الحريات والتعامل الإنساني في مواضع الإختلاف على أقل تقدير.
    من المؤسف ما جرى، بالطبع، ولا نرجو أن يتكرر، بالتأكيد، ولكن هذا لا يعني أن نتخوّف من انصاف المظلوم، ولو بالقول. الهيئة ورجال الأمن كانوا مخطئين في طريقة تعاملهم.

  7. انا احد ابناء المدينة وعايشت معظم الاحداث التي حصلت
    ماحصل ياسادة ان البداية كانت من داخل البقيع حيث دخل الآف الزوار الشيعة الى المقبرة في وقت الزيارة وقامت مجموعة منهم بالوصول الى قبر سيدتنا فاطمة رضي الله عنها وقاموا بشكل فوضوي بألمشي والوقوف على القبر لهدف اخذ تربة ولو تركوا لنبش القبر وهو مادفع حراس المقبرة الى طردهم واقفال المقبرة ثم بعدها قام الزوار خارج المقبرة في ساحة الحرب النبوي بالتجمع والاحتجاج ورفع الصوت وقام احد الاشخاص بتصوير التجمعات لغرض التوثيق والتتصوير كان للتجمعات الرجالية والنسائية وغضب جزء من المتجمهرين وقاموا بحصار مركز هيئة البقيع ورفعوا اصواتهم واطلقوا شعارات شيعية مثل هيهات منا الذلة وياحسين وملعون من شب الحطب على باب بنت النبي (معروف من يقصدون) بعدها تدخلت قوات الامن وفضت التجمعات. وبعدها اخذ الزوار الشيعة يتجمعون يومياً في ساحات الحرم بجانب البقيع ويطلقون الهتافات الشيعية وحدثت اشتباكات بين زوار شيعة وزوار سنة وتدخلت قوات الامن وقوات الطاريء ومكافحة الشعب، وقام مجهولين بطعن احد رجال الدين الشيعة وحصلت اشتباكات جديدة وتدخلت قوات مكافحة الشغب التي كانت مهمتها انهاء الفوضى بالطيب او بالعنف وساندها بعض شباب المدينة الذين رأوا في تصرفات المتظاهرين الشيعة خطر على قبور الصحابة من النبش لغرض البرك
    هذا ما حصل وللأحداث بقية بالتأكيد
    ارجو النشر

  8. اعتقد ان رواية الاخ محمد من المدينة المنورة شملت بعض المغالطات وبعض القصور
    الاول هو ان الشيعة لا يعتقدون بوجود قبر معروف لفاطمة الزهراء فهي اوصت باخفاء قبرها لاسباب مذكوره في كتب التاريخ
    الثاني ان اخانا محمد لم يذكر السباب والشتائم التي تعرض لها الشيعة ونساء الشيعة على يد بعض المتعصبين هناك والتي شملت شتائم لا ارغب في ذكرها ولكن يمكن الاطلاع عليها في مواقع كثيرة على الانترنت
    ان من الغريب ان يشير صاحبنا محمد الى تدخل شباب المدينة لمساعدة قوات الشغب وكانها امر قانوني
    هل نحن في غابة لياتي اي شخص من الشارع ويحاول لعب دور رجل الشرطة او رجل الامن
    بل ان احدهم اطلق رصاصة واصابت صدر احد الشباب الشيعة وهذا الشخص الذي اطلق الرصاص كان رهن التوقيف حسب الاخبار فاين العدل في ذلك
    اخيرا انا ضد سب اي صحابي او شخصية دينية يرى الطرف الاخر عدم الحق في سبها
    فالسلم الاجتماعي اهم واغلى واتمنى ان نتعلم من الحادثة هذه ان فرض وجهة النظر الدينية على الاخرين لا ينبغى ان تستمر فهي لم تنفع من قبل ولن تنفع في المستقبل

  9. الاخ محمد من القطيف
    القبر ليس لسيدتنا فاطمة الزهراء بل لسيدتنا فاطمة الكلابية – ام البنين
    انا نقلت احداث من خلال معايشة بعضها او الاحتكاك ببعض من عايشها وعندما قلت ان بعض الشباب ساندوا قوات الامن لست اقول ان هذا العمل صحيح او انني اساندهم وقد ذكرت تبريرهم هم لمشاركة قوات الامن
    وبخصوص الشتائم فهي من كل الاطراف وانا اؤكد لك انني استمعت لشتائم طائفية كثيرة من كل الاطراف وبعضها جديد علي :)
    وفي النهاية كلنا نتمنى عدم تكرار مثل هذه الاحداث

  10. I am in awe of google translater… Sorry for that comment but OMG what joy!!!

    I have this is image of these tiny green martians popping out of the ground trying to throw stones at the invaders. I wish people had better things to do than cast religious stones at others over issues well that really don’t make a rat of an asses difference to my life or anyone else’s for that matter. Come on now people?

  11. “use to draw any conclusions or make an informed opinion”

    As Crispal said, the bare facts would be fine. I’ve seen a video that is noise without much real action. You don’t have to draw conclusions but given that you are writing a blog in English, you will get foreigners like myself. The fact the some kind of violence happens on a religions pilgrimage, is itself a sign of something terribly amiss.

  12. Jerry M I like your avatar. It is full of harmony and grace!

    I give props to google translator…why in the world have I only discovered it today?

  13. But here is what I know: what happened is serious and unacceptable under any circumstances. All parties involved were supposed to respect where they are and exercise some form of self-restraint. The Prophet’s Mosque is Islam’s second most holy site, and the least they could do is to emulate the prophet manners and ideals. Sadly, they all failed to show any respect to this great religion that they claim to represent.

    What were the prophet manner and ideals?

    From the Quran:
    009.029 : Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

    009.039 : If you do not go forth, He will chastise you with a painful chastisement and bring in your place a people other than you, and you will do Him no harm; and Allah has power over all

    9:111 GOD has bought from the believers their lives and their money in exchange for Paradise. Thus, they fight in the cause of GOD, willing to kill and get killed. Such is His truthful pledge in the Torah, the Gospel, and the Quran – and who fulfills His pledge better than GOD? You shall rejoice in making such an exchange. This is the greatest triumph.

    002.216 : Fighting is enjoined on you, and it is an object of dislike to you; and it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you, and Allah knows, while you do not know.

    8:67 It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. Ye desire the lure of this world and Allah desireth (for you) the Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise.

    Muslims, the real deal, that know their religion well and really believe it, are bent to use violence to further their religion. It is their duty under their religion. The others are to be considered simply hypocrites, that talk but don’t act and don’t really believe in Islam.

    So, it is not strange that Muslims attack Muslims with different believes than theirs. Islam ask its followers to use violence against people different from them, let them use it, reward and absolve them for using it.

    The history of Islam, from Mohammad to this day, is full of episodes where Muslim used violence against other Muslims and Kafirs even when it was needed. Like the Turks building a tower of skulls with the severed heads of their prisoners or decapitation 800 men in Otranto, because they refused to convert to Islam.

    Why the wahabi must recognize the shia (or other muslims) as Muslims, if they believe they add and subtract from the words of Allah? So, Why they must threat them well?

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