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Bahrain, MENA & Arab Spring
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UN condemns Indonesia's increasing violence against Shiites

UN condemns Indonesia's increasing violence against Shiites | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

JAKARTA — The UN human rights chief condemned Tuesday violence and discrimination against Christians and Muslim minorities like Shiites in Indonesia, the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said she had met with leaders of Christian communities, as well as Islamic minority Shiite and Ahmadiyah sects, all of which have been targeted by hardliners in recent years.
"I was distressed to hear accounts of violent attacks, forced displacement, denial of identification cards and other forms of discrimination and harassment against them," she told reporters in the capital Jakarta.
She warned Indonesia risked losing its culture of diversity and tolerance "if firm action is not taken to address increasing levels of violence and hatred towards minorities and narrow and extremist interpretations of Islam".....

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Ashura across the Muslim world

Ashura across the Muslim world | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
The festival of Ashura commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala, Iraq, in the year A.D. 680.
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Pakistan: Five Bomb Explosions Rock Three Cities In A Day

Pakistan: Five Bomb Explosions Rock Three Cities In A Day | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 was a horrendous day when a series of suicide bombings were targeted at Imambargahs (Muharram mourning processions) and law enforcement agencies in Karachi, Rawalpindi, and Quetta.

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'“Why are 6000 Shia children killed in Pakistan less worthy than a few dozen Palestinians?”

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#Pakistan | Rawalpindi: Blast reported.... several martyred – Shia Killing | English #Shia

#Pakistan | Rawalpindi: Blast reported.... several martyred – Shia Killing | English #Shia | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

According to the initial reports, a religious procession taking place near Imambargah Qasr-e-Shabbir, Rawalpindi was hit with a bomb blast which resulted in a total number of 10 Shias embracing martyrdom.

According to media sources, a Majlis was taking place in Imambargah Qasr-e-Shabbir and at the same time, a procession was on it’s way outside the Imambargah, where a person blew himself up in the middle of a maatmi group. Electricity was shut dead after the bomb blast.

The bomb resulted in dozens of Shias getting severely wounded and yet, 10 Shias embracing martyrdom. The victims are being transferred to the local hospital where as the participants of the procession and the mourning ceremony are seen in great anger and depression.

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Bahrain seeks charges for protests calls during Shiite religious ceremonies - Ashura

Bahrain seeks charges for protests calls during Shiite religious ceremonies - Ashura | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

MANAMA, Bahrain — Bahrain says it has taken legal action against some Shiite worshippers accused of mixing anti-government protests with annual religious ceremonies. The crackdowns during the Shiite commemorations building toward Ashura — marking a seventh century battle in Islam’s early decades — could cause further tensions between Shiite religious leaders and the Gulf nation’s Sunni monarchy.

 

Opposition groups and others, including the U.S. State Department, have strongly denounced a government order last month to outlaw protest gatherings. The move seeks to quell a 21-month uprising by Bahrain’s majority Shiites seeking a greater political voice.

A government statement Sunday says “a number” of Shiite religious figures have been referred to the public prosecutor for delivering political sermons or leading anti-government chants.

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Citizenship as a Bahraini Government Tool | Stratfor

Citizenship as a Bahraini Government Tool | Stratfor | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The Bahraini Royal Charity Organization and the Jordanian Hashemite Charity Organization signed an agreement Sept. 10 to build four schools for children at a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. The agreement highlights Bahrain's increasing involvement with Jordan's Syrian refugees. More important, Bahrain -- with the support of Saudi Arabia -- has begun a process to naturalize Sunni Syrian refugees in an effort to augment the minority Sunni population amid rising Shiite dissent.

These efforts are only one way in which Persian Gulf countries are trying to capitalize on the crisis in Syria. However, this initiative is unlikely to make a significant impact on Bahrain's Sunni population for several years. In the meantime, it could upset the country's delicate security situation.

Analysis
Shia make up a majority of Bahrain's population of more than 1 million, but the government is primarily Sunni. However, the government is unwilling to acknowledge Shia as the dominant sect, so specific numbers of Sunnis and Shia are unknown. Shiite opposition groups have challenged the Sunni al-Khalifa government several times throughout the kingdom's history. The current challenge is one of the longest and has lasted 19 months so far.

Bahrain's naturalization law, which was enacted in 1963, has been a point of contention in the latest incarnation of government opposition. The law stipulates that a naturalized citizen must own real estate and must have lived in Bahrain for 25 years, or 15 years if the individual is Arab. The law does allow the royal family to make any Arab a citizen if he has rendered Bahrain "great services" -- a stipulation that leaves room for wide interpretation. For more than a decade some Shia have accused the royal family of strictly enforcing every condition of this law when it pertains to Shiite citizenship while expediting the citizenship process for Sunni Arabs, including Sunni foreign nationals. While the exact number of naturalized citizens is unknown, the U.S. State Department estimated in January 2011 that Bahrain has naturalized roughly 40,000 individuals in the past 50 years.

The conflict in Syria has afforded Bahrain -- and Saudi Arabia, by extension -- a unique opportunity to try to address its demographic dilemma. A Stratfor source indicated that the Bahraini government is working to naturalize more than 5,000 Sunni Syrian refugees living in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. The source added that the government has even established a cultural center at the camp to acquaint the refugees with Bahraini culture. Saudi Arabia has directed Bahrain to naturalize Sunni refugee families with children in order to increase Sunni representation without adding to the work force, since the country is already facing a jobs shortage. Bahraini involvement with Syrian refugees in Jordan corresponds with financial investments Bahrain made Sept. 10 when the country agreed to help fund four schools for 4,000 children at Zaatari.

As is the case with many of the Bahraini government's decisions, Saudi Arabia has had input in this initiative and has chosen to back it in an effort to reduce sectarian tensions in Bahrain. Saudi Arabia has also attempted to influence the Syrian revolution since it began, by rhetorically and financially supporting Syrian opposition elements. Saudi Arabia views supporting the Syrian opposition as a means to bring down the Iranian-backed Syrian regime and thus weaken Iran's arc of influence in the region. However, recently Riyadh seems to have tempered its support for the Syrian opposition due to fears that it might lead to an uncontrollable jihadist resurgence in the region. Although Saudi Arabia has subdued its role in influencing the situation inside Syria, Riyadh's backing of Bahrain's naturalization initiative indicates that the Saudis are still trying to create opportunities to capitalize on the Syrian revolution.

Risks and Implications of the Initiative

Naturalizing 5,000 Sunnis could help bolster the minority Sunni population in Bahrain in the long term, as the naturalized Sunnis expand their families. However, the initiative also presents several domestic security threats and drawbacks in the short term. First, bringing thousands of refugees into Bahrain will be a financial burden. As refugees, the Syrians likely do not have much money, yet they will require transportation from Jordan to Bahrain, as well as homes and jobs once they arrive in the country. However, since Saudi Arabia supports this initiative, Riyadh will likely aid in the financing.

More important than the financial burden is the security risk associated with naturalizing 5,000 Sunni Syrian refugees. From a domestic security standpoint, Shiite-led protests in Bahrain are still happening, and many Shia continue to demand greater rights for their sect and continue to blame the regime for shifting the sectarian balance through the subjective naturalization laws. Since late 2011 the protests have grown increasingly violent and have featured violence against South Asian expatriate workers in particular and to a lesser extent against expatriates in general. Some Shia claim these expatriates are taking jobs from Shiite workers and that the regime only granted them citizenship to bolster the support for the government. Although the Bahraini government intends to keep this initiative quiet, the arrival of Syrian refugees could incite radical anti-government Shia to target them with violent attacks. But it will even more likely lead to a resurgence of large Shiite-led protests of the perceived biased naturalization by the government.

On a regional level, it is possible that some of these Syrian refugees have ties to Syrian rebel fighters or Islamist or Salafist jihadists -- some may even subscribe to such ideologies themselves. Although it can be expected that these refugees will be screened and evaluated, it is very difficult to ensure that none of the adult refugees are predisposed or connected to such individuals and ideologies. Any such individual poses a threat, not only to Bahrain, whose government still faces threats from radical Shiite elements, but also to the broader Gulf region. As new Bahraini citizens, the erstwhile refugees will be able to travel, live and work in any of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries using only an identity card. The last thing Saudi Arabia needs is an influx of people who have subscribed to or are sympathetic to the jihadist ideology. Jihadist sympathies can be exploited easily -- especially in the Gulf countries, where extremists are not difficult to find.

In several years, it is possible that having made these Syrian refugees Bahraini citizens will have helped grow the domestic Sunni population and will have limited opposition to the government; but there are serious risks involved with such efforts. Not only is such an initiative expensive, but it could further threaten the stability of Bahrain and the surrounding region -- a risk that Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have shown they are willing to take. At the very least, it can be expected that once the Shiite opposition realizes this initiative exists, protests will increase and intensify, threatening the al-Khalifa government and Bahrain's security apparatus.

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Terrorists in Syria Hang Shiite Child after Killing Family Members

Terrorists in Syria Hang Shiite Child after Killing Family Members | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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The footages and pictures of the rebels' brutality which surfaced online in the last few days are revealing the terrorist nature and the war crimes of the opposition fighters in Syria.

The massacre is said to have badly damaged the western-backed rebels and opposition forces' ability to claim the moral high ground in their fight against Damascus and showed their accusations that Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces are conducting war crimes are nothing but lies.

Meantime, Saudi Wahhabi cleric Mohammad al-Arifi has called on Syrian armed groups to prevent leakage of the pictures and footages of their attacks against Syrian army and civilians.

In his Tweeter page, Arifi asked rebel groups to continue their attacks and intimidation against Syrian people but do not allow a release of the pictures and footages of their operations.

In a similar crime last week, terrorists in Syria brutally executed 15 civilians in the Northwestern city of Aleppo on charges of supporting the Bashar al-Assad government.

The terrorist members of the so-called Free Syrian Army on Tuesday attacked Al Berri family in Bab al-Neirab neighborhood in Aleppo who are famous for their pro-government stances, and kidnapped 15 family members and executed them in front of a local school. ....

 

['Moral High Ground'  and 'Civil War'  or oxymorons.....each totally antithetical to the nature of the other..... ]

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Fars News Agency :: Bahraini, Saudi People to Stage Concurrent Rallies on Sunday

Fars News Agency :: Bahraini, Saudi People to Stage Concurrent Rallies on Sunday | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The Sunday protests are due to be held under the title of "The Nation Will never Compromise" in the Saudi Qatif region and 50 regions across Bahrain.

The organizers of the rallies have announced that the main goal behind the demonstrations is supporting and announcing solidarity with the Bahraini and Saudi dissident leaders who are experiencing harsh pressures and tortures in prison.

Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty's over-40-year rule.

Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar - were dispatched to the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom on March 13, 2011, to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.

So far, more than 69 people have been killed, hundreds have gone missing and thousands of others have been injured.

Also, since February 2011, Saudi protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Eastern Provinces, mainly in the Qatif region and the town of Awamiyah, calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination.

However, the demonstrations have turned into protests against the Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others.

The Saudi interior ministry issued a statement on March 5, 2011, prohibiting "all forms of demonstrations, marches or protests, and calls for them, because that contradicts the principles of the Islamic Sharia, the values and traditions of Saudi society, and results in disturbing public order and harming public and private interests."

In June, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ordered the country's security forces to go on a state of high alert due to what he called a "turbulent situation" in the region.

According to Human Rights Watch, the Saudi regime "routinely represses expression critical of the government".

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Shooting the sheikhs: Saudi regime ignorance!

Shooting the sheikhs:  Saudi regime ignorance! | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

ANGER is rising in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province after security forces arrested and wounded one of the government’s harshest critics, a Shia cleric called Nimr al-Nimr (pictured). Two young men were shot dead in the protests that followed. This takes the total number of Saudis killed since the start of the Arab spring a year and a half ago to ten, all from the Shia minority that makes up about a tenth of the country’s 27m-odd people. ....

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Shias in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Shooting the sheikhs - Bahrain Freedom Movement

Shias in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Shooting the sheikhs - Bahrain Freedom Movement | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

ANGER is rising in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province after security forces arrested and wounded one of the government’s harshest critics, a Shia cleric called Nimr al-Nimr (pictured).
Two young men were shot dead in the protests that followed. This takes the total number of Saudis killed since the start of the Arab spring a year and a half ago to ten, all from the Shia minority that makes up about a tenth of the country’s 27m-odd people.

Sheikh Nimr has long been a thorn in the side of the ruling family. A warrant for his arrest was first issued in 2009 after he said that if Saudi Shias were not allowed to “live with dignity”, the eastern provinces should secede from the kingdom. Such talk is particularly inflammatory, since most of Saudi Arabia’s oilfields are in the east. ...

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Shiites should embrace Arab Spring, not fear it: Lebanese cleric

Shiites should embrace Arab Spring, not fear it: Lebanese cleric | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Shiites should regard the Arab Spring as a continuity of their own revolution in asking for freedom and dignity, a member of the Supreme Shiite Islamic Council in Lebanon said.

Sheikh Sayyed Hani Fahs was commenting on the recent political victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab world after popular uprisings shook the region in the past couple of years.

“Our Sunni brothers should not get overexcited about their victory, because a majority does not need to fight for its share, but for its role,” he said in an interview with Al Arabiya, aired on Thursday.

“The majority in our region [Sunnis] has the task of protecting the diversities, and not only between religions, but also within the sects,” he added.

“I like to call it the diversity within the unity and the unity between diversities.”

Sheikh Fahs urged people from all beliefs to embrace the Arab Spring.

“Some of us say we learned about freedom from the Christians in our region, and now, we see some Christians siding with the dictator under the excuse of being scared from Islamists. This is illogical.”

The Sheikh believes the building of civil democratic states, devoid of political Islam, is the best political solution for Arab nations.

“When Turkey was building a secular state, while embracing modern Islam, we were looking at it as a role model,” he said.

“This model should have been implemented as a result of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.”

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Bahrain targets Shia religious sites

Bahrain targets Shia religious sites | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Al Jazeera reveals how the government destroyed Shia mosques and religious institutions.
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Shia Genocide update: 5 Shias killed in Quetta on 3 June 2012 

Shia Genocide update: 5 Shias killed in Quetta on 3 June 2012  | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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According to informed sources, Pakistan army and its sub-organizations, Frontier Constabulary (FC) and ISI in particular, are involved in massacre of Shias Muslims because of their lenient attitude towards Deobandi Jihadi-sectarian militants (ASWJ-Taliban).

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Shia Muslims killed today were non-Hazaras. This confirms our stance that Shia genocide in Quetta (as well as in other parts of Pakistan) is not ethnicity specific. Will supporters of ISI, Jinnah Institute and Hamid Mir please note?

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Millions throng Karbala at climax of Ashura

Millions throng Karbala at climax of Ashura | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

..."We were able to destroy 14 terrorist cells and arrest 73 people, including 37 wanted persons," Karbala provincial council chief Mohammed Al-Mussawi told AFP. "We seized lots of weapons, IEDs (improvised explosive devices), explosives belts and equipment.

"If they had been able to mount their attacks during the pilgrimage, it would have created chaos. Karbala is the main target for terrorists during Ashura." ....

 

[Tragic that the Shia, like Imam Hussein, are still persecuted to death today!  Interesting that the Yazids are no longer the persecutors.  Now, AlQaeda acts with Salafist and Wahabbist zeal...Equally tragic as this is a complete violation of the Quran and the Prophet's teachings of Muslim helping and supporting fellow Muslims!     Mourn NOT for Imam Hussein, but for the tragic status of SOME lost in confusion in Islamic misconceptions...]

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Men arrested after mosque 'threat' - Australia

Men arrested after mosque 'threat' - Australia | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Police say they have arrested two men after a threat was allegedly made against worshippers at a mosque in Arncliffe, in Sydney's south. ....

Jamal Daoud of the Social Justice Network said he was contacted by a member of the Muslim community who said two Wahabi extremists had threatened Shia Muslims gathered to observe the day of Ashura at the Masjid Fatima Al Zahrah mosque.

"We have information that two men were arrested when they attempted attacking masses of Shia Muslims remembering the Ashura in Arncliffe," Mr Daoud said.

He said the action came after calls for violence against Shia were made on Facebook on Saturday.

Mr Daoud said worshippers at the mosque called police when they became suspicious of attempts by the two men to use their mobile phones.

Police said both arrested men had been taken to St George Police Station where they were assisting with inquiries.

They said the men were not aligned with any particular religious group and may have mental health issues.

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#Bahrain: Targeting Freedom of Belief in Order to Create a Sectarian Conflict to Control Public Protests - #Ashura

#Bahrain: Targeting Freedom of Belief in Order to Create a Sectarian Conflict to Control Public Protests  - #Ashura | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) express their grave concern for the measures taken by the Bahraini Ministry of Interior against a group of Shiia clerics and a group of those responsible for Shiia religious places, after summoning and threatening them.

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The Security Forces removed, burned and destroyed religious signs and banners belonging to the Shiia sect from roads and buildings (especially religious places). The banners contained statements and quotes that are linked to the battle of Karbala. One of the removed banners quotes “The peoples of the nation began to raise their voices with the same call of Imam Hussein: We will never be humiliated" and another quotes “No homage for Yazeed, drunker, killer of the respected soul”. The Security Forces also warned people not to re-install these signs and banners in more than 8 villages. In Aali alone, 15 men were arrested on 18 Nov 2012 while they were hanging the black flags symbolizing the mourning. When a family member asked about their crime she was told by a police officer: “I will charge them with something that keeps them in prison for a year.”...

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#Bahrain | Al-Burbegi Mosque to be rebuilt !

#Bahrain |  Al-Burbegi Mosque to be rebuilt ! | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Gov't WILL rebuild Al-Burbegi Shia mosque(1549), but in a different location after demolishing it in March 2012.  It is a  way to hide Shia history & change it's demography.  Shiites wrote letters to UNESCO to save the historic Mosque specially this one built upon the  Al-Burbegi grave. AlKhalifas  want to remove it because it was built 170 years before the Khalifas  came to Bahrain! They want to remove all history related to the Shia.....

 

[Once Bahrain has purged itself of the AlKhalifa menace, there will be a public social repression of the abhorrent memory of these trolls....]

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Clashes near Bahrain Shia mosque

Clashes near Bahrain Shia mosque | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Police disrupt efforts by opposition supporters to attend Friday prayers at the mosque of the most senior Shia cleric in Bahrain, Sheikh Isa Qassem.
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Two killed as Saudi security forces try to arrest Shi'ite man

Two killed as Saudi security forces try to arrest Shi'ite man | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

RIYADH (Reuters) - Two men were shot dead and two others wounded on Wednesday when Saudi security forces stormed a house to arrest a wanted man in Awamiya village in the troubled Qatif area, ....

Activists say some of those killed were shot during peaceful protests. ...

 

Saudi Shi'ites complain members of their community are not appointed to local positions of importance, that their places of worship are sometimes torn down, and that their young people struggle to get government jobs.

They also say the government should stop state-employed Sunni clerics from deriding them in public as heretics.

The authorities have repeatedly denied accusations of discrimination and point to King Abdullah's move to include Shi'ites in a "national dialogue" he started in 2005, and to appoint three of them to the Shura Council, which advises the government on policy.

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Terrorists in Syria hang Shiite child after killing family members : The Shia Post

Terrorists in Syria hang Shiite child after killing family members : The Shia Post | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Terrorists in Syria hanged a small Shiite child after killing all his family members in Damascus, human rights activists in Iraq unveiled on Monday.

According to a report by Iraq’s Qanon news website, Iraqi human rights activists said that armed rebel groups attacked the house of a Shiite Iraqi family in the Seyede Zainab neighborhood in the capital city of Damascus, killed all members of the family and hanged the last one, a little child.

The footages and pictures of the rebels’ brutality which surfaced online in the last few days are revealing the terrorist nature and the war crimes of the opposition fighters in Syria.

The massacre is said to have badly damaged the western-backed rebels and opposition forces’ ability to claim the moral high ground in their fight against Damascus and showed their accusations that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces are conducting war crimes are nothing but lies. ...

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Syrian Forces Push for Control of Damascus, Aleppo

Syrian Forces Push for Control of Damascus, Aleppo | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

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In another development, Iranian state media reports say 48 Iranian nationals who were aboard a bus in Damascus have been kidnapped. Iran says efforts are under way to free the nationals, described as religious pilgrims.

In recent years, hundreds of thousands of Iranians have traveled to Syria to visit the Sayeda Zeinab mosque, a holy Shi'ite shrine in Damascus. Iranians have been targets for kidnap gangs several times since Syrian rebel groups began their mass uprising against President Bashar al-Assad more than 17 months ago.

Syrian rebels come mainly from the country's Sunni Muslim majority, while most Iranians practice Shi'ite Islam.

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الشيخ عمران حسين : الربيع البحرينى و دور آل سعود | Arab Spring in Bahrain and the role of Al-Saud

Bahrain: Not  a sectarian conflict....not Sunni, not Shiite.......An Al-Khalifa lust for power and  an Al-Saud insecurity......

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Shia cleric arrested in Saudi after shootout

Shia cleric arrested in Saudi after shootout | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it
Protests erupt in Qatif after government critic Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was wounded by police during gunfight and car chase.
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Gedrosia's Weblog

Gedrosia's Weblog | Human Rights and the Will to be free | Scoop.it

Great Blog:  good personal viewpoint on the reality on the ground in Pakistan for the Baloch and Shia!

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Bahrain conflict: Not sectarian, Not Sunni, and Not Shia.......Just about freedom and Rights!

The regime and its loyalists try to foster sectarian animosity in order to divide Bahrainis and conquer them......thus maintaining their positions of oppulence.   Shame on the Al-Khalifas, this isn't a Shia or Sunni issue, it is a Human Rights issue.  The opposition represents all who are 'Human' and advocates for their rights.  To foster enmity of Muslims against fellow Muslims is not in keeping with the teachings of the Prophet!

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