Saudi-Arabiens Schiiten stehen auf

BEIRUT: Am 24. Februar kam es am Eingang der Prophetenmoschee in Medina zu gewalttätigen Auseinandersetzungen zwischen schiitischen Pilgern und saudischen Religionspolizisten und Sicherheitskräften. Zeitpunkt und Ort der Zusammenstöße könnten ernsthafte Auswirkungen auf die Sicherheit innerhalb des Landes haben, wenn nicht gar für das Regime selbst.

Etwa 2000 schiitische Pilger hatten sich in der Nähe der Moschee, die das Grabmal des Propheten beherbergt, versammelt, um Mohammeds Tod zu gedenken – eine Geste der Verehrung, die von der herrschenden saudischen Wahhabitensekte als ketzerisch und götzendienerisch betrachtet wird. Daher versuchte die Mutawa’ah – die Religionspolizei des Ausschusses für die Verbreitung von Tugendhaftigkeit und die Verhinderung von Lastern – mit Stöcken bewaffnet und von in die Luft feuernden Polizisten unterstützt, die Pilger auseinander zu treiben. Diese widersetzten sich. Bei der resultierenden Panik wurden drei Pilger getötet und hunderte verletzt. Eine große Anzahl von Pilgern ist nach wie vor inhaftiert, darunter 15 Jugendliche.

Vertreter der schiitischen Gemeinschaft Saudi-Arabiens bemühten sich kurze Zeit später um ein Treffen mit König Abdullah, um die Inhaftierten frei zu bekommen. Dialog erschien als aussichtsreiche Strategie: Nur zehn Tage zuvor hatte Abdullah eine viel versprechende Reformagenda für das Land angekündigt. Doch der König weigerte sich, die schiitische Delegation zu empfangen.

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