El alzamiento chiíta de Arabia Saudita

BEIRUT – El 24 de febrero, se produjeron enfrentamientos violentos entre peregrinos chiítas y las fuerzas policiales y de seguridad religiosas sauditas a la entrada de la Mezquita del Profeta Mahoma en Medina. El momento y el lugar de los enfrentamientos pueden tener serias repercusiones para la seguridad interna, si no para el propio régimen.

Unos 2.000 peregrinos chiítas se reunieron en las cercanías de la mezquita que alberga la tumba del Profeta para la conmemoración de la muerte de Mahoma, un acto de oración que la gobernante secta saudita wahabí considera hereje e idolátrico. Así, la Mutawa'ah, la policía religiosa del Comité para la Preservación de la Virtud y la Prohibición del Vicio, armada con palos y secundada por disparos policiales al aire, intentó dispersar a los peregrinos. Los peregrinos se resistieron. Tres peregrinos murieron y cientos resultaron heridos en la estampida posterior. Una gran cantidad de peregrinos permanecieron detenidos, entre ellos 15 jóvenes adolescentes.

Poco después, representantes de la comunidad chiíta de Arabia Saudita solicitaron una reunión con el rey Abdullah en un esfuerzo por liberar a los detenidos. El diálogo parecía una estrategia alentadora: apenas diez días antes, Abdullah había anunciado una agenda de reforma prometedora para el país. Pero el rey se negó a reunirse con la delegación chiíta.

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