A 6-year-old boy was beheaded in Saudi Arabia which has triggered a public outrage, after his parent was accused of practicing the wrong form of Islam. The boy was attacked with a piece of broken glass in front of his screaming mum, a campaign group has claimed.
The child and his mum were allegedly approached while visiting a shrine to the Prophet Muhammad in Medina and asked if they were Shia Muslims. The mum reportedly said yes and several minutes later a car pulled up beside them and the child was snatched away from her. The boy was repeatedly stabbed in the neck with a piece of broken glass until he was beheaded, it is claimed.
His helpless mum could only watch and scream as the horror unfolded. Saudi Arabia’s predominant branch of Islam is Sunni, accounting for around three quarters of the population. Shia Rights Watch, a Washington DC-based campaign group, said: “There was no intervention from anyone and no response from authority thus far.
“The Saudi Shia community came together in mourning and to show solidarity with the parents. The community also reported this incident is a result of ongoing violations and lack of protection by the Saudi authority toward its Shia population. Saudi Shia have been under military crackdown by their government and many Shia are in prisons and on death toll.”
Human rights groups say practitioners of other forms of the faith – including Shia – are persecuted.
The split between Sunni and Shia Muslims occurred following the death of the Prophet Muhammad – and who should succeed him.There was a schism very early on and theological differences developed from this, explains expert Dr Carool Kersten.The Sunnis appointed the successor under Arab tribal tradition while the Shias believed Muhammad’s successor should be from his family.
The name Sunni comes from “Ahl-a-Sunnah”, meaning the “people of tradition” while Shia is from “Shiat Ali” meaning “the party of Ali”.Sunni Muslims appoint a caliph as leader, while Shia Muslims appoint an imam.In regard to the schism, Dr Kersten said: “The imams were considered to be infallible, while for the Sunnis the caliph was just a man, there to maintain law and order.”
What do you think about differences in the same religion and how it be united without any form of conflict or killings?