Detroit Free Press—A group of metro Detroiters visiting Saudi Arabia for the annual Muslim pilgrimage said they were attacked and threatened with death last week by a group of Sunni men from Australia because they are Shias, a minority sect within Islam.
One of the members of the group was strangled until his face turned blue and women in the group were threatened with rape, according to people who witnessed the attack last week. They allege that authorities in Saudi Arabia did not take their complaints seriously and deleted a video one of them had made of the incident.
A U.S. State Department official told the Free Press on Monday: “We are concerned by reports that a group of U.S. citizens was attacked ... at a campsite for Hajj pilgrims located outside of Mecca. We take these reports seriously and are committed to the protection of U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad.”
The Embassy of Saudi Arabia did not return a reporter’s calls or an e-mail seeking comment. The State Department official said the hajj and interior ministries in Saudi Arabia “have confirmed that they are investigating” the incident.
The Michigan Shias, led by Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini of Dearborn, the spiritual leader of metro Detroit’s biggest mosque, were in Saudi Arabia on hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage that all observant Muslims are required to take at least once in their life if they’re able to. The group included three women from the Amen family who were featured in the reality TV show “All-American Muslim.”
While Shias from metro Detroit have reported being harassed before on hajj, last week’s incident was much more extreme and frightening, members of the group told the Free Press.
The attack occurred Wednesday evening as some members of the group walked into a tent in Mina, a city in Saudi Arabia where pilgrims are required to spend a night to fulfill the requirements of hajj. The tent was for pilgrims from the U.S., Australia and European countries.
The Shias said they were confronted by a large group of men they later learned were Lebanese-Australians who belong to a Sunni group known as Salafis.
The Salafis asked one of the Shia men if he was Shia, recalled Seyed Mothafar Al-Qazwini, a nephew of Imam Al-Qazwini. “He responded ‘yes.’ He was immediately attacked by three men, one grabbing him in a choke hold, the others punching him in the face.”
Al-Qazwini said the leader of the Salafis then shouted “Kill them all. Kill the Shia.”
Suehaila Amen of Dearborn said the attackers also yelled “Kafir” at the Shias, an insult that means “infidel” or “non-Muslim.”
Some of the Sunnis then ran to the women’s tents, telling them “if they do not leave in 15 minutes, they will rape them all,” Al-Qazwini said. (Continue Reading.)
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Australian Sunnis Threaten to Kill and Rape Dearborn Shias During Hajj
Note that the attackers are not from Afghanistan or Sudan. They were Australian Muslims who were ready to slaughter and rape U.S. Shias during the Hajj. Perhaps President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron can explain "true" Islam to these violent Sunnis.