Qatif unrest and what lies ahead
Qatif unrest and what lies aheadArrest of cleric sparks renewed protest in Shia community.
For decades Saudi Arabia's minority Shia population of nearly two million has struggled against what it views as discrimination by the Sunni monarchy. The recent arrest of a prominent Shia cleric and the deaths of those protesting his detainment have highlighted tensions in the Eastern Province, home to a sizeable Shia community.
Since the Arab Spring, protests in the city of Qatif have occurred regularly, with Shias continuing to demand an end to sectarian discrimination in employment, political representation, and economic development opportunities. They are also calling for the release of all political prisoners and an end to arbitrary arrests on religious or political grounds.
In this episode of The Stream, we talk to journalist and blogger Ebtihal Mubarak (@ebtihalmubarak), Saudi columnist Abdullah Alami (@AbdullaAlami) and Qatif activist “Syed Mohammed” (name has been changed).
What do you think? As protests escalate in Qatif, what lies ahead for the kingdom and its Shia community? Send us your thoughts and comments on Facebook or Twitter using #AJStream.