Nothing is more devastating than the unjust murder of an innocent child.
6-year-old Zakaria Al-Jaber was with his mother in Medina visiting a shrine dedicated to the Prophet Muhammad when they were approached and asked if they were Shia Muslims, to which the mother answered yes. A taxi then pulled up next to them and her son was snatched. The little boy was then beheaded using a “piece of glass” for being in the “wrong branch of Islam.”
The mother collapsed at the sight of the brutality her son was subjected to.
Photos of young Zakaria have now surfaced online as many campaigners express their rage over the news. The hashtag #JusticeforZakaria is also trending on social media and users also took to Twitter to express their grief. One wrote, “Smallest coffins are the heaviest,” while another called the action “barbaric.”
A source further stated that the taxi driver apparently broke a glass bottle to obtain the shard of glass which he used to cut the child’s throat, before proceeding to stab him.
A Washington DC-based campaign group called Shia Rights Watch has also released a statement regarding the incident, saying, “There was no intervention from anyone and there has been no response from authorities thus far.” They have also stated that the Saudi Shia community has come together to mourn and “show solidarity with the parents.”
The Shia community has reported the incident as a “result of ongoing violations and lack of protection by the Saudi authority toward its Shia population.”
The Shia community in Saudi has been under the government’s military crackdown and many of the community members are “in prisons and on death row.”
Sunni is Saudi Arabia’s predominant branch of Islam and makes up three quarters of the population.
According to human rights groups, practitioners of other forms of faith, Shia being one of them, are being persecuted.