Hayhat mina zilla! Sheikh Nimr’s only crime is his call for liberty and equality

By Ali Abbas Taj

Much has been said about the oppression of the inhumane Saudi regime. In this post we examine what the Saudi dissident and human rights activist Sheikh Nimr is saying to the Saudis and the world community. Perhaps the best way to describe what Sheikh Nimr is saying is the Arabic expression “Hayhat Mina Zilla” or you cannot humiliate us. You can oppress us, you can take away our freedoms, torture and kill us but you cannot take away our dignity or humiliate us.

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was shot and arrested in the Salafi-Wahhabi-ruled kingdom’s eastern province on July 8th 2012.

Sheikh Nimr Ambushed shot and arrested by despotic Saudi regime
Sheikh Nimr Ambushed shot and arrested by despotic Saudi regime

Nimr’s arrest was announced by his brother and other news outlets: “The police carried out an ambush in Al-Awamiya, intercepting my brother’s car and arresting him,” Mohammed Nimr said. “On learning the news, I went to the place and found the empty car,” he added.

Why is this man arrested tortured for over 800 days and finally condemned to death by the Kangaroo court of an oppressive Saudi ruler? Why not ask the daughter of the ruler:

“We learn determination from Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr, the Sheikh of free men,” Princess Sahar bin Usurper Abdullah said referring to Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Here are some excerpts from the powerful human rights speech of Sheikh Nimr that continue to enlighten those even within the house of Saud.

For the past hundred years, we have been subjected to oppression, injustice, fear and intimidation. From the moment you are born you are surrounded by fear, intimidation, persecution and abuse. We are born into an atmosphere of intimidation. We feared even the walls. Who among us is not familiar with the intimidation and injustice to which we have been subjected in this country?

I am 55 years , more than half a century. From the day I was born to this day, I have never felt safe or secure in this country. You are always being accused of something. You are always under threat. The head of state security service admitted this to me in person. He said to me when I was arrested ” All of you Shiites must be killed.” That is their logic.

They are still planning to carry out a massacre. They are more than welcome, we are here. Our blood is a small price to pay for our values. We do not fear death we long for martyrdom. A few months ago the flame of honor was sparked in the spirits of the youth. The torch of freedom was lit. The people took to the streets,demanding reform, honor and freedom. There are people who have been held in prisons unjustly for more than sixteen years. In addition the peninsula shield force and the Saudi army invaded Bahrain. Then there were more and more arrests. So who was it, who instigated the unrest?

The strife and unrest in Awwamyia was instigated by the regime, not the people. We will continue to defend both the veteran and the new prisoners. We will stand by them. We don’t mind being arrested for them. We don’t even mind shedding our blood for their sake. We will continue to express even stronger solidarity with Bahrain. It is our kin in Bahrain. Even if the Saudi Army and and the Peninsula Shield force had not intervened, it would still have been our duty to stand by the people of Bahrain, our kin, let alone when the Saudi Army takes part in the oppression, the killing, the violation of women’s honor and the plundering of money.

(The Saudi regime) says we are “acting at the behest of a foreign country.” They use false pretext. By foreign country they mean, Iran of course. You can’t tell if it is Iran, Turkey, a European country, or the US, but they usually mean Iran. In December 1978 there was an intefada to defend the honor of Awwamiya, when the riot police attacked the town. This was December 10 1978 (Aashura Moharrum), before the Shah was deposed, before the Islamic Republic of Iran was even established. It was 1978 for months before the fall of the Shah. A group of people convened to perform the religious rite of Tazyeh of Imam Hussain a.s. It had nothing to do with political or security matters, but security forces arrived and attacked them, and a confrontation ensued. People were defending themselves, as well as their faith and their honor. That night they arrested a hundred people. This was December 10th 1978, prior to the fall of Iranian shah. So how can they talk of foreign interference.

We have no ties with Iran or any other country. We are connected to our values and we will defend them, even if your media continues with its distortions. Not by violence but by our determination, by our belief and our steadfastness, shall your power be defeated. We have the determination to resist your injustice and we will not surrender. The most you can do is to kill us, and we welcome martyrdom for the sake of Allah. Life does not end when one dies. Real life begins when one dies. Either we live on this land as free men or we die and be buried in it as pious men.

The last part of the speech is very much liked Patrick Henry GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH. All Shaikh Nimr is asking the Saudi regime is a fundamental right as per the United Nations universal declaration of human rights . All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.  Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.  Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

The Saudi regime is determined to subjugate and oppress the Shia of Eastern Province and Bahrain. World community should condemn this brutality and call upon the United Nations and the civilized nations of the world to bring pressure on Saudi regime and free the people of the Eastern province and Bahrain.


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