British Shia Muslims Beaten in Holy Makkah
A group of Shia Muslims who traveled from Britain to carryout a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia were beaten at the Great Mosque in Makkah and detained only to be released a day later.
Seven Britons and one American were detained from a larger group that was beaten with batons and sticks inflicting serious injuries resulting in some being taken to hospital to receive treatment.
Sources indicate that these incidents took place after the group became caught up in a debate over a religious practice which later escalated to the Saudi religious police resorting to violence.
Saudi Arabia which adheres to an extremist interpretation of Islamic teachings known as Wahhabism accuses Shia Muslims as being infidels and as such treats them with aggression and hostility.
There have been many previous cases of similar behaviour from Saudi authorities who for many years have oppressed their own Saudi citizens who follow the Shia school and who constitute more than 20% of the population.
Over the last 4 years, many terrorists following the Wahhabi school from Saudi Arabia have carried out attacks against Shia Muslims in neighbouring Iraq. Many analysts associate this with a general policy from the Saudi Kingdom in sponsoring terrorism against Shia Muslims and cite the Saudi prince Bander Bin Sultan as a key donor.