There will be a reckoning

Bikram Vohra

Published — Monday 25 May 2015

Last update 24 May 2015 11:37 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

What is about places of worship that they make such chosen spots for heinous acts of violence? Not that there is any ideal place for killing but to target those engaged in worship seems to be selected largely because of its extra shock value. What happened in a Qatif mosque in Saudi Arabia on Friday is truly reprehensible and although the self-ascribed Islamic State (IS) has promptly taken “credit” for the 21 deaths and scores of wounded, this act by a suicide bomber has created another troubling dimension at a time when the Yemen conflict stays unresolved.
The Shiite population in Saudi Arabia has always been protected. In fact, acts of terrorism against any community have always been roundly condemned by the majority of nation and the response from the authorities is one of uncompromised reassurance that the minorities will be kept safe.
The cruel fact is that since fail-safe security is almost impossible such an attack on a holy day during prayers can only mean that the IS terrorist organization has upped the ante and has no scruples about marking unarmed civilians in their attacks. Their reported remarks that the minorities will face dark days ahead is dire and will call for some tangible response. These are tough days and Saudi Arabia would not be wrong in lifting the brake on its Yemen operation to end it faster and concentrate on security at home. These are trying times and we should take comfort in the words of Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, the highest-ranking Sunni cleric, who squarely denounced the attack.
“It is a criminal act aimed at dividing the sons of the nation ... and at sowing trouble in our country,” he said, echoing the feelings paramount in the nation.
These victims were not involved in any war. They had come to pray. The wars in Syria and Iraq, the strife in Yemen, the problems in Libya, were neither of their making nor were they involved in them.
When such acts occur they give fodder to those who spread anti-Islam propaganda. They actually play into their hands.
Even as innocent blood is shed there is that uneasy concern that generating instability at all costs seems to be the singular aim of those who mastermind such atrocities. If they feel that the country will surrender its beliefs and give an inch under pressure they are so wrong. Saudi Arabia has seen much worse times and endured. It has crushed terror before and will crush it again. And this stance cannot and will not change.

Stay Connected