Speaking during his advanced jurisprudence class at Qom’s Masjid al-A’dham (Grand Mosque), Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem-Shirazi referred to the death sentence handed down to dissident Shi’ite cleric Ayatollah Nimr Baqir al-Nimr by the government of Saud Arabia and their threats to implement it.
The revered source of emulation said the Saudi Arabian authorities are unaware or do not care about the consequences of their actions. “The Shi’ites of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province are true and strong [in the face of Saudi oppression]. They hold ceremonies and religious programs despite the heavy pressure on them,” he added.
He emphasized that the Shi’ites of Saudi Arabia are only seeking their rights and are peacefully attempting to achieve these rights. He noted that Ayatollah al-Nimr has spoken on human rights and has not committed any crime. “He is a fearless and brave man. Which Islamic criteria allows a man with such attributes to have the death sentence imposed on him?” he asked.
Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi addressed Saudi officials, saying that they must realize that if they carry out this death sentence, there will be adverse effects for them and they will witness greater hostility from all the Shi’ites of the world.
His Eminence said that perhaps the House of Saud thinks that by executing Ayatollah al-Nimr, the Shi’ites and the other oppressed people of their kingdom will fear them, but added that the people are not afraid of these tyrants and if Ayatollah al-Nimr is executed, it will only make the Shi’ites braver than ever.
“At the time of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, whenever a revolutionary was martyred, the people never fled from the revolutionary scene but were more enthusiastic,” he reminded his students.
Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi expressed hope that the House of Saud will come to their senses and not implement this execution. If they do, they will witness the consequences of their actions, and all Shi’ites and even the moderate [Sunni] Muslims of the world will react.
He added that the global organizations have all stated to the Saudi government has no right to execute Ayatollah al-Nimr. “I hope God gives the [House of Saud] reason to realize the benefits and disadvantages of their actions,” he stated.