MIDDLE EAST

Balanced words and a clear vision

I recently read a useful and rather unique article by Saudi writer and researcher Kamel al-Khati, the son of one of the most famous traditional Shiite clerics in eastern Saudi Arabia, the late Sheikh Abdul Hamid al-Khati.

In his article, Kamel – a man I know to be wise – describes and analyzes a secular scientific trend. As far as I know, this man has never experienced an Islamicized Shiite faction of any sort. Published in Saudi newspaper Okaz, Kamel’s article was titled “Hezbollah and Arab Shiites in Gulf states.”

A part of the article said: “I recall an incident I witnessed myself in late 1979. In that year, one of the al-Husseini rostrum khatibs [people who deliver a religious sermon] in Qatif warned his listeners not to respond to Khomeini's call for exporting his Islamic revolution. The khatib warned his listeners that Khomeini and his colleagues were leading a state with interests that may clash with interests of those of countries that Shiite Arabs hold an identity to.”

Also read: Was it the Kurds who brought foreigners to Iraq?

Speaking on the Khatib’s struggle Kamel wrote: “This khatib referred to here, was one of the dignitaries of his city. He was characterized with chivalry and a sense of honor. This khatib was subjected to social ostracism after saying his opinion on Khomeiniism … a rumor spread about him regarding a story about Khomeini and Ben-Gurion.”

The point of saying all of this is to demand more of the new and beneficial for a clearer vision and a more rational mind

Mashari Althaydi

The writer focuses on the Imam’s Line movement or the movement of those who follow the Imam’s approach. This movement is closely linked to the Khomeini center in Iran. The most trained and organized factions operate under Hezbollah’s name in places such as Hezbollah al-Hejaz, Kuwait Hezbollah and Iraq Hezbollah.

Kamel gives interesting details with a refined analytical spirit. He concludes with the following: “I claim that if you study the distribution of political loyalties in Shiite communities in Gulf states accurately, the statistical result will not be in Iran’s favor.”

Social belonging

This is one of the rare articles that bring out an individual with a deep social belonging to the Saudi Shiite component with such independence, transparency and depth.

At the intellectual Shiite Khaliji level, such independent scientific approaches are rare. Perhaps Kuwaiti Khalil Ali Haidar was among the rare. A topic which requires further studies and research, for scientific and ethical purposes, is to identify the land we stand on, without getting involved in sectarian debates.

In Kuwait, there is a useful study, which assumes a journalistic approach written by researcher Falah al-Mdaires on Kuwait’s Shiites. In Saudi Arabia, a book by two Saudi Shiites, Mohammed al-Sadiq and Badr al-Ibrahim, called “Al Hirak Al Sheii” [meaning The Shiite Movement] was issued during the Arab Spring. Despite its political nature, its a worthy read.

The point of saying all of this, after commending Kamel’s article, is to demand more of the new and beneficial for a clearer vision and a more rational mind.

This article is also available in Arabic.

_____________________________
Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 18 October 2017 KSA 14:29 - GMT 11:29
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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