OPINION: Who kidnapped Shiite judge Al-Jirani?

This is not the first time Jirani has been threatened by armed supporters of Khomeini, writes Mshari al-Thaydi

Mashari Althaydi
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In a rare incident, a terrorist gang kidnapped Sheikh Mohammad al-Jirani, a Shiite Saudi judge of a court in Qatif in easten Saudi Arabia. He was kidnapped from in front of his house in the Tarout Island.

This was confirmed by justice ministry spokesperson Sheikh Mansour al-Ghefary who expressed Saudi Justice Minister Waleed bin Mohammad al-Samaani’s concern over the kidnapping. Ghefary also voiced Samaani’s concern over Jirani’s safety. Samaani is also the chief of the Supreme Judicial Council.


Jirani’s wife informed the police of her husband’s abduction and they immediately launched an investigation. Jirani is a patriotic Shiite sheikh who opposes Iranian terror groups in Saudi Arabia.

This is not the first time Jirani has been threatened by armed supporters of Khomeini. Tarout’s mayor said that Jirani had been attacked on his property in the past and that unknown perpetrators had even attempted to set his house on fire.

Jirani was targeted by supporters of Khomeini terror groups in Saudi Arabia as they attempted to distort his reputation and accused him of treason via social networking platforms and speeches delivered in Shiite congregations.

Opposition to IRG

Jirani has been targeted because he openly opposed the networks affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. He did so regardless of the slogans they raise. He was decisive in his patriotism. He has been very brave and some “symbols” of the Saudi Shiite society held this frankness against him.

It has also turned out that what Sheikh Jirani warned of is indeed true. What he labelled these criminal groups was not an exaggeration as Qassem Soleimani’s agents and supporters of the Revolutionary Guards are present on the ground. They are as evil and demonic as ISIS murderers who target holy places and innocent people in Ahsa, Qatif and Dammam.

These criminal groups have launched intimidating and terrorizing campaigns within the Saudi Shiite society. They are capable of insulting and eliminating anyone who opposes them from clerics to judges, businessmen, journalists and authors.

Socially besieged

The independent Shiite Saudi citizen find themselves in great distress and realize they are being socially besieged by few criminals. I say few as some people choose to refrain from frankly and fearlessly confronting them. They adopt an equivocating rhetoric under the excuse of not further provoking the youths so they don’t become more extremist.

This attitude of “not provoking” them is the same used by some apologists of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia and other countries. This dilutes criticism and the will to confront them.

However, recent events have taught us that frankness and courage are a must for a society if it is serious about tackling the enemy it faces. This is what Sheikh Mohammad al-Jirani did and why criminals abducted him.

Jirani was frank and brave and he chose to remain so because the threat is the same whether it comes from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi or Soleimani.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on December 14, 2016.
Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi 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. Al Thaydi 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.

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