The Shiites of Saudi Arabia

(Hudson Institute) Joshua Teitelbaum - Saudi Arabia, with its Wahhabi majority, derives its legitimacy from a form of Islam that is, almost by definition, anti-Shiite. Yet the ascendancy of the Shiites in Iraq and Lebanon has given rise to a feeling of empowerment among Saudi Shiites. For many Shiites, their homeland has been occupied since the capture of the al-Hasa region by Ibn Saud in 1913. Saudi Shiites constitute between 10 and 15% of the population, and about 33% of the oil-rich Eastern Province. Deep in Shiite historical memory rests their persecution by the Saudis during the 18th and 19th centuries.

2011-02-25 00:00:00

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