Nimr’s execution sparks angry reactions among Shia, Sunni senior clerics

Tehran, January 2, The Iran Project – The execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a leading Shia cleric and a prominent critic of the Riyadh regime, along with 46 others by the Saudi Arabia government on Saturday morning, sparked angry reactions from Iran’s high rankings clerics who expressed condemnations in strongest possible terms.

Releasing a statement on Saturday, Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirzai denounced the criminal measure, warning that Saudi Arabia should expect serious revenge.

“The horrific news of Shaikh Nimr’s execution and another 46 people has deeply shocked the Muslim world,” part of the statement reads, highlighting the incident leaves no doubt that Saudi Arabia is the center for spreading sedition and Takfiri ideology.

Referring to the baseless charge under which the Shia cleric and others have been put to death, he stated that the executions are aimed to take revenge due to the failures in Iraq, Syria and Yemen battlegrounds.

Grand Ayatollah Noori Hamedani also urged all Shia and Sunni Muslims to react against the incident as it is an insult to all Muslims. Referring to the former frequent requests by Muslim clerics to stop this inhuman sentence, he reiterated that Saudi regime is feeding ISIS and Boko Haram, defaming Islam in the eyes of others.

Ahmad Khatami, member of the Assembly of Expert and Friday prayer Imam reacted to the death of Sheik Nimr, saying that the martyr’s blood will wipe the Saudi family from the page of history.

In separate reactions, Ayatollah Abbas Kaabi, Seyed Mohammad Vaez Mousavi and Ayatollah Hassan Mamdouhi also slammed the Saturday’s executions, underlining that “Saudis has dug its own grave”. They further demanded all Shia Muslims to resist against the cruelty which will undoubtedly endanger the Saudi regime’s survival at the end.

Along with the Shia top clerics, Sunni prominent clerics expressed condemnation and sadness over the latest brutal act by the Saudi regime.

Molavi Ahmad Parsa, the Sunni Friday prayers leader in the city of Sarakhs, said that hanging of Sheikh Nimr signals the lack of free speech and the freedom of belief in Saudi Arabia. He pointed out that Muslims ‘enemies’ seek division between Sunni and Shia Muslims, adding that such measures are aimed to ensure the Israeli regime security.

Meanwhile, Ayatollah Hosseini Bushehri the head of Qom Seminary Schools announced that large number of clerics and seminary school students of Qom will close their teachings sessions on Sunday. Speaking to a reporter, he condemned this measure, saying that the students will convene in the Aazam Mosque in Qom to show their protest over the Saudi regime’s crime.

Unlike the international calls, Saudi Arabia executed Sheikh Nimr along with 46 others on Saturday morning.

A report by Amnesty International showed Saudi Arabia had carried out 157 executions in 2015, most of which were beheading by sword. This is a record of the most capital punishments conducted in a single year since 1995