Yemeni Minister of Endowments to Asharq Al-Awsat: Houthis Tarnished Zaidi Doctrine

Yemeni Minister of Endowments to Asharq Al-Awsat: Houthis Tarnished Zaidi Doctrine

Wednesday, 28 February, 2018 - 06:45
Muslim pilgrims pray around the holy Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. (Reuters)
Jeddah - Saeed al-Abyadh
Yemeni Minister of Endowments and Guidance Dr. Ahmad Attiyah accused on Tuesday Houthis of transforming the Zaidi school into one adopting religious doctrines followed in Iran.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat, Attiyah that Yemenis coexisted by following both the Zaidi and Shafi’i schools for more than a thousand years without witnessing any social divisions, but that changed with the Houthis.

The minister accused them of giving the Zaidi sect Iranian traits and of insulting and abusing Yemeni scholars.

“Houthi militias have imprisoned 150 clerics for opposing their beliefs, which are very different from the Yemeni ones, which are known for their tolerance,” the Yemeni minister said.

In Houthi-controlled areas, Attiyah said that those militias have damaged 750 mosques by transforming them into military warehouses and weapons caches.

He also stressed the efforts exerted by Saudi Arabia to serve pilgrims coming from several parts of the world, including those from countries that are in political conflict with the Kingdom, such as Iran, Qatar and Yemen.

“According to the ministry figures, around 24,000 Yemeni pilgrims will perform the Hajj rituals during the upcoming season,” he revealed.

“This should silence all those claiming that Saudi Arabia is politicizing the Hajj, especially since some of those countries, such as Iran, send more than 80,000 pilgrims to the Kingdom,” he said.

The minister said that Qatar’s accusation that Riyadh was politicizing the Hajj demonstrated that it was running out of options with which to challenge the Kingdom.

He added that it was unfortunate to see Doha walking in Iran’s footsteps.

The Saudi government, led by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and the concerned ministries already offered all their assistance to remove any obstacle preventing the travel of pilgrims from any Yemeni area, he said.

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