Target: King Salman bin Abdulaziz of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Goal: Put an end to religious persecution of Shiite Muslims and non-Muslims in Saudi Arabia.
Non-Muslim groups in Saudi Arabia face vicious persecution, and the Saudi government is responsible for countless violations against religious freedom. According to a 2010 report issued by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, “the Saudi government persists in banning all forms of public religious expression other than that of the government’s own interpretation of one school of Sunni Islam and also interferes with private religious practice.”
Members of any religious group other than Sunni Islam are subject to severe penalties. The United States Commission of International Religious Freedom reports that non-Muslims can be subject to “torture and cruel and degrading treatment or punishment imposed by judicial, security, and administrative authorities; prolonged detention without charges and often incommunicado; and blatant denials of the right to liberty and security of the person…” As a case in point, a man named Raif Badawi was recently imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for “insulting Islam.” According to Reuters, his punishment includes 1,000 lashes, ten years in prison, and hefty fines.
Not only are these crimes abhorrent human rights violations, but they also create an ideal environment for extremist views to flourish. The Saudi government purports to be against militant groups such as ISIS, but how can they, in good conscience, condemn the brutality of ISIS when they themselves have little respect for human rights? We need to demand that the Saudi government make immediate changes to ensure religious freedom for all citizens within Saudi Arabia.
Please sign this petition to ask King Salman bin Abdulaziz of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to grant freedom to members of all religious communities.
Dear King Salman,
I would like to see freedom of religious expression within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Many non-Muslim groups within Saudi Arabia face vicious persecution. There is no good reason why people who disagree with the government should be beaten, jailed, or put to death. I’m sure you are aware of the recent case of Raif Badawi, who was imprisoned and sentenced to 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam. This is just one example of the brutality that people in your country face every single day.
People of all religious identities should be treated with equal respect, whether they be Sunni or Shi’a Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, nonbelievers, or members of any other religious minority. I ask that you please put an end to this brutality.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wajahat Mahmood via Flickr