Translation by Iran Press Watch
March 26, 2018
Dangerous Development Signaling a Sectarian Disaster
The Yemeni community has been shocked over the past two days by a fierce media campaign launched by the Ansarullah group (Houthis). The campaign incites for hatred and sectarian hostility, opposes freedom of thought, and calls for acts of violence and murder against members of the Baha’i Faith, as well as other against peaceful religious minorities.
“This is a devilish religion and we will exterminate every Baha’i,” proclaimed Houthi activist Ahmad Ayed Ahmed in a public Tweet. This tweet was circulated by supporters of Ansarullah. Similar provocative Tweets by other activists and leaders have also been circulating.
لو كنت مسيحيا أو يهوديا أو بوذيا أو هندوسيا أو ملحد منذ نشأتك..الخ هذا شأنك.لا إكراه في الدين.وديننا الحنيف لايقبل معتنقه بالإكراه لكن تدعو لدين يجمع الهندوسي والبوذي والمسيحي واليهودي والمسلم بدين طبخه النوري ليقدمه كدين إنساني في اليمن. هذا دين شيطاني وسنسلخ كل بهائي@ayolofi
— احمد عايض احمد Y E (@ahmedayed2000) March 24, 2018
The campaign coincided with the threats made by the leader of Ansaruallah, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, against the Baha’is, Ahmadis, Christians and a number of Islamic sects during his Friday speech on the occasion of Rajab Friday. Al-Houthi used an explicit sectarian hostile language against several religions, sects, and ideologies in Yemen and intensively against the Bahá’ís. He appealed to his followers, especially intellectuals, people in media, clergy and activists to launch a cultural, social, and intellectual war against these minorities.
This marks a clear call for a sectarian war against minorities and specifically Bahai’s, and parallels the already ongoing systematic attack against Baha’is including arbitrary arrests, persecution, and torture.
Although the persecution of the Baha’is is not new, Houthis had until now exercised a degree of “political dissimulation” to conceal their direct involvement. However, since al-Houthi’s public speech, Houthis are now openly spearheading as well as escalating the systematic persecution of Baha’is.
A number of human rights organizations have expressed concern about this situation, it being a clear and disturbing indication of a transition to a more aggressive stage of persecution, targeting pluralism and freedoms, as well as the very foundation of coexistence in Yemen.
The Yemeni initiative expresses its deep concern over this dangerous escalation and warns against the consequences of inciting public opinion against minorities through lies and propaganda, which will certainly lead to tragic consequences. We also call on the wise to intervene immediately to prevent any action that threatens and possibly annihilates minorities in Yemen. The initiative will issue a statement on these grave developments.