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WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2015 — ISIS, arguably the most violent terror group in the world, has again released video of brutal killings of Shia Muslims. In the five-minute video released on Sunday, four Shia Muslims are interviewed one by one. They are told to introduce themselves, state the Iraqi tribe they belong to, and declare that they are members of a militia that defends Iraq from ISIS. ISIS accused the men of spying and of disloyalty to the so-called Islamic state. The video is not the first of its kind, nor will it be the last. Social media and independent news agencies have released videos of men, women and children of different faiths and backgrounds being held in cages and executed in brutal ways by ISIS.

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2015 — Over the last 10 days, Saudi Arabia has experienced terrorist attacks on Shia mosques, with attackers killing men, women and children as they pray for peace. On May 22, 2015, a suicide bomber entered Imam Ali mosque in Al-Qudaih, Qatif, Saudi Arabia, killing more than 20 people and leaving more than 130 wounded. Ambulances and medical staff did not respond to the scene of the explosion – a Shia mosque – leaving neighbors to move the bodies to the hospital in their own cars. A second explosion took place on My 29, 2015. A car bomb in front of Imam Hussein mosque in the Dammam left four dead. While ISIS detonated the bombs, the House of Saud laid the groundwork for the anti-Shia attacks.  

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WASHINGTON,  May 2, 2015 – “Are you Shia?” This is the questions Muslims are forced to answer as they apply for Hajj pilgrimage. Every year, around three million pilgrims visit the city of Mecca. The process of getting a visa is either via  a travel agency or via applications directly from other countries. Due to limited space and lack of Saudi service during that time, Saudi officials have arranged for different countries to limit the number of people they can send to the Hajj pilgrimage. Some countries have created a ministry of Hajj to deal with limitations or discrimination against Shia who are attempting to participate in Hajj.  

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WASHINGTON, January 12, 2015 — The United States has worked to defend people around the world and grant them freedom from discrimination. America’s fight in the Middle East and north Africa was based on the fact that the U.S. does not tolerate dictatorships, and that no one is above repercussions if they target innocent people. The atrocities perpetrated by ISIS have brought many countries such as Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar together to prevent this group from moving to another country and continuing their activities.

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WASHINGTON, November 21, 2014 — “There’s two kinds of people in this world,” says Will Smith in the movie trailer for Focus. “There’s hammers and nails. You decide which one you want to be.” That is an interesting way to categorize humanity, but we could add another kind of person to the list: people who watch the “hammer and nails”. Hammers are those who oppress others to gain and stay in control; nails are the people who are victimized by them, people who often wish only for equality and freedom. Hammers — terrorist groups like ISIS and governments that of Bahrain — pound on on the innocent inhabitants of their states as though they are nails in a workshop.  

Oil Dependency

WASHINGTON, October 17, 2014 — In the aftermath of Western exuberance over the Arab Spring, the United States has shown that the thirst for oil dominates is policy agenda. Washington’s need for petroleum from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar is blinding policy makers to human rights and democratic concerns across the Middle East. American dream of freedom and democracy has motivated and attracted millions of immigrants to our country. Our policy toward democracy is bright and clear. As a result of the forefather’s enlightened thinking, we now enjoy the freedoms granted by the first amendment. As history witnesses so many people dedicated their lives, in order to spread the concept of democracy.

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2014 — According to CNN, on Wednesday September 10th, 2014, United States president Barak Obama asked Congress “to authorize to arm and train moderate Syrian opposition forces to fight ISIS.” This is a critical decision for the United States and Congress, as there is little guarantee these weapons will successfully reach “moderate” members of the Syrian opposition or that they will remain out of the hands of terrorist groups. There are multiple unclear points that need to be discussed when talking about aiding Syrian opposition groups.

January 1st 2014 Broken Promises The situation in Bahrain is a clear example of how human’s blood is viewed less important than oil, power, and political interest. For the last three years, the government of Bahrain has carried out systematic persecution of the Shia community in this country, yet the media outlets and governments are silent. The government views the Shia majority as a threat to the continued power and control held by the Al-Khalifa family.

WASHINGTON, September 15, 2014 — For activists and others who are in prison due to their desire for freedom, September 15 is International Democracy day. In the year 2007, the United Nations General Assembly resolved to observe this particular day as the International Day of Democracy. The purpose of promoting such a subject was to introduce the principle of democracy to the world, inviting nations to contribute to this concept by bringing democracy to their country.