DUBAI (Reuters) - Executed cleric Nimr al-Nimr was the most vocal critic of Saudi Arabia’s ruling Al Saud family in the kingdom’s Shi’ite Muslim minority, but he also poured scorn on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and distanced himself from Shi’ite power Iran.
Here are excerpts from video and audio recordings of his speeches and sermons published online.
“We have no ties with Iran or any other country. We are connected to our values, and we will defend them.”
A YouTube video uploaded in Oct., 2011
“(Bahrain’s ruling family) Al Khalifa are oppressors, and the Sunnis are innocent of them. They’re not Sunnis, they’re tyrants. The Assads in Syria are oppressors ... We do not defend oppressors and those oppressed shouldn’t defend the oppressor.”
YouTube video uploaded in July, 2012
In one version of a sermon posted on July 9, 2012 he spoke about the death that year of Saudi Crown Prince Nayef, a former interior minister who was widely seen as the stern face of the kingdom’s conservative establishment. Last year, Nayef’s son Mohammed became Saudi Arabia’s new crown prince and interior minister.
“Where are Nayef’s soldiers now? Will they stop him from death? Where are his intelligence (agencies)? Where are his officers? Can they stop the Angel of Death from reaching him? Let the worms eat him and (let him suffer) the torments of hell in his grave.”
“Why doesn’t he retire? Does the angel of Death have to take his soul? Nayef doesn’t retire, the Angel of Death has to take his soul to rid us of him.”
“Why shouldn’t we be happy? The one who killed our children, we shouldn’t be happy in his death? The one who imprisoned our children, we shouldn’t be happy in his death? The one who makes us live in terror and fear, we shouldn’t be happy.
“Thanks be to God and may he take their lives, one after the other.”
“The Al Saud who have killed our children ... (it) is a shame that cannot be purified.”
A video uploaded in Feb. 2012
“Our strength is not with weapons, our strength is with the spirit of martyrdom.”
Undated video - in which he says that using weapons in demonstrations is not permitted
“From the day I was born and to this day, I’ve never felt safe or secure in this country.... We are not loyal to other countries or authorities, nor are we loyal to this country. What is this country? The regime that oppresses me? The regime that steals my money, sheds my blood, and violates my honour?”
Speech posted on Internet in Oct 2011, transcript published by Middle East Research Institute website
“A century of oppression ... enough, we will not be silent and we will not fear. We will call for separation even from this country and let be what will be. Our dignity is dearer than the unity of this land.”
Undated audio recording on YouTube
“Our loyalty is for God only ... it’s not to Al Saud... it’s not to any other country.”
Undated audio recording, YouTube
Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by William Maclean and Peter Graff