Zakariya Al-Jaber: The 6-year-old martyr of Medina

Managing Editor | Zahra

In early February, Zakariya Al-Jaber was ravenously beheaded in front of his mother. Zakariya was killed near a coffee shop by a taxi driver with a piece of broken glass, despite the intervention of an officer. The mother was said to have collapsed due to the trauma. Zakariya and his mother were supposed to be visiting the shrine of Prophet Mohammad in Medina. The sectarian crime enveloped when the taxi driver learnt that they were Shia (a Muslim minority). Shias in Saudi Arabia account for approximately a quarter of the population and have been targeted by the government. Many Saudi Shias are in prisons or on the death toll.

The Saudi Shia community were outraged by yet another targetted hate crime. The community attended the mourning cermony to send their condolences to Al-Jaber’s family. There has yet to be a formal investigation into the matter; however, Saudi sources proclaim the taxi driver had psychological problems. While the family awaits justice, the London community organised a vigil in memory of Zakariya on 16 February.  Many attended, and the event was broadcasted by various TV channels including Al-Safeer TV and Imam Hussein TV.

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