|Sheikh Usama Al Attar|
October 30 2011
Canadian-Iraqi scholar, Sheikh Usama Al Attar was detained in Medina, Saudi Arabia yesterday. Sheikh Usama Al Attar is the resident Alim of the Islamic Shia Ithna Asheri Association of Edmonton, member organization of NASIMCO and was on the annual pilgrimage, Hajj to Saudi Arabia.
The Canadian Broadcast Corporation reported the following:
"The attack took place at a cemetery in Medina early Sunday morning and was reportedly sparked when religious police approached an international group of pilgrims that included the imam, Usama Al-Atar of Edmonton. Witnesses said angry words were spoken, then things calmed down. That's when a single member of the religious police approached Al-Atar, offered to shake his hand and then called out to a group of men at a taxi stand. They rushed in and began beating Al-Atar, kicking him and attempting to throttle him, the witnesses said. Medina central police arrived, escorted the Canadian to a car and drove away, according to the witnesses. Several witnesses said the attack was unprovoked, CBC journalist Muhammad Lila wrote on his Twitter page."
NASIMCO is actively working with local and federal government officials towards the immediate release of Sheikh Usama Al Attar. Relevant leaders of our communities in Canada, Council of European Jamaats, Africa Federation and The World Federation officials are working in conjunction with NASIMCO to strengthen our efforts. Contact with the Canadian Ministry of Foreign affairs, local members of Parliament and media outlets are being established. Updates on the situation will be released as they become available.
(Please send protest emails to Saudi embassies and consulates in your country and show solidarity).