In Dhamar, 120 km south of Sana’aOne killed, 2 injured in mosque dispute [Archives:2003/681/Front Page]

October 30 2003

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
One person was killed and two others were seriously injured Monday evening in a confrontation between two religious sects over controlling a mosque in the governorate of Dhamar, 120 km south of Sana’a.
A local source has told the Yemen Times that there was a disagreement between the Shiite and Salafia groups over controlling al-Saeed mosque, a new mosque in Dhamar.
Some people from the Salafia group went recently to practice al-Taraweeh prayers but were denied. When they went again on Monday, a confrontation erupted.
Some eyewitnesses say that the governor’s guards fired at the people.
Dead is Dr. Sultan Sary, 32.
Two others are injured.
However, government officials deny any possible doctrinal disagreement as the reason behind the accident.
One official pointed out that the clash took place between the people responsible for the mosque and some people who wanted to use amplifiers by force, which the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Guidance has prohibited, except for during prayers practice.
Authorities in Dhamar arrested some of the people believed to have started the dispute, and they are now under interrogation and investigation.
On its part, Islah party denounced the clash and demanded the authorities to carry out a comprehensive investigation into it, presenting its perpetrators to justice.
The government has been trying its best to control mosques, and to stop preachers from inciting fanatic and extremist sentiments.
It has even contracted about 36 moderate preachers from Arab mosques in an attempt to stop the use of mosques for preaching extremism and terrorism. Islah feels it is the target of this campaign as most of those preachers are members of the Islah party.