JEDDAH: Houthi and ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s militias have so far destroyed over 750 mosques in Yemen.
Damage include total destruction, heavy bomb-shelling theft of furniture and belongings, use of mosques for qat chewing sessions or as military barracks by these militias.
A report by a Yemeni group monitored the violations from 2013 to 2016.
The two-part study states that the Houthi’s bombing of mosques exposed the ideological, cultural and intellectual dimension of their war and pointed out that the mosques in the province of Saada and the capital Sanaa witnessed the largest cases of Houthi violations: 282 mosques in the capital and 115 in Saada.
The report said that Houthis, after years of studying in Iranian Qum, started their aggression on Yemeni tribes, in January 2013; ever since, they have been mobilizing and got in possession explosives that they used to target the largest mosques as soon as they occupy a village.
They also targeted Qur’an and Hadith teaching places in an attempt to delete the good teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah and impose imported Iranian Khomeinist thought, with its symbols and slogans.
The report said that 14 schools teaching the Qur’an have been bombed and vandalized.
The report also said that Houthis bombed 80 mosques while they shelled 41 mosques, raided 117 mosques and turned 157 mosques into military bases where they have smoke shisha, qat and shama.
The report stated that Houthis kidnapped and tortured 150 imams, 69 of whom in the capital Sanaa, 29 in Hudaida and 25 in Ibb, elaborating that Houthis resort to terrorizing people with excessive use of power, torture and violence in order for the population to surrender fast.
The report also saids that Houthis target scholars’ houses and those of opponents to scare others and ensure they do not oppose or disagree with them.