OP-ED

Al-Houthi Shrine Raises Controversy Among Yemenis

National Yemen

Al-Houthi Shrine Raises Controversy Among Yemenis

Asma al-Mohattwari

In 2013, Ansar Allah announced the 9-year anniversary of the death of their movement founder Hussein Bader Aldine Al-Houthi. Today, they are building him a large shrine and delegations of people have started to visit him. The shrine of Al-Houthi is causing a schism among the Yemeni people, where some are against and others defend it.

It is well known that the supporters of Al-Houthi defend all their activities while those who are against them attack and criticize them, but the new thing is that some Al-Houthi supporters have started to criticize some of their own activities. Ali al-Bukhaity, the Al-Houthi spokesman in the NDC, said that martyr Hussein Bader Aldine Al-Houthi had a strong vision but was not infallible from committing mistakes and can be criticized, like any other human being. “If he was alive to this day he would refuse to be described as al-Quran and al-Haq, and even our prophet wasn’t descried with these.”

Al-Bukhaity asked them to express their love in another way instead of this nonsense, an ingratiating and exaggerated veneration just to be close to someone.

Al-Houthis built his shrine on the Maran Mountain in Sada’a where he was killed. The body of Al-Houthi was hidden for nine years. According to a statement read by the official spokesman of Ansar Allah, Mohammed Abduslam, “after strenuous and unremitting efforts, the Yemeni Authority revealed the location of Al-Houthi’s body and has handed it over to us on December 28, 2012.”

After they received the body, they conducted two DNA tests, one in Lebanon on January 15, 2013 with one of his sons and another in Germany on March 1, 2013 with a relative. The results were completely identical.

In their statement, they revealed details of Hussein al-Huthi’s death; Ansar Allah accused the regime of committing a heinous crime where they besieged him with his wives and sons on a cliff in Maran village on September 10, 2004.

The siege continued for 3 months in conjunction with the war imposed by the authorities on Sa’ada, accompanied by efforts to prevent the media from covering the war and denying them access to Maran.

“They were besieged with aircraft and artillery bombing, leading to a lack of food and medicine. They also cut off the water pipes and poured gasoline into a shelf, and then they bombed and set fire to it,” the statement said.

In spite of all that, Al-Houthi remained alive and after authorities promised safety to him, he came down from the cliff wounded and according to some of his companions, the authorities broke their promise and shot him from every side.

Ansar Allah refused to recognize that Al-Houthi was dead because the government refused to give them his body. But after they received the body and confirmed that he was Hussein Bader Aldine Al-Houthi, they announced the burial of the body on Wednesday June 5.

Ansar Allah called on people of Yemen and the Arab and Islamic nation to participate in the funeral of their leader and founder.

Houthis organized the funeral ceremony in Sa’ada for Wednesday June 5 with broad participation from several provinces as well as from other Arab and Islamic countries.