MoI Tells Preachers: Reciting Imam Hussain Martyrdom has Terrorist Purpose

2018-09-22 - 8:16 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): A ridiculous joke was widely circulated on social media after the arrests of Sheikh Hani Al-Bana'a and Sheikh Yasin Al-Jamri on September 16 (6th of Muharram). The joke is that the following charges were brought against the two Sheikhs:

1-      Accusing Yazid bin Muawiya of killing Imam Hussain

2-      Accusing Harmala of shooting an arrow at Al-Abbas (Imam Hussain's brother)

3-      Accusing Yazid of denying Imam Hussain access to water

It is indeed a joke but not a funny one. Some even shared it, believing it.This reveals to what extent the situation in Bahrain reached from restrictions on speech to trials against historical facts mentioned in books. The Ministry of Interior has already interfered in the Shiite religious rituals of Khums and took away the legitimate rights of the people. They even tried the Shiite spiritual leader of the country Sheikh Isa Qassim and others over Khums, and now the ministry is interfering in the contents of Ashura sermons which Bahrainis have recited and known for hundreds of years before the Al Khalifa family stepped onto Bahraini soil.

Bahrainis were shocked by the summoning of these preachers, an act which is still on the rise and done without offering any justifications. The summoning of Sheikh Al-Bana'a and Al-Jamri was followed by summoning of Sheikh Mahdi Al-Karzakani, Sheikh Sadiq Al-Ghuraifi, Sheikh Majid Al-Sehlawi, Sheikh Mohieldin Al-Mashaal, Sheikh Bashar Al-A'ali, Sheikh Mohammad Al-Rayyash, Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mulla and eulogy citer Abdullah Sabah. The list is still subject to further updates .

The obsequies (Ma'tams) of these clerics were cleared during the last nights of Ashura. Sheikh Bashar Al-A'ali wrote on his page: "I apologize for being absent from commemorating the 9th night of Muharram because I was summoned for investigation by the interior ministry. I ask for your prayers."

It is odd that nothing called for these summonings, as the Ashura atmosphere this year seemed more tranquil than the previous years. Some nights passed without any inflammatory speeches delivered on platforms or during popular processions. Bahrainis were surprised with the ongoing summonings, followed by the public prosecution's decision to remand Al-Bana'a and Al-Jamri, then Majid Al-Sehlawi for 15 days pending investigation over charges of "inciting hatred against the regime for a terrorist purpose".

For a terrorism purpose?! It's a new and very serious charge. The sermons delivered by preachers did not raise any political resentment; all of their speeches included topics related social and religious issues. The prosecution charges are even more ridiculous than the joke mentioned above. While interrogating some of these Sheikhs, the prosecution told them: You are speaking about the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, thus, you are inciting young people who listen to you to confront the authorities to achieve martyrdom.

We know it seems as a foolish joke, but this is the reality of the matter. The authorities deemed taking about the martyrdom of Imam Hussain an incitement of hatred against the regime, and for a terrorism purpose as well!

There is no justification for the vicious attack on Ashura sermons, whose content has been recognized for hundreds of years, as there is no justification to claim that the narrations and facts presented in sermons have terroristic purposes. This, in brief, constitutes an act of terror and threat against everyone who mounts a hussaini Ashura platform, restriction on the religious rituals stipulated by Bahrain's Constitution and deemed established traditions as lawyer Al-Shemlawi states.

This unjustified terrorism and escalation comes two months before the upcoming elections; a period expected to calm down the situation in the country. The contrary; however, is taking place. But why???

An analyst says: "The authorities are facing a public case of protest against participation in voting in the coming elections. Pro and anti-government supporters are now on the same page regarding their public frustration towards the deteriorating situation on all levels, which reveals the authorities' political failure. Therefore, the authorities are thinking about ways to make the people go to the polls, and it always succeeds in moving the public towards what it wants by intimidating the people by making them fear the opposing street and telling them how dangerous and threatening it is. The analyst believes that "the charges brought by the interior ministry against the preachers i.e. ‘inciting hatred against the regime for a terrorist purpose' is an attempt to incite and delude the public loyal to the government, telling them about the so-called danger in 2011 that is still looming, and stressing that they should participate in the elections to bring their candidates to parliamentary seats."


Arabic Version



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