King Hamad to Jaffaria Endowments: They're Your Citizens, Take Action
2020-03-11 - 6:17 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The King of Bahrain directed the Jaffaria Endowments Directorate to bear the expenses of the Bahraini nationals stranded abroad. What does this directive mean?
It means that the King of Bahrain looks at these citizens as followers of a certain sect only, and deals with them accordingly. To him, it seems that he does not consider them to be the children of Bahrain, but rather the children of the Shiite community in Bahrain. The King sees the faith they adhere to rather than their patriotism. Thus, one can understand why he remained silent throughout the past two weeks despite the people's suffering, until their situation deeply worsened, and Gulf NGOs raised donations to support them. The King finally spoke to cast the burden and responsibility on the shoulders of the administration of the Jaafari endowments, unlike the Emir of Kuwait, who once said about his Shiite citizens: "These are my citizens". The King of Bahrain today tells the Jaafari Endowments: "These are your citizens, take action".
It means that the issue of these citizens to him is not a general Bahraini affair, but only a Shiite affair, such as matters related to Shiite obsequies, mosques, waqfs and other religious issues. The suffering of these citizens is a matter of the Shia sect only, and therefore their suffering lies within the scope of responsibility of the party entrusted with managing the affairs of the sect, not the responsibility of the State. Therefore based on his decision, the endowments fund is responsible for their expenses, not the State.
It means that the sectarian rhetoric that has shaken social media outlets during the past two weeks was launched on behalf of the King. This sectarian rhetoric and the ruling family stand against the Bahrainis trapped in Mashhad. These discourses are not different from the general language of the government; they are not a rude and ugly exception issued by sectarian individuals. They are based on a general approach that everyone knows the state follows, as well as a pattern that emerges from the highest hierarchy of power to say: Your value as a Bahraini citizen is determined only by your sect.