Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The Bahraini Interior Ministry is launching two campaigns against the return of religious rituals that Bahraini Shiites commemorate in the Month of Muharram every year. The first is a campaign of summonses to pressure and cause direct threat and the second is a media campaign via local media outlets.
This campaign comes as Bahrain's top religious scholars have instructed the need to practice Husseini Muharram rituals in accordance with the health regulations announced by the National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus.
Bahrain Mirror received reports confirming that the Ministry of Interior summoned the administrators of Al-Ekr village obsequy and warned them against opening it for the commemoration of Husseini rituals, or else the Ministry will close down the obsequy for three years, and fine it 10,000 dinars. In addition, any preacher who will recite Husseini Majles (mourning ritual) will be held accountable by the ministry. The Interior Ministry also stated that Husseiniyas cannot even broadcast the mourning rituals through loudspeakers to the people of the area.
The language used by the authorities was threatening and direct. This was experienced by the administration of Al-Ekr obsequy as well as other obsequies such as that of Sitra.
The campaign's main aim is intimidating obsequies' administrators into closing the congregation halls thus preventing any commemoration of the religious occasion.
As for the media aspect of the Ministry of Interior's campaign, the Assistant Chief of Public Security for Community Affairs, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Bin Daina, contacted a number of journalists and columnists and asked them to write articles and news opposing the reopening of Husseiniyas.
Bin Daina also asked some members of the medical sector to give statements to the media opposing the reopening of Husseiniyas during Muharram, as was the case regarding the statement of Dr. Hassan Al-Arayed. He also instructed a number of officials to declare that the decision to reopen the doors of Husseiniyas has not yet been taken, and that there is concern about the further spread of the Coronavirus epidemic during the observance of the rituals.