Abbas Bou Safwan: Constitutional Freedom to Hold Husseini Procession and Blind-Hearted People

2020-08-27 - 4:38 ص

Blind-hearted people will never see the truth even when it is crystal clear.

The person whose heart is filled with darkness can never see. The government has underestimated the voice of obsequy administrations, turned a blind eye to the senior scholars' statements and ignored the views of social experts who advised it to allow the obsequies to perform their usual role in receiving mourners, while taking into consideration the required health precautions, in order to decrease the spread of COVID-19, as was the case with governmental, civil and commercial institutions that resumed their activities.

Most of the Husseiniyas (Shia congregation halls) have the wisdom, experience and legal entitlement that render them a partner in making the decision related to Ashura rituals.

Their influential administrations have played unforgettable roles in national history, as they are wise enough to take into account the balance between performing Husseini rituals and avoiding the spread of the virus. Do the blind-hearted people realize that?

No, blind hearts are not even able to notice the unjust discrimination against Shiite citizens. Nonetheless, they deny, justify or accept it, and most of them even practice it.

Although violations against the Shiite religious institution are blatant, systematic, documented and exposed, these blind people do not record them. Their eyes see them, and their sick hearts deny them.

In fact, there is nothing new in the government's attack on the Waqf, Husseiniyas and mosques. The security authorities' exploitation of the Coronavirus pandemic to target Husseini processions and banners is only a real-time cause, without which the government would have found another alternative and justification to continue to hurt Imam Al-Hussein lovers. 

These blind-hearted people despise Article (22) of the Bahraini State Constitution (1973) and Bahraini Kingdom Constitution (2002) which stipulates "Freedom of conscience is absolute. The State shall guarantee the inviolability of places of worship and the freedom to perform religious rites and to hold religious processions and meetings in accordance with the customs observed in the country."

Thus, you see them speaking about all of the legal texts except the "freedom to hold religious processions and meetings". We may note here that the constitutional text does not include "in accordance with the conditions set out in the law" phrase, but rather says "freedom of processions and meetings", while respecting the "customs in the country", which authorize the Husseiniyas to hold Imam Al-Hussein mourning rituals and stage processions.

Legislators in the Constituent Assembly and the writers of the 1973 Constitution are aware that the addition of "in accordance with the law" phrase may give the authorities the opportunity to pass a law, under the pretext of organizing the activity of Husseiniyas and processions, causing new "legal" articles that limit the freedom of Husseini rituals, as the government deals with any organization of political, civil or trade union nature.

These blind-hearted people are the same people who encouraged the government to ignore those stranded in Iran. We heard them say, "Let them stay stranded there" at the height of the Coronavirus invasion of Tehran, Mashhad and Qom, in the first months of this year. They used their harsh language, described the pilgrims with the worst words, and called for revoking their nationalities, instead of sympathizing with the elderly, children and women who were far from their homeland.

Six of the pilgrims lost their lives in Iran due to the government's ignorance. Meanwhile, the state didn't even express condolences to their families.

We don't count on these blind-hearted people. However, we count on those who still have sympathy in their hearts to advise the state not to prevent the Husseiniyas from organizing the procession, which if allowed, would be performed with more respect, spirituality and safety precautions.

"...have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts."

*Bahraini writer residing in London

Arabic Version