Why didn't Local King-Sponsored TV Broadcast Ashura Season Events?
2022-08-19 - 1:57 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): What kind of royal sponsorship did the Ashura season receive in Bahrain? What are the implications of that sponsorship on the season?
Interior Minister Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa stated that "the royal sponsorship provided all the reasons for the success of the Ashura season," but the minister did not mention what was provided by the king for the successful commemoration of Ashura.
Was it a royal sponsorship to remove Ashura manifestations from the streets and roads in many areas of Bahrain? Was summoning mourners and preachers to interrogate them about their religious beliefs part of the king's sponsorship?
Security forces removed dozens of banners installed by mourners in various areas across Bahrain, an integral part of the king-sponsored Ashura season, and summoned mourners for interrogation.
The Interior Ministry has also banned Gulf nationals from participating in funeral processions, based on flimsy pretexts, such as "to prevent any damage to the social fabric". We do not know what danger was threatening the social fabric with the participation of eulogy reciter Mohammed Al-Hujeirat in a Ma'tam in Manama.
In fact, mourners didn't see any initiative launched by the official bodies, including the Ministry of Interior, that shows the king's interest in the occasion, and so was the case with the state television and local newspapers.
If Ashura was really sponsored by the king, why does state television ignore coverage of the commemoration in Manama and various regions of Bahrain, while interacting with sports competitions which are attended only by dozens?
The state media's disregard for the Ashura events, in which hundreds of thousands participate daily, reflect a state of royal disregard for the Ashura season and a desire not to highlight any presence of the Shia community in Bahrain.
If the king were really interested in the occasion, the TV newsroom would have prepared a daily report reviewing aspects of the season's wide participation, as television does with any sports competition sponsored by him.
There was no sponsorship during Ashura; however, there was a desperation to show the king as tolerant. He is willing to truly tolerate all sects, religions and even occupiers but not the Shia citizens who make up the majority.