Bahrain’s Interior Minister Launched Hate Campaign..Sectarian Takfiri Discourse Returned Under Hashtag #No_to_Iranian_Intervention

2015-08-22 - 7:25 م

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Bahrain's Interior Minister Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa had launched a media campaign on Thursday (July 23, 2015) to condemn Iran's statements on Bahrain . However, after only a few hours, it turned out to be a campaign against the Shiites. The hashtag #No to Iranian Intervention which was chosen as a title for this campaign on social media and government platforms has opened a new door for hateful Takfiri sectarian discourse against a group of citizens who make up the majority of the population in the island kingdom and suffer from poverty and discrimination.

The massive wave of insults shouted by clerics, government officials and supporters reached to the extent of calling for the annihilation of the Shiites. Member of the Bahrain Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission Ahmad Al-Maliki said that the solution is to have the followers of the Wali Al-Faqih (Shiite Guardian Jurist) annihilated.

As for the former MP and extremist cleric Sheikh Jassim Al-Saidi, he found the Interior Minister's call as an opportunity to return to his former pulpit which represented a warhead on the front of sectarian war. In one of his speeches, he said: "The impudent leader (Wali Al-Faqih) recruited people inside the country, paid them and provided them with weapons and yet we are still allowing them to have control over monotheists." "We are talking about a doctrinal issue and an enemy. Our doctrine will never change."

It seems that Al-Saidi is fulfilling the authorities' hidden desire to point the finger at the Shiites whenever it wanted to. He was suspended in June 5, 2015 for two weeks after he delivered a speech in which he attacked the Shiites, coinciding with the bomb blasts carried out by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) targeting Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia. The Bahraini Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs, Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa interfered and allowed on Wednesday (July 8, 2015) Al-Saidi to lead prayers and preach again in the Sabika Al-Nisf Mosque in Isa town, southwest of the country. The Sunni Endowments Directorate (Waqf); however, said that parts of Al-Saidi's speech were taken out of context.

It only took two weeks for him to return to his old habit of targeting the Shiites in his speeches. In his Friday sermon on July 24 2015, which he dedicated entirely to support the Interior Minister's campaign, he said: "These Shiites will never be with you even if you give them a minister or more. They will trick you in the name of Taqiyya."

Only weeks ago, the authorities were pretending to have the intention of confronting the hate campaigns. It seemed that the ISIS bomb blast targeting a Shiite mosque in Kuwait made it realise the grave danger of using the "extremist groups" card, That's why they called for performing unity prayers between Sunnis and Shiites yet that only lasted for two weeks.

This new campaign against the Shiites in the country proves that the previous calls made by figures close to the Crown Prince are only part of a game to ease temporary crises and steer away from any suspicion.

Ahmad Al-Maliki is a member of the Bahrain Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission, which is a government institution that was created by the promulgation of a Royal Decree on September 3, 2013 to monitor places of detention and prevent torture and ill-treatment, following the torture incidents mentioned in the fact finding commission report. Al-Maliki is also the Secretary-General of the Karama Society for Human Rights but he has a surprising view on how to treat the Shiites. Instead of condemning the acts of discrimination against them, he is calling for their annihilation. Yes, annihilation!

He commented responding to a report published by Bahrain Mirror that was critical of the Interior Minister: "A regime cannot gain the loyalty of the Zionists and that's why Hitler decided to annihilate them and then Britain established their colony in Palestine. That's what we must do to the Wilayat Al-Fakih (the Shiite leadership)."


As for Abir Al-Jalal, the former member of the "National Unity Gathering" and "Al-Fateh Youth Coalition", she has another solution: Revoking their nationalities and deporting them. "We are not honored to have Iranian agents here," she says.

The #No to Iranian Intervention hashtag fueled more sectarianism and caused more division. In fact, this is what the campaign was launched for. Expressions such as: the followers of the "Wilayat Al-Faqih" or "the impudent leadership," the "Safavids," the "Rafidis" (the Rejectors), the "children of Mut'a," or the "agents of Iran" are only rhetorical terms used to simply avoid saying the "Shiites". The authorities have mastered making up alternative terms to describe the Shiites so they wouldn't be questioned.

The former MP Sheikh Nasser Al-Fadhala, member of the Al-Menbar Society, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Bahrain said: "We say to all the rats of Iran and its patrons who were frustrated at the #No to Iranian Intervention hashtag: you have exposed yourself with your barking and shameless insults."

"There is no place in Bahrain for the heresy of the Wali Al-Faqih and the tyranny and oppression of the people of Persia," he added.

Insults and cursing have dominated the government's campaign against the Shiites since the eruption of protests. The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), which was headed by judge Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni to investigate the 2011 events, stated that the national television and radio station used "insulting and provoking language about the events" in its pieces. The BICI also pointed out that the protestors "were tortured. their Shiite sect was insulted and they were threatened with rape." Although the commission denied in its report finding any Iranian role in the protests, the government still claims it had a role in order to doubt the loyalty of Shiite citizens.

The Manama Press, which is a news network on social media run by online users directly affiliated to the King's Advisor for Information Affairs, Nabeel Al-Hamer, addressed what it described as the "agents of Iran" saying: "Your leader has exposed and stripped you in front of the world and now you only have your passports to cover your private parts with. Your passports are the only thing that connects you to this country." As for one independent critic on Twitter, he said: "Bahrain is an inseparable part of the Gulf States and our blood is one..You Safavids are filthiest creatures that walked on earth."

When the Interior Minister launched this campaign, the extremists seized the opportunity to express their sectarian views freely, at least until the authorities call for another "so-called" unified prayer.

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