Bahrain’s Al Khalifa Govt. officially admit demolishing 38 mosques used for Prayers by Shia followers of Islam
JNN 07.06.12 Manama : Al Wefaq National Islamic Society drew attention to the statement made by the Ministry Justice that officially recognises the demolishing of mosques reflecting their legal, political and moral responsibility as part of a systematic governmental campaign.
Al Wefaq confirms that the authorities demolished at least 38 mosques in a reckless, outrageous, illegal and unfair manner. Al Wefaq emphasized that the crime of demolishing houses of God and violating religious sanctities is unacceptable to the world. There is no way to cover up or justify as a mistake such an act.
The defence given by the Ministry of Justice for demolishing the mosques is deceitful and full of inaccurate information. They admit to this crime but hold no official is responsible for the act.
The reply suggested a continuation of violations against holy sites and the rights of freedom of religious worship. Many reports, international organisations, and some states have shown their opposition to this, as well it being in contradiction to Islamic ruling and legal regulations.
Al Wefaq noted that some of these mosques existed for hundreds of years, even before the Al Khalifa family came to Bahrain. They added that the destruction of mosques was part of the systematic campaign of oppression that took place during the national safety law, that also saw several murders, thousands of arbitrary arrests and the dismissal of thousands from their jobs.
They justified the demolishment program by saying some were built without licenses, which further incriminates the authorities, as they are themselves guilty of disrupting and delaying the obtaining of licenses.
Al Wefaq wishes to emphasize a number of facts:
All the demolished mosques are registered in Ja’afari Waqf Directorate, which is the formal directorate responsible for the management of religious endowments and affairs.
Some of the mosques are registered in the Sayed Adnan Al-Musawi log, which is considered a reference for holy places in Bahrain.
A number of mosques are registered as a Waqf in Survey & Land Registration Bureau’s documents.
A number of mosques had undergone strenuous attempts to officially register in the real estate registration but the authorities were delaying the process.
All demolished mosques have official documentation from at least one official department.
All the mosques allegedly in contravention of Royal Decree No. 19 of 2002, existed before this decree.
The majority of the demolished mosques have a guardian appointed by the Al Ja’afari Waqf Directorate and was being paid by them officially.
If some mosques lacked servicing, then it is the fault of the authorities for neglecting them.
Worshippers frequently attended all demolished mosques and with their destruction many were denied their right to worship.
Al Wefaq said that the BICI report only discussed 5 mosques in relation to the Royal Decree No. 19 of 2002 as they were in Hamad Town, which is a new town. The older mosques were existed for hundreds of years and do not need a decree to establish their holiness or sanctity in Islam.
If what the Ministry of Justice claims is true that a number of mosques had incomplete paper work that is still no justification for their demolition. Indeed it reveals how citizens suffered in trying to establish licenses but were delayed in their attempts to do so as part of the systematic discrimination practiced by the authorities.
Al Wefaq stressed that what the authorities did in Bahrain is unprecedented in the history of Islam. Never, since the advent of Islam 1,400 years ago, has an authority demolished 38 mosques and attacked holy sites in a retaliatory move. It reveals the falsity of their claims to respect citizen’s rights.
Al Wefaq notes that this occurred in a country where the authorities claim that Islam is the official religion. Respect for religion should not be based one affiliation over another, but for all.
Al Wefaq confirmed that it is the duty of the authorities to rebuild the mosques, instead of making farcical justifications and continuing to demolish, as a clear sign that the authorities are not stopping their fight against houses of God.
Offences and attacks on mosques still continue under the umbrella of the authorities, as exemplified by the Mosque of the Prophet’s Companion Sa’sa’a Bin Sohan, which until today faces constant vandalism. This mosque has existed for hundreds of years and houses the tomb of the companion of the Prophet.
Al Wefaq concluded by saying, “The government is still standing by idly when more attacks are happening against mosques, funerals and holy sites. The latest attack was in Salihiya Village on Monday evening. In addition a holy site in Ghuraifa was fully burnt as a result of a tear gas attack and another mosque in Hamad Town has been vandalised more than 4 times, without any action being taken by the authorities.
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