SHAFAQNA- Sheikh Abdullah al-Daqqaq, a prominent Bahraini Shi’a scholar, said that the Al Khalifah regime in Bahrain has been under the rule of Saudi Arabia for a long time and added that Saudi Arabia now faces many problems from several fronts and directions in regard to their actions in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
The representative of Ayatollah Isa Qassim in Iran referred to the recent events occurring in the Iraqi city of Fallujah and the victories of the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq as well as the victories of the Syrian army in Aleppo, saying these victories have led to the defeat of Saudi Arabia on these fronts and they have now increased their efforts in Bahrain and Yemen.
Sheikh al-Daqqaq said that on the other hand, the Al Khalifah regime also faces many problems. It engages in executions, strips citizenship from fighters and revolutionaries and issues warrants for the arrest of political activists and revolutionaries. The regime has also increased the duration of Shaykh Ali Salman’s prison sentence from four years to ten years, which is in line with these same events.
He explained that in order to keep religious scholars and clerics out of politics and the political life of the country, the Al Khalifah regime has done a lot of planning. In this regard, several steps had been taken and one of them is a ban on religious scholars from joining political groups or engaging in political activities, as well as banning of mosques and charitable organizations from engaging in political issues.
“Scholars are also required to obtain authorization from the relevant institutions to discuss political issues and governance in their sermons. In this regard, Sheikh Muhammad al-Mansi, who has spoken out about the regime’s destruction of mosques, was sentence to one year in prison, only because he lectured without a license,” the Bahraini scholar said.
Thus, the extension of Sheikh Ali Salman’s prison sentence was born out of the recent failures and setbacks by Saudi Arabia in the region. “The reprisals on Bahraini religious scholars and also the intensified pressure on religious scholars is aimed at removing them from the political arena,” he said.