SHAFAQNA – Those who know Bahrain’s Minister of Justice & Islamic Affairs, Khalid Bin Ali Al Khalifa, say that he is a good reader of books. It is a good trait no doubt, but his problem is that he is conceited and his language is obscene. It is unlikely to read in decent books slurs like “despicable”, “fool” and “rat”, yet this is how he addresses the citizens of his country as well as his opponents.
Commenting on one of the speeches of Sheikh Isa Qassim, who is considered one of the most prominent Shiite religious figures in Bahrain, the minister says: “This person’s level of thinking and way of expressing himself is despicable.”
Last Year (2014), he addressed the Editor-In-Chief of Al-Wasat newspaper, Mansour Al-Jamri, in response to his opinion column, saying: “It is foolish to claim that there is a digital war (…) Stay in your hypothetical war and stop this foolishness.”
He is a blunt minister who speaks what’s on his mind.
He used the word “rat” in response to one the most recent speeches of Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah about the war on Yemen. He said: “Not only does the rat break his promises, but he also falsifies history.”
What about his cousin, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister and the “leader” of Bahraini diplomacy, Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa? Don’t be so optimistic. He chose to describe him as a “dog”.
He said: “The dog is barking as the storm goes on.” He also responded to comments made by Kuwaiti Member of Parliament Abdulhameed Dashti by referring to him as “nobody”.
This family knows well how to use obscene language, for it’s not a new trend. The Minister of the Royal Court, Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, has described the Shia citizens in a poem that became popular in the 90s as the “people of atrocities.”
As for the late ruling family poet, Ahmad Bin Mohammad Al Khalifa, in another poem considered that Shia women “used to fornicate with Portuguese men and get pregnant” and “that’s why they have green eyes.”
Since the uprising erupted on February 14, 2011, government officials felt free to insult dissents, curse at them and call them very offensive and degrading names. The King’s Advisor for Media Affairs Nabil Al-Hamar also posted pictures of condoms and women’s underwear with this comment: “From the joyful nights of pleasure (Mut’ah) at the roundabout,” as an indication of the Pearl Roundabout.
He also decided to call the Shia leader in Bahrain “the imposter Isa Qassim” — an insult used to doubt someone’s parentage or honorable birth.
“Mut’ah” is a word that refers to temporary marriage in Islamic Shiite jurisprudence. The extremists of the ruling family; however, use it as a sectarian insult and a weapon to doubt the honor of the opposition who are calling for equality. “Children of Mut’ah” has become an expression commonly used in political speeches and media aimed at countering government critics.
The pro-regime blogs compete with each other over talking about “Tent number six”, where they claim Shia women used to offer fast Mut’ah services.
The Bahraini military spokesman, Khalid Al Buainain, described the Shia by saying: “Their god is human, their infallible Imams are gods, their clergymen legitimate fornication and their children don’t know their lineage”. According to him, “these are the adverse effects of Mut’ah which the clergymen invented.”
The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), chaired by Judge Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni, which investigated into the 2011 events, declared in its report that both the state TV and radio stations used “obscene and provocative language” in most of their pieces. The report also stated that protesters were “subject to torture, threatened with rape and had their Shiite religious beliefs insulted.”
The president of the National Unity Gathering, Sunni Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Mahmood, admitted during an interview with Al-Jazeera TV that the Shia are cursed at and referred to by shameful descriptions. He even stated: “I am not one of those people who insult the Shia and call them names I can’t even mention.”
It was expected that the government’s acknowledgment of the findings of the BICI will lead to adopting new policies. This; however, did not happen. Not only did human rights violations continue-which is a major problem- but the political rhetoric didn’t change as well.
Government officials reiterated that “some of the recommendations in the report need some time to be implemented.” It seems that they need a lot of time as well in order to practice not using obscene slurs against their citizens. Most of the insults mentioned here were said after the BICI report was issued. While the authorities brag that they issued a code of conduct for the police, considering that it is an indication that it has responded to the BICI recommendations, members of security forces still openly describe the protesters as “the children of Mut’ah”.
A video shot in 2014 shows a Bahraini Interior Ministry military vehicle passing through one of the opposition villages while there is voice that can be heard from the loudspeaker saying “come here, children of Mut’ah”. Another video shot in the area of Bilad Al-Qadeem in 2013 shows a police officer addressing the protesters and saying: “prepare yourself for shotgun fire O children of Mut’ah”.
They are now experts at insulting the Shia because of the hatred they have towards them. In any case, they won’t be better than the Ministers of the ruling family.