regime violating religious freedom: Analyst

SHAFAQNA- A political analyst says the Al Khalifa regime has been violating the rights of religious freedom of the Shia population in Bahrain.

Colin Cavell, a former lecturer at the University of Bahrain from West Virginia, told Press TV that the Manama regime forces have “systematically violated the religious rights” of the majority by attacking gatherings during the 10 days of Ashura and at other religious occasions.

Ashura is a major religious event which is “widely observed” by the different echelons of the society across Bahrain, the analyst stated.

The remarks come as Bahraini regime forces have attacked several processions commemorating the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the third Shia imam, in different parts of the country.

Imam Hussein’s martyrdom is widely interpreted by Shia Muslims as a symbol of the struggle against injustice and the need to preserve the purity of Islam.

Ashura marks the day when Imam Hussein, along with 72 of his companions, was martyred in a battle against the second Umayyad caliph in Karbala, Iraq, some 14 centuries ago.

The analyst also strongly criticized the West for remaining silent on the ongoing human rights abuses in Bahrain.

He said the West displays “contradictions” and “acts selectively” when it comes to human rights.

Shia Muslims have long complained about what they call being discriminated against by the Bahraini regime when it comes to employment opportunities and the right to public office.

Since mid-February 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.

Bahrain hosts the Fifth Fleet of the United States’ Navy. It provides protection to the Bahraini royal family and also ensures the US dominance in the oil-rich region.

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