SHAFAQNA – What is the Bahraini government waiting for to stop the extremist cleric, Jalal Al-Sharqi? It is waiting for nothing. Last March, he declared that the Lebanese author, Joumana Haddad, is an infidel. Haddad was going to visit Bahrain to present an evening of poetry in the spring of culture festival. He also decided that she should be killed. However, instead of punishing him, the authorities decided to cancel the evening of poetry and prevent the author from being to Bahrain.
In a recent speech, in the aftermath of the “Decisive Storm”, Al-Sharqi said that the Shiites who constitute at least half of the population in his country had “disbelieved in Allah”. He started insulting them in public and describing them using terms derived from the old sectarian war between the major Islamic sects. He stated that Shiites are “Agents of Magis”, “A Fifth Column”, “Hypocrites”, “Followers of the Jewish and Magi Abdullah bin Saba'” and “Abdullah bin Salul”.
He said in a videotaped speech, “We have to be aware of Shiites and treat them harshly because a hypocrite should not be spoiled. These are Allah’s words. Shiites are the people of hell. They disbelieved in Allah.” Nonetheless, instead of arresting him over the charge of inciting hatred, abusing a local religious community or attacking the national unity, he is still praying and delivering sermons in Kanoo mosque, south of Hamad town, with a permission granted by the authorities.
In this context, the lawyer Fatima Al-Hawaj, says, “What Al-Sharqi had committed needs no complaint to be lodged, for they are not of criminal complaints” adding that, “the Public Prosecution has to arrest him over “disdaining the Shiite sect”. However, this is unusual, for there is no question that the competent authorities will do anything in this regard. Announcing people as infidels, being an extremist or even attacking the national unity are not topics of interest that urge the authorities in Bahrain to take actions.
The Salafist cleric and previous MP, Jassim Al Saeedi, had already spoken ill of the Shiites’ honor, announcing that they are “Children of zina who were born as a result of tabooed sexual relations”. Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohammed Khalid, Al-Menbar Islamic Society’s member, which is the political wing for the Muslim Brotherhood in Bahrain and addresses Shiites using terms like “Al-Muta’a sons”.
However, the government bodies responsible for detecting such speeches, like the ministry of justice and Islamic affairs, seem to be on another planet, for its minister, Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, is busy monitoring opposition journalists columns in the local newspapers and calling them “Stupid”.
Indeed, a large part of the extremist Takfiri discourse is being exported and sponsored in public by the Bahraini government bodies themselves.
Several reports in 2014 discussed a number of recently issued books by the Religious Guidance directorate affiliated to the Bahraini Defense Force, that contained clear expressions accusing Shiites, Ismailis, Druze, Nusayris, Jews and Christians of being disbelievers. Among the discussed books, were “From the Doctrine of the Shiites” for the author Abdullah bin Mohammad Al-Salafi and the two books published for Nasir Al-Qahtani, “The Light of Unity and the Darkness of Paganism” and another “The Light of the Sunni Faith and the Darkness of Heresy”.
Meanwhile, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom admitted in a recent report (30 April 2015) following a tour it made in Bahrain that, “media continued to use inflammatory, sectarian rhetoric,” indicating that, “New media laws that would curb anti-Shi’a incitement, as recommended in the BICI report, have not been passed.”
Sheikh Jalal Al-Sharqi has already worked as a judge in a lower Sunni court. In 2014, a video for him was spread, through which he described the Arab regimes that backed overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as “Infidels”. For its part, the Sunni Endowments administration whose members are assigned by royal decisions acquitted Al-Sharqi. The administration did not acquit the sheikh for him being “Takfiri” of course; however, it acquitted him for his words were not directed to the regimes in the neighboring Gulf countries. Describing people as infidels is not the issue, but those who are described as “Infidels” are. Extremist clerics have memorized this rule very well.
Source : Bahrain Mirror