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Destruction of Shia Mosques in Bahrain

The Barbagi Shia mosque in Bahrain was bulldozed by Al-Khalifa Regime, in April 17th, 2011

The Barbagi Shia mosque in Bahrain was bulldozed by Al-Khalifa Regime, in April 17th, 2011

The historic Mo’men mosque, in the village of Nwaidrat in Bahrain, was demolished by Al-Khalifa regime

The historic Mo’men mosque, in the village of Nwaidrat in Bahrain, was demolished by Al-Khalifa regime

Following the chain of crackdown on Bahraini uprising in 2011, the government demolished 43 Shia mosques, many of which had historical significance. In addition, two Shia cemeteries were vandalized and two funeral parlors were damaged (Gutman, 2011). While Bahraini government officials stated that the structures were not a mosque and were “illegal buildings”. Among the damaged or completely demolished mosques are Sasa’a bin Sawhan Mosque in the city of Askar, south of the capital of Manama, that dates back to 7th century, the early periods of Islam, the 400-year-old Amir Mohammed Braighi mosque in Aali, and historic Mo’men mosque, in the village of Nwaidrat.The fact that all the religious structures are registered with the government and some of the destroyed Shia mosques have historical significance that dates back to centuries before Al-Khalifa regime come to power in Bahrain, refutes the government claims about the “illegality” of the property.

The Amir Mohammed Braighi mosque located near Sheikh Salman highway was a400-year-old religious site and one of the iconic Shiite mosques in Bahrain, was bulldozed by Al-Khalifa regime forces in April 17th 2011, on the grounds that it encroached on a safety lane and was a hazard to traffic (Law, 2014). The mosque desecration was ordered by Al-Khalifa, a month after March 2011 government crackdown on protestors and deployment of Saudi and other Gulf-state troops to suppress Bahraini people’s uprising.

The 400-year-old Barbagi Shia mosque in Bahrain was bulldozed by Al-Khalifa Regime, in April 17th, 2011

The 400-year-old Barbagi Shia mosque in Bahrain was bulldozed by Al-Khalifa Regime, in April 17th, 2011

The destruction of Shia mosques and cemetaries by Al-Khalifa regime and Saudi troops, after the 2011 Bahrain uprising, reminds memories of Wahhabis’ desecration of the shrines in Jannat al-Baqi cemetery in Saudi Arabia, where four Shia Imams and other family members of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) were buried. In fact the traces of both direct intervention and influence of Wahhabi ideology on all levels within Al-Khalifa regime is quite evident from their join Anti-Shi’ism practices with Saudi and some other Gulf states to denounce Shia as ‘heretic’ and allow themselves to violate their rights including destruction of the mosques and even desecrating the shrines of the family of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

The Saudi-Backed ruling regime in Bahrain has committed “the cultural genocide, according to Sheikh Maytham al-Salman, a spokesman for the Bahrain Interfaith Center and an important government critic (Law, 2014), and refused to allow Shia community to rebuild the destroyed mosques, the Shia have continued to pray at site of the demolished Barbagi mosque to hold the Shia Community spirit high and keep the memory of the place that once brought people together and still is.

References
Gutman, R. (2011). Bahrain’s official tally shows cost to Shiites of mosques crackdown. McClatchy Newspapers.
Law, B. (2014). Razed mosque symbol of divided Bahrain. BBC News.

 

 

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