Head of Endowments Directorate Letter to King: Testimony of Shia Persecution in Bahrain
2019-05-16 - 12:22 am
Bahraini Mirror (Exclusive): Activists working on the Bahraini file since Wednesday May 8, 2019, can present the letter of complaint, sent by the Jaafaria Endowments Directorate to the King regarding the violations of the Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs, as an official document to all international forums, shedding light on the discrimination and persecution experienced by Bahraini Shiites in all aspects of life, especially the religious persecution and harassment targeting their mosques and funeral homes (Ma'tams).
The letter from Jaafari Endowments (published by local Al-Bilad newspaper), an official administration appointed by royal decree and whose members are obviously affiliated with the authorities, clearly reveals the deteriorating situation and religious persecution of Shia citizens. The letter contains 23 complaints against the actions of the Minister, most notably:
The Minister's refusal to meet members of the Council after the issuance of the Supreme Order appointing the current Council. The first meeting was after 8 months and was repeated only twice over a period of five years.
His prevention of judges of the Sharia courts of the Jaafaria district from issuing any endowment (waqf) for the construction of mosques and new Ma'tams for members of the Jaafari sect or investment waqfs.
The lack of cooperation to address the concerned authorities in housing and municipalities ministry to allocate land plots for the establishment of houses of worship (mosques and Ma'tams), ignoring requests for allocation, and additionally not filing for deeds of ownership of mosques mentioned in the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report, despite being constructed fully and despite announcing that their legal and official status has been corrected contrary to facts and reality.
Not allowing the Jaafaria Endowments Directorate to purchase real estate to increase the Waqf assets or the expansion of the existing mosques and Ma'tams according to the need of each region to accommodate the growing population density.
Refraining from handing over copies of the old waqfs of the Jaafaria Endowments based on the observations in the reports of the National Audit Office, in order to subject them to the authority and supervision of the Jaafaria Endowments Directorate.
Violating the right of the Directorate to receive diplomatic corps officials, like ambassadors accredited to Bahrain, including many other comments in the letter to the King.
Information circulating in the media says that the escalating differences between Endowments Directorate and the Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments have political backgrounds reaching the Royal Court, as some media sources indicate that the Court Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa is the one who gave the green light to the Jaafaria Endowments headed by Mohsen Al-Asfour to file the letter of complaint against the Minister of Justice. That is because Khalid bin Ahmed is angry at him for unclear reasons, but this information remains uncertain and has no reliable sources, and does not affect the truth revealed by the letter.
What is certain is what the letter revealed concerning the Minister's targeting of the Jaafaria Endowments, which is one aspect of the multiple acts of persecution that the Shia citizens suffer from and are subjected to in a number of areas.
It is noteworthy that the recent report of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom clearly pointed to the ongoing discrimination against Shiites in Bahrain.
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