Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Assigning a new board of directors to the Jaffaria Endowments Directorate (Waqf) was not something new, it was a confirmation that King Hamad bin Salman Al Khalifa is pulling the strings in the Endowments Directorate without taking into consideration that it is a religious institution that concerns the Shiite sect.
Despite the faulty administration of the previous head of the Directorate Mohsen Al-Asfour, it wasn't the reason for his dismissal and only recent developments led to removing him from his post.
A personal conflict between Justice Minister Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa and Mohsen Al-Asfour led the Directorate to write a lengthy letter to the king on May 8, 2019, explaining the obstacles that the Justice Minister is placing in face of the Directorate's work.
The letter addressing the king stressed that the justice ministry is not allowing the registration of the new Shiite endowment funds for the construction of new mosques and obsequies (Ma'tams) and is impeding the Endowments' investments.
The natural course that should have been taken here is facilitating the job of the Endowments Directorate and listening to their demands, yet this didn't happen. Instead, the king chose to punish Al-Asfour who remained loyal to the king's approach by remaining silent for years towards the crime of demolishing mosques and restricting endowments.
Dismissing Al-Asfour at this time confirms the King's commitment to everything that came in letter, i.e. not allocating land plots for the construction of Shiite mosques and obsequies and not issuing official documents for the mosques demolished by the military in 2011.
The letter of the Endowments Directorate exposed what the king wanted to cover up by the appointment of Mohsen Al-Asfour in the first place, which is also what the king wants from Yousef Saleh Al-Saleh and the directorate board members who were appointed on Thursday (June 13, 2019).
Bahrainis are well aware of the king's plans to take over the Jaffaria Endowments, and see that the swift response to dismiss Mohsen Al-Asfour is a message that the king is committed to this scheme and that the new board of directors must act on this basis.
The new board is not expected to work beyond the King's wishes with regards to issuing official documents for the demolished mosques or their reconstruction, or even building new mosques and obsequies, especially in the new cities.
The newly-assigned members are certain that remaining in their posts relies on covering up the fact that the Endowments Directorate is being controlled, and continuing to work with the Minister of Justice on targeting the endowments.