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Bahrain govt still neglects rebuilding mosques demolished in 2011, claims opposition

3 months ago
A Bahraini protester holds a placard reading

A Bahraini protester holds a placard reading "Demolishing mosques is a sacrilege" as they call for the reconstruction of Shia mosques that were demolished by security forces in 2011 during an anti-regime rally in the village of Diraz, west of Manama, on April 5, 2013. [MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/AFP via Getty Images]

Bahrain’s main opposition group, Al-Wefaq Society, has accused the government in Manama of continuing to ignore the rebuilding of 11 Shia mosques destroyed by the military during the 2011 state of emergency, the year of the Bahraini Uprising, part of the wider Arab Spring. The 13th anniversary of the pro-democracy uprising was commemorated last month, accompanied with fresh calls to end normalisation with Israel.

In a post on X earlier this month, the outlawed opposition group criticised the recent promotion by the government of the opening of several mosques and the renovation of others in different areas of the tiny Gulf island kingdom. The authorities, says the society, “Do not clarify that many of these mosques have been built at the expense of the people after the building permits were subject to many obstacles imposed by the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs.”

Al-Wefaq added that the media campaign about opening a number of mosques and restoring others coincided with the anniversary of the demolition of 38 mosques. “That figure includes 11 that have not yet been built in different areas of Bahrain,” it added.

The Bahraini authorities are also accused of obstructing the registration of dozens of Shia endowment land plots. They refuse to recognise the old documents and established ownership recorded in the registry of Sayed Adnan Al-Mousawi.

“Senior Shia religious scholars have called repeatedly for an end to this official absurdity,” said Al-Wefaq. “The government, however, has not explained to the local public any new measures in this regard, in light of growing popular fears about targeting the Jaafari endowments as part of a major sectarian project.”

Last week, the society also brought attention to the government’s ongoing refusal to list 124 Shia cemeteries in official records. “This is despite the mediation of many influential figures and their efforts to resolve this issue.”

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