Sheikh Maytham Al Salman, Head of Religious Freedom Unit in the Bahrain Human Rights Monitor denounced the statements made by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs on 9th June 2013, as containing clear fallacies regarding the demolishing of mosques.
â€œThe fake statements and public relations campaigns will not succeed in justifying the shame of the authority by demolishing 38 mosques during the state of emergency in 2011â€³, he said, â€ the statements of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs illustrate his ministryâ€™s insistence to mislead the publicâ€.
The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Fareed Al Miftah, made his statements during an inspection visit to the sites of some rebuilt mosques that were illegally demolished. The Undersecretary stated that work is in progress in follow-up to the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) to rebuild the â€œinfringing sitesâ€ that were used for mosques. Al Salman said by this statement, the Undersecretary is denying legal facts that prove all the 38 mosques are registered in the Jaffaria Waqf Directorate.
Al Salman pointed out, â€œThe Undersecretary has claimed there is a specified timeline to rebuild the demolished mosques as agreed upon with the Jaffaria Waqf Directorate. However, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs is refusing to reveal this timeline and the Directorate knows nothing of the planâ€. He added, â€œMany local and international reports, including the report of the U.S Commission on International Religious Freedom highlighted the absence of a clear timeline to rebuild these demolished mosquesâ€.
The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs also claimed that the number of the demolished mosques is 28. This is despite the fact that all 38 are registered in official documents although the BICI couldnâ€™t visit all 38 sites for logistical reasons.
Commenting on Al Miftahâ€™s statement regarding illegal possessions of public and private land to be used for mosques, Al Salman said, â€œThe Justice Ministry must hold accountable those mentioned in the State Property Report to have stolen lands.â€
Al Miftah had also called on clerics to avoid sectarian hate speeches. On this, Al Salman commented, â€œEvery person keen to protect this country welcomes the speech of unity and rejects violence and sectarianism that attacks tribunes calling for reform and which the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs is ignoringâ€.