Bahraini regime’s latest outrage: stripping Shaikh Issa Qassem of citizenship

Developing Just Leadership

Crescent International

Ramadan 16, 1437 2016-06-21

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

Does any regime, especially an illegitimate one like that in Bahrain, have the right to strip native-born sons of citizenship rights? This is what the Khalifa regime in Bahrain has done against the respected scholar, Shaikh Issa Qassem evoking universal condemnation. The regime may have signed its own death warrant.

Manama,
Tuesday June 21, 2016, 16:57 DST

The illegitimate Khalifa regime in Bahrain has perpetrated another outrageous act by stripping the respected alim, Shaikh Issa Qassem of his citizenship. How can the regime act in such an arbitrary and capricious manner?

The decision was made by the so-called Council of Ministers comprising members of the Khalifa family and their hangers-on. Shaikh Qassem was not charged with any crime even in the kangaroo courts that pass off as places of legality.

Bahrain’s Interior Ministry issued a statement claiming that Shaikh Qassem actively sought the “creation of a sectarian environment” through his connections with foreign powers. The ministry alleged that the respected alim had misused his religious position to advance a political agenda and serve foreign interests.

The Interior Ministry that acts with extreme brutality towards all dissenters, especially belonging to the majority Shia community—yes, the Shias constitute an absolute majority of more than 90% on the island state while the ruling family belongs to the minority Sunnis--further said that Shaikh Issa Qassem had “caused harm to the interests of the Bahraini kingdom or had acted contrary to the duty of loyalty to the government.”

The British-installed puppets in Bahrain that now survive through the Saudi army of occupation as well as backing from the US Fifth Fleet, has no legal basis to be in power. They cannot demand loyalty upon pain of death or threat of revocation of citizenship. For more than five years, the people of Bahrain have been demanding fundamental rights.

Instead of respecting their wishes, after all, they are the majority, the oppressive regime has brought in mercenaries from such places as Jordan, Yemen and Pakistan and recruited them into the security forces. These mercenaries are granted Bahraini citizenship while a native-born son and a respected alim has been stripped of his citizenship!

The Bahraini regime’s act was so outrageous that even the US criticized it. State Department spokesman John Kirby said Washington was "deeply troubled by the government of Bahrain's practice of withdrawing the nationality of its citizens arbitrarily." This is a rare rebuke from a country that is a staunch backer of the illegitimate rulers.

Bahrain Forum for Human Rights has slammed the decision to strip Sheikh Qassem of his citizenship. The rights body has also called the measure arbitrary and against international laws.

The US-based Human Rights Watch has revealed that the Manama regime has stripped 208 Bahrainis of their citizenship in 2015. At least five people whose nationality had been revoked were deported between February and March alone.

The illegal and totally arbitrary revocation of Shaikh Qassem’s citizenship came less than a week after the Bahraini Justice Ministry suspended all activities of al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the main opposition group in the country. Wefaq’s Secretary General Sheikh Ali Salman has been in prison since December 2014. The regime has also dissolved al-Tawiya and al-Risala Islamic associations.

The regime also accused Shaikh Qassem of receiving Khums (an Islamic obligation stipulated in the noble Qur’an) from his followers and that he distributes it without getting the appropriate license. The receipt, collection and disbursement of Khums is an Islamic act prescribed by Allah and requires no other authority’s approval, much less one that is made up of debauchers, thieves and puppets of foreign powers. It is clear that the Khalifa thieves would like to lay their grubby hands on this money instead of allowing respected scholars like Shaikh Qassem to distribute it to the needy people that have been impoverished through the regime’s policies.

Naturally, there have been massive protests throughout Bahrain against this outrageous act with protesters camping outside in the streets in several towns and localities including Diraz, Juffair and other places. Many came dressed in the white shroud indicating their readiness to die for their rights.

There has also been strong condemnation from the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as the Islamic resistance group Hizbullah against the Bahraini regime’s action.

The strongest reaction came from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Quds Force commander, General Qasem Suleimani who said on June 20: "Surely they [Bahraini authorities] know that the aggression against Ayatullah Sheikh Issa Qassem is a red line... that will leave no option for the people but to resort to armed resistance." He went on: “Definitely, Al Khalifah will pay the price for this and it will result in nothing other than the collapse of this bloodthirsty regime.”

It seems the illegitimate regime may have made a fatal mistake by this ill-conceived act. It is not too late to reverse course and make amends but one should harbor no illusions about the conduct of these barbarians from the desert. They are incapable of acting in a civilized manner. The only language they understand is a strong kick in their backsides or perhaps the end of a sharp sword.

The Khalifa regime may have signed its own death warrant.

END

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