Activists & Tweeters Express Rage after Extremist Mohammed Khalid’s Insults against Twelver Shia’s Imam Mahdi & Authorities Indifference

2018-01-23 - 2:47 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): A tweet posted by former MP hardliner Mohammed Khalid led to an outburst of rage among tweeters and activists for what they considered to be an insult towards their Imam Mahdi (the twelfth Shia Imam).

What intensified the outrage of activists was the lack of action on the part of the authorities, who often rush to summon and imprison dissidents in record time.

"The Iranian people rose up and stomped with their shoes on the pictures of Khamenei and Khomeini. Those who claim to be descendants of the Ahlulbayt were not rescued by Al-Mahdi, who is rotting in his vault, and so the Imam of Time [Mahdi] is now old news," said Khalid in his tweet, which he later deleted.

Member of Al-Wefaq Society General Secretariat, Majeed Milad, addressing the political leaders and concerned officials of the public prosecution and security forces in Bahrain asked: "Do you accept an insult by someone targeting one of Islam's doctrines."

For his part, activist Jassem Al-Darazi said that the cyber crimes department only sees "the tweets of dissidents and since the judiciary has not punished who expressed contempt and ridiculed one of the beliefs of a fundamental component of Bahrain (population), this sick man comes and spills all his resentment but will not be held accountable as in previous cases."

Former MP Jalal Kazem called on the security authorities to "take legal action against Mohammed Khalid, since he did not target a mere individual, but a large segment of society."

On a related note, the Secretary-General of Al-Wahdawi Association, Hassan Al-Marzooq, addressed the Minister of Interior, saying that "Mohammed Khalid harshly and brazenly attacked one of the beliefs of the Shiite faith in Bahrain and must be summoned, sentenced and imprisoned, as activists Nader Abdul-Imam and Faisal Hayat were sentenced and imprisoned for the same reasons that your ministry alleged."

Commenting on the fact that Mohammed Khalid deleted his tweet, journalist Faisal Hayat said, "In the Cybercrime Department and the Public Prosecutor's Office, and before the court, I confirmed that I had deleted the tweet I had written, but that did not stop them from imprisoning me for three months and firing me from my job."

"One of the justifications I was told during my interrogation for detaining me was that my two tweets (which I deleted before I was summoned) provoked public opinion. What about the offensive tweet insulting Imam Al-Mahdi? We demand equal implementation of the law," he added.

As for Nader Abdul-Imam, he stressed, "three years ago, I had a discussion with a sheikh from the Azhar on Twitter and I reported a historical incident to him. I was summoned to the cybercrime department and then directly referred to the public prosecution."

"The public prosecution decided to detain me for one week pending investigation and after two weeks, I was referred to a third minor court while in custody, and after two months of court hearings, I was sentenced to six months in prison. I completed my prison sentence, and I was released to find out that I was dismissed from my job in the Ministry of Education after a 14-year service, a decision made based on a justification that I betrayed trust and honor pursuant to Article 25 of the Civil Service Law, and to date I am still unemployed and trying to get my job back."

For his part, journalist Adel Marzooq slammed Mohammed Khalid saying, "You are as you are, a sectarian fanatic; as you turn a political issue in Iran into a means for mocking Shiite beliefs..."

"Has audacity become an attribute of some," wondered the Wa'ad Society official, Yousef Al-Khaja. "How can we claim that we are a country of tolerance when we have snakes spitting their venom in society?" he added.

Many Bahraini government loyalists have insulted the Shiite majority in Bahrain and showed contempt against their beliefs. The most prominent of these attacks was that of the then writer in the Al-Bilad newspaper, Tariq Al-Amer, who also ridiculed Imam Al-Mahdi. The angry reactions led to his dismissal from the newspaper, which apologized to the public.

Al-Amer; however, was employed in the Ministry of Information and hired as an opinion writer in Al-Watan newspaper, which is close to the Royal Court. He was later acquitted of charges of expressing contempt against the Shiite sect, which were raised by Attorney Fatima Al-Hawaj, and not by the Public Prosecution.

Over two months ago (October 2017), the assistant professor in the Arabic Language Department at the University of Bahrain, Munther Ayashi, who is a Syrian national, published an offensive post on Facebook insulting the Shia 12th Imam. The post was deleted after wide criticism yet he was not interrogated by any official authority.

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