Manama–Bahraini security services closed all offices of al-Wefaq National Islamic Association on Tuesday after an order from the Justice Ministry. The ministry also ordered the suspension of all bank accounts of the group.
Al-Wefaq was accused of creating “an environment for terrorism, extremism and violence as well as a call for foreign interference in internal national affairs.”
Within hours of the ruling on an expedited basis, headquarters of the association were closed, funds reserved and all activity on internet and social media suspended.
This comes two days after a law issued banned the mixing of religion and politics in Bahrain. The new amendment also prohibits political parties from engaging in religious preaching, guidance, or speeches.
The Justice Ministry said in the statement that it suspended the political society’s work for not following the constitution and “activities that sow and divide the unity of citizens.”
Political associations in Bahrain receive their license from the Ministry of Justice.
Wefaq violated the law of political associations in 2014 during its convention, thus leading to the suspension of its activities for three months.
Ministry of Justice emphasized in a statement that the dangers of the systematic organizations which operate within the framework of external religious political reference, under the apparent disregard to the duties of citizenship and peaceful coexistence, the consolidation of breaching the Constitution, the law and all state institutions, as well as non-recognition of components in society in order to create a sectarian dimension of the political reality and seek to clone regional models based on sectarian lines.
The ministry stressed that those organizations that have been implanted in the country have worked for decades to secure legal cover for acts associated with extremism and terrorism.
The statement added that such organizations create a new generation that carries the spirit of hatred between the sects and creating conflicts for attempts to strengthen and consolidate national co-existence.
The ministry stressed its determination to combat this infringing extremism and protect the community from it by the force of law.
Accordingly, the ministry emphasized that any organization that adopt extremism and divert from the Constitution and the law in Bahrain, an Arab and Muslim Constitutional Monarchy State that believes in tolerance, coexistence and pluralism as a firm basis to rule, is illegal and their presence and continued operations are contrary to public order in Bahrain.
This is based on the association’s practices that targeted, and still targeting, harming the principle of respect the rule of law and the foundations of citizenship based on coexistence, tolerance and respect for others, and to create an environment for terrorism, extremism and violence as well as a call for foreign interference in internal national affairs.
The ministry pointed out that maintaining the security of Bahrain and the safety of its people as well as is the first responsibility of government.
The ministry affirmed that maintaining security, continuing to promote development in all fields and achieving the 2030 Economic Vision of the Kingdom is the fundamental force for all the faithful who work in this land in different positions. Bahrain and Gulf Arab states will continue to be an oasis of safety, security and a home for every faithful, whatever direction the doctrine or faith of those who have demonstrated loyalty by word and deed.