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King Hamad Issues Law to Ban Mixing Religion with Politics | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa hosts Iftar banquet. Thursday 18th Jun 2015. King Hamad and the PM at the Iftar Banquet. BNA

Manama-Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa issued law number 13 in 2016 on Saturday, which states amending the 2005 Political Society Law; thus banning mixing politics and religion.

The law stipulated the amending of the method and procedures to form the agencies of political associations and the choice of its leaders who must not be engaged in giving religious speeches, sermons or guidance, even without remuneration.

Moreover, individuals who have religious roles in the community will no longer be allowed to have memberships in political societies.

Any religious figure keen on a political role will have to cease from becoming involved in any religious activity, even if it is on a voluntary basis.

Those in support of the motion argue that the decision will make sure religious acts are not politicized and political motives are not given religious reasoning.

The law also restricted how a political society may carry out its activities, organize the relationship among its members on a democratic basis, determine the political, financial and administrative prerogatives of its organs and leaders and ensure the highest levels of democratic discussions within them.

“Under no circumstances can anyone combine religious preaching and membership in a political society,” the law states.

For their parts, the Prime Minister and the Ministers- each in their respective capacity- shall implement the provisions of this law, which shall come into effect the day following the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker Ali Al Aradi said the law is important and necessary. It has been called for since 2012 during the national unity sessions.

Al Aradi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the law is derived from two major points; the first is deeming the religious stand far above political work and practice, and the second is moving Bahrain forward through this reform project.