Unity Call Over Mosques Row

December 12, 2008

Author: Noor Toorani

Source: Gulf Daily News


A row over new rules governing the building of mosques and ma'atams must not be allowed to fuel sectarian tensions, a minister warned yesterday.

Religious leaders say the rule, which stipulates that no one can build a mosque or ma'atam without permission from the Justice and Islamic Affairs Ministry, is an infringement of religious rights.

"But this is not true," Justice and Islamic Affairs Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa told a Press conference yesterday.

"This decision is not meant to interfere in religious matters, but is just a way to co-ordinate and keep track of violations when building mosques, grand mosques and ma'atams," he said.

"Respecting the rights of all religions has always been the rule in Bahrain throughout history."

Shaikh Khalid said that there was an urgent need to reject anything that affects the national unity.