Top Bahrain cleric refutes Shia-Sunni divide, says Israel main issue of Muslim world
Bahrain’s leading Cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim says there exists no divide between Shia and Sunni Muslims, but the Islamic world is in fact split into a camp that champions normalization with the Tel Aviv regime and one that adheres to the cause of resistance against Israel and the United States.
“Our Ummah (community) has been divided into two fronts: One group that advocates normalization with the Zionist regime, which is directed by America, the warmongering Zionism and deviant Judaism, and the second group standing up to the first that is the resistance front,” Sheikh Qassim said.
According to Press TV, marking the mourning day of Ashura, when the third Imam of Shia Muslims was martyred in 680 AD, Sheikh Qassim said today’s war is in fact the same as yesterday’s war between Imam Hussein (PBUH) and the tyrant of the time Yazid I.
“It is haram (forbidden) for the Ummah to give today’s Yazid — represented by the warmongering Zionism and the US — a chance to victory,” he asserted, highlighting the Bahraini people's struggle to revive the memory of Ashura.
Muslims worldwide hold mourning rituals during the month of Muharram to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny), and 72 of his companions by Yazid I, an Umayyad caliph, back in the seventh century.
Ashura, the tenth day of Muharram which fell this year on Thursday, is the culmination of 10-day mourning ceremonies for Imam Hussein (PBUH) and his companions, who have turned into the symbol of the oppressed fighting the oppressors of the time.
‘Brotherly relations between Shias, Sunnis’
Elsewhere in his remarks, Sheikh Qassim said Bahrain’s Sunni Muslims have no problem with the mourning ceremonies held by the Shias during Muharram and any likely issues stem from the deceptive and pernicious policies of the ruling Ale Khalifah regime.
“Indeed, the brotherly bond between Sunnis and Shias in Bahrain is very strong, and the two have coexisted for a long time and enjoy religious and family ties,” he said.
The top Bahraini cleric also said the Bahraini regime enforces hostile policies against the Sunnis as it does against the Shias, and that just as Manama restricts religious freedom for the Shias, it does the same for the Sunnis.
The Manama regime “only opens the door of freedom to the Sunnis when [they] do not harm its policies,” he said.
Sheikh Qassim also said that the restrictions imposed by the Ale Khalifah regime on the mourning ceremonies must not affect the mindset and conduct of the Shias toward the Sunnis.