A prominent Bahraini activist condemned the al-Khalifa security forces’ raid on the house of prominent Shiite Cleric Sheikh Issa Qassem, and warning that the insult to the religious leader meant beating the drums of war against the Bahraini people.
“Insulting Sheikh Issa Qassem, the prominent Shiite cleric, means aggression against the country and harming him means declaring war on the Bahraini nation,” Vice-Chairman of Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society Shura Hossein al-Dayhi said in an interview with Lebanon’s al-Manar TV on Monday.
He said that Sheikh Qassem is the representative of the religious people of Bahrain who share common beliefs and faith.
Dayhi underlined that Sheikh Qassem is a supporter of national unity in Bahrain, and added, “He has prevented the country’s fall into chaos and insecurity, which the al-Khalifa regime seeks to create.”
Last week, Bahraini forces raided Sheikh Issa Qassem’s home in the village of al-Daraz and searched the house.
Women and children of the sheikh’s family were in the house at the time of the raid, but the Sheikh was not at home.
Sheikh Issa Qassem had earlier this month underlined the Bahraini people’s insistence on restoring their rights and demands.
“The policy of suppression, violence and using iron fist by authorities against the citizens and opposition figures will intensify and prolong the crisis and troubles the possibility of achieving a solution,” Qassem said at the time, addressing worshippers in al-Daraz district.
Qassem pointed to the strong willingness of the al-Khalifa regime to use force against the Bahraini people, and said such policies harm people’s interests and prolong the ongoing crisis in the country.
“Those who hope that the Bahraini people would relinquish their demands one day are only dreaming,” he reiterated.
Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for an end to the al-Khalifa dynasty.
Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar – were dispatched to the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom on March 2011, to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.
So far, tens of protesters have been killed, hundreds have gone missing and thousands of others have been injured.