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HM hails senior clerics (Tuesday, August 16, 2005)
The Bahrain Tribune reports that HM King Hamad, yesterday visited the head of the (the Sunni senior cleric) Sheikh Ibrahim bin Abdullatif Al Saad, and his family at his home in Al Fadhel district. HM the King also visited another senior cleric (Shia) shiekh Jawad Al Wadaie at his residence in Bar Bar village.
The report notes that sheikh Saad hailed the King's constant efforts to serve religion, Islam and Muslims.
On his part, Sheikh Abdullah Al Guraifi (speaking for Al Wadaie ) also hailed the success of HM the King’s reforms.
According to the Bahraini daily, the King stressed the role of religious scholars in unifying the community and promoting the sense of brotherhood in the community and supporting the reforms for the benefit of the country.
Have we been there before? Five years ago? Fifty years ago?
“Clerics-ruling family relationship continues in spite of occasional rupture caused by activities of underground religionist groups, including the young graduates from seminaries in Cairo, Najaf and Qum. For clerics, the relationship provides them not only with access to the centre of power but also provide with enough goodwill to intercede on behalf of their own restive constituencies. Benefits secured through such intercession range from securing employment, housing loan or a plot of land, to release from detention. The influence of these clerics has led to an absence of any active protest in some rural areas and residential quarters throughout the recent troubles that raged in rest of the country since 1994. This supports Khuri's observation (1980:241) that " 'tribalism' as a form of social organization and religionism as a political force reinforce each other”. (italics mine)
From “THE NEW AMIR OF BAHRAIN: MARCHING SIDEWAYS”
CIVIL SOCIETY, VOL. 9, No. 100, APRIL 2000,
HM recent moves, notwithstanding loud noises heard here and there, underline the premises of the observation above.