Manama’s Abusive Moves Will Backfire

Manama’s Abusive Moves Will Backfire Manama’s Abusive Moves Will Backfire

Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the move by Bahraini leaders to strip prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim of his citizenship is an act of "absurdity" as they have ignored the risk of backfiring.

Takfiri terrorist groups make no difference between Shias and Sunnis and they target any Muslim who defends the Islamic Revolution and is an enemy of the US, he said.

A takfiri is a Muslim who accuses followers of some other Islamic sects of being apostates.  

"In Bahrain, the issue is not of Shia-Sunni [strife]. Rather the main issue involves the tyrannical rule of a selfish and arrogant minority over a vast majority," the Leader was quoted by his official website as saying on Saturday.

He said the Bahraini rulers' oppression of the diligent scholar Sheikh Isa Qassim was an indication of their idiocy, noting, "Sheikh Qassim is a person who, as long as he could speak to people in Bahrain, used to prevent them from radical and armed actions. But the rulers in Bahrain do not realize that oppression of this diligent scholar means removing the barrier in front of the spirited youth in Bahrain for any action against the regime."

Ayatollah Khamenei was speaking in a meeting with families of martyrs of the June 28, 1981 blast at the Islamic Republic Party headquarters in Tehran as well as families of volunteers martyred while defending holy shrines in Syria.

Last week Bahrain revoked the sheikh's citizenship accusing him of spreading extremism.

Bahrain's Interior Ministry claimed in a statement that Sheikh Qassim actively sought the "creation of a sectarian environment" through his connections with foreign powers.

It also claimed that the cleric had abused his religious credentials to advance a political agenda and serve foreign interests.

The move comes as part of a recently intensified crackdown on dissidents, who are mainly Shia demanding more freedom and political reform.

Over the last three weeks, authorities have also shut down the main Shia opposition al-Wefaq Islamic Society, doubled the prison sentence given to the group's leader, Sheikh Ali Salman, and detained rights campaigner Nabeel Rajab.

  Motive Behind Spread of Takfiris

The Leader noted that formation of takfiri terrorist groups such as the self-styled Islamic State was one of the violent methods used by arrogant powers to contain and counter the Islamic establishment in Iran.

"The main objective behind the creation of takfiri terrorist groups and their actions in Iraq and Syria was to invade Iran, but the power of the Islamic Republic establishment pinned them down in Iraq and Syria."

He highlighted the issue of defending the holy shrines of the Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) Household and the combatants who were martyred defending the shrines in Syria.

 "This issue is one of the astonishing events and a wonder in history that young [combatants] from Iran and other countries, with strong faith and motivation, leave behind their young wife and kids plus their tranquil life to fight for God's sake in a foreign land and embrace martyrdom on this path."

He noted that 35 years have passed since the deadly bomb blast at the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party in 1981, adding, "The perpetrators of this crime are a wicked and ruthless terrorist group who, after having fled the country, have over the years been sheltered by European countries and the US who claim to be advocates of fighting terror and supporting human rights."

A powerful bomb went off in a meeting at the IRP headquarters in Tehran, killing more than 70 leading officials of the Islamic Republic, many of whom had a major role in the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The banned Mojahedin-e-Khalq organization was held responsible for the deadly attack.