Bahrain agrees to ban religious figures from politics

Shura Council passes proposal that no one who delivers sermons should be member of political society
Bahrain agrees to ban religious figures from politics
Bahrain Shura Council and House of Representatives in Manama. (Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images)
By Yasmin Al Heialy
Mon 23 May 2016 11:56 AM

Bahrain’s Shura Council on Sunday agreed to a law proposal that will separate religious and political activities in the kingdom.

It comes five days after Bahrain MPs passed the same proposal on the ban, which stipulates that no religious figure who delivers sermons should be a member of a political society or engage in political activities.

The proposal includes an article stating that leaders of political societies should not be religious preachers ‘even if they occupy the position in the societies without being paid’.

During the discussion, Shura Council member Adel Al Ma’awda said: “Some political societies which are headed by religious scholars control public opinion in the name of faith and religion. Those who oppose to their opinions are categorised as non-believers. They claim that the path to heaven is only through them.”

The proposal doesn’t deprive preachers from working in any other field, he said, and that it is necessary to distant religious platforms from political conflicts, Bahrain-based DT News reported.

Despite some opposing positions, the majority of the council members agreed to pass the proposal to amend the law.

The proposal will now be referred to the government for approval.

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