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On 2011 uprising anniversary, Bahrain’s top cleric urges nation to continue struggle

Bahrain's most prominent Shia cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim (via social media)

On the 13th anniversary of the popular uprising against the ruling Al Khalifah dynasty, Bahrain’s most prominent cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim has called on the nation to press ahead with the resistance against the US-backed monarchical regime in Manama.

Delivering a televised speech during a ceremony in Iran’s holy city of Qom on Wednesday, February 14, the day Bahrain’s uprising took shape in 2011, Sheikh Qassim called on the Bahrainis to double down on efforts for change.

“The Bahraini nation will eventually emerge victorious, get rid of the American influence and corruption, and attain complete independence.”

He said the Bahraini nation cannot be defeated as they are determined in their struggle, and will not back down from their legitimate demands by any means.

Sheikh Qassim underlined that the Bahrainis will remain a glorious nation, irrespective of the pro-Western policies of the Al Khalifah regime.

The Bahraini cleric condemned the Al Khalifah regime for the normalization of ties with Israel. “Such a process amounts to aligning against Islam, Muslims and human dignity at large. Muslims and all those who have faith in humanity must resist normalization.”

Anti-monarchy demonstrations in Bahrain have been held on an almost regular basis over the past years. Demonstrators want a just participatory system of governance representing all the Bahrainis.

Manama has responded to demands for social equality with an iron fist, clamping down on voices of dissent.

In September 2020, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed US-brokered normalization agreements with Israel during an event in Washington. Sudan and Morocco followed suit later in the year and inked similar US-brokered deals.

The move sparked widespread condemnations from the Palestinians as well as nations and human rights advocates across the globe, especially within the Muslim world.

Elsewhere in his remarks on Wednesday, Sheikh Qassim touched on the large-scale anti-Israel operation by the Palestinian resistance.

“Operation Al-Aqsa Storm was a move which got underway with no intention of retreat. It was launched to expand than to diminish. The operation was carried out to reinforce the Palestinian nation than to undermine them, and seeks the destruction of the Zionist enemy and elimination of all fallacies.”

Sheikh Qassim finally hailed the close and effective cooperation among the Palestinian factions, Hamas and Hezbollah resistance movements, and Iraqi anti-terror groups.

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