***Update: The Bahrain Mirror withdrew the English Piece and clarified that ‘matthab’ would unlikely be used to refer to ISIS. Given the context, they argue that the Minister’s comments are directed towards the Shia***
The Bahrain Mirror recently published an English translation of an excerpt from a speech by Rashid bin Abdallah Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Interior Minister. In it, the Bahrain Mirror accused the Minister of the Interior of saying, ‘We will protect our society from the fabricated Shiite religion’.
However, it is worth noting that the Minister did not specify the ‘Shiite religion’ in this quote. The Arabic version of his speech, which can be heard in the video below, or read here, actually says ‘we will protect our society from the heretical religious doctines’ (سنحمي مجتمعنا من أي معتقد مذهبي مُبتدع”). He then goes on to mention and criticise the doctrine of vilayit al faqih, a repeated dig at Iran and theocratic elements of Bahrain’s opposition. The Bahrain Mirror Arabic version carries the correct quote, although it notes that the Salafis in Saudi describe Shia Islam as ‘mubtadi3’, a word that the Interior Minister did use, but one that Bahraini Mirror translates as ‘fabricated’. Although one could understandably construe the Interior Minister’s comments as a dig at the Shia, it could conceivably refer to ISIS, who have also been described as ‘mubtadi3’.
However, as a point of clarity, the Minister of the Interior did not state ‘we will protect our society from the fabricated Shiite religion’.