Major General Qasem Soleimani, commander of IRGC’s Quds Force, said on Monday that overstepping this redline would “leave the people [of Bahrain] with no other choice but armed resistance.”
Bahrain on Monday revoked the citizenship of Sheikh Isa Ahmed Qassim, claiming that he has been involved in spreading extremism.
“Definitely, Al Khalifah will pay the price for this and it will result in nothing other than the collapse of this bloodthirsty regime,” the IRGC commander said.
Soleimani warned that supporters of Bahrain’s Al Khalifah regime must know that disrespect to Sheikh Qassim and the continuation of excessive crackdown on Bahraini people will “trigger a bloody intifada,” whose consequences would be on those who legitimize the outrageous behavior of Bahrain’s rulers.
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.
The ministry claimed that the cleric had misused his religious position to advance a political agenda and serve foreign interests.
The Interior Ministry’s statement added that the senior cleric “caused harm to the interests of the Bahraini kingdom or had acted contrary to the duty of loyalty to the government.”
Describing as illegal donations to Sheikh Qassim by his followers in Bahrain, the statement further accused the cleric of receiving money and using it without obtaining the required legal licenses.
Here is the full text of the statement:
The oppressed Muslim nation of Bahrain had been under the cruel, biased, unfair, and illegitimate regime of Al-Khalifa for long years. Despite furious acts which included unashamedly racist discrimination, arrest of their religious leaders, imprisoning and torturing women and children, stripping citizenship, violation of their rights without any qualms and several other crimes, this patient people have exercised patience; tightening the pressures has never distracted Bahraini people of their non-violent approach.
However, imprudence of House of Khalifa has reached a point where the regime turned a blind eye to peaceful and civilized conduct of this people, taking the opportunity to continue its violations along the meaningful and deafening silence of United Nations, the US and other western countries, to extend the brazenness and crimes of putting more pressure on them. The illegal arrest of Sheikh Ali Salman and other religious figures in Bahrain even made the regime more aggressive to target this time Sheikh Issa Qassim, thus disturbing the public mentality.
Seemingly, the Al-Khalifa regime has underestimated and misinterpreted the scope and magnitude of the public wrath; encroachment of the religious leader’s rights is definitely a sure redline for the public the crossing of which would set the region ablaze, leaving no alternative than resorting to armed resistance.
The consequences of the possible conflict would be beyond estimation and would rewrite the history through toppling the despotic regime. The supporters of the regime in Manama should accept responsibility for legitimizing the brazen rulers of Bahrain for any bloody confrontation.