Bahrain sets up anti-hatred committee

Panel to propose policies and programmes to address hate speech

Gulf News

Manama: Bahrain is to set up a committee to combat hatred and sectarianism.

The decision, announced at the weekly cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, is an implementation of the directives of the King on finding measures to renounce hate, the Secretary General of the Cabinet Dr Yasser Al Nasser said.

“The committee’s duties will include proposing and adopting policies and measures, as well as preparing effective programmes, that address the problem of hate speech, regardless of its origin,” Al Nasser said following the session on Sunday.

The committee will also work at the same time spreading the spirit of tolerance, reconciliation and coexistence and on enhancing unity within the Bahrain community, he added.

Bahrain, like the other countries in the region, has witnessed the emergence of sectarian discourses and stances following the 2003 invasion of Iraq that eventually led a new political and sectarian map.

The situation was compounded in Bahrain after the dramatic events that occurred in the country in February and March 2011 and the ensuring vicious circle of negative reactions and attitudes.

However, the authorities and religious leaders have repeatedly warned against threats of hatred, sectarianism, fanaticism and extremism to stability and security.

The committee is expected to have a significant role in the official drive against the spread of negative attitudes.

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