Manama: Bahrain on Thursday set up an anti-hate and sectarianism committee that aims to enhance tolerance, reconciliation and coexistence and will consolidate unity within the Bahraini community.

A decision by Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa said that the committee would be chaired by Jawad Al Arayyedh, the deputy prime minister, and would include the ministers of interior, education social development and justice and Islamic affairs.

It can request assistance from experts in specific areas, the decision said.

The committee will propose and adopt policies and measures and prepare effective programmes to address the problem of hate speech emanating from religious platforms, publications, media, political societies or social groups, the decisions aid.

All ministries and agencies should provide the information required by the committee to assist its members with their tasks.

In January, the cabinet said that it would set up the committee in an implementation of the directives of the King on finding measures to renounce hate.

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 of the region.

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

However, the authorities and religious leaders have repeatedly warned against ominous 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 damaging attitudes.