Cultural centre rejects anti-prayers allegations

March 10, 2012
By

Shaikh Ebrahim Centre

A cultural centre in Muharraq, Bahrain’s second largest city, has rejected claims that it had barred a neighbouring mosque from calling to prayers over loudspeakers.

“All our events are held after 8 pm when calls to prayers and prayers are finished,” the board of the Shaikh Ebrahim Centre for Culture and Research said. “We have been holding events for the last ten years and there has never been an incident with anyone,” said the centre, a renovated traditional home turned into a magnet for cultural events, set up and managed by Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammad Al Khalifa, the culture minister.

Social media networks have circulated allegations that the centre had been bothered by the calls to prayers and the lectures over the loudspeakers from the mosque across the narrow alley and had asked, through the interior ministry, to mute them.

The claims prompted lawmakers to announce that they would quiz Shaikha Mai over the incident.

“The questioning will cover several issues,” MP Adnan Al Maliki, representing Salfist society Al Asala, said. “The focus will of course be on the incident when a mosque was told not to call to prayers because a concert was being held at the centre. A team from our society who spoke to the man in charge of the mosque has confirmed the incident,” he said.

The quizzing will also cover the “huge and exorbitant amounts of money being spent on culture ministry events and on matters that are not condoned by the residents’ traditions.”

“We will also grill the minister on her indifference about the calls by the lawmakers to suspend cultural events and festivals in solidarity with the Syrian people who are being killed, like other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, did,” Al Maliki said.

Several MPs have over the last three weeks called on the minister to suspend the Spring of Culture Festival and other cultural activities related to Manama’s status as the capital of Arab culture 2002, to express solidarity with people being killed in Syria.

However, the centre condemned the “atrocious and unwarranted attack” on culture.

“We do respect and sympathise with all Arab countries, but this does not mean that life has to come to a standstill in Bahrain as it endeavours to overcome the crisis. The Bahraini capital, Manama, is the capital of Arab culture 2012 and the whole world is watching its cultural activities and celebrations,” the board said.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/bahrain/cultural-centre-rejects-anti-prayers-allegations-1.991747

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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