Thanks to @BahBourgeois, we now have a translation of the original letter which created a lot of feedback and requests for translation. So here’s the translation:
To The Gathering of National Unity
Thank you. Thanks to you we are no longer at a loss and we now know the path of righteousness so we followed it.
I am Sunni Bahraini and I love Al-Khalifa and I wonâ€™t be exaggerating to describe myself as a fanatic Sunni to the extent of hating other Islamic sects which I believed are not even worthy of being called Islamic. In short, I along with many others regarded ourselves as the followers of the ‘Right Path’ who will survive Hellfire. Except for our belief and sect which we cherished and defended, we believed that all other sects and their followers are the firewood of Hell especially the Shias whom we called Rafida, Majoos, Safawis, Children of Mutaâ€™a and other offensive and obscene things. All that as a result of the hatred that dominated our conscience and our minds and made us inclined towards evil and lies and stories about differences between us that do not exist except in our minds and souls. We disagree with them (the Shias) because they do not lead their lives except in accordance to clear principles while we have been like those who the Prophet (pbuh) described as (blind) followers of all good and evil.
We have shrouded our view with excessive sanctity and regarded our religious scholars as our guardians, valued their preaching and became slaves to their teachings but that has led us to losing sight of our religion and our belief that God enjoins justice and kindness, wisdom and fair preaching and compassion. God said in the Quran “And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about youâ€ This verse was the reason many unbelievers embraced Islam.
- Are we the follower of the Quran and the Morals of Islam or are we the followers of those who call themselves Al Salaf Al Salih (The Righteous Ancestors) and their alien fatwas?
- Who are these Righteous Ancestors whom we take from only that which divides us with other sects as if it was a divine book?
- Why do we glorify many of the Prophetâ€™s Companions and name our mosques after them (while we donâ€™t even know their history) and yet we choose not to name our mosques after Ahlulbayt (Members of the Prophetâ€™s Family) – may Allah be pleased with all of them? Who is more worthy of being remembered and immortalized- Ahlulbayt or the Companions of the Prophet (some of whom were described as hypocrites in the Holy Quran)?
- Or are we like the ignorant people of Quraish who created idols, sanctified and worshipped them and killed all those who refused to do so?
This is a sample of questions which, whether we like it or not, demonstrate that we are following the wrong path. We simply withhold the banner of Islam and use it to justify all the injustice we commit against people who disagree with us. We interpret our religion according to our own whims and prejudices and based on what our Guardianâ€™s dictate but they only surround themselves with people who claim knowledge and faith and piety while in reality they only seek to achieve their own personal interests at our expense.
The recent elections and what happened in it from insult and cursing (against the Shias) makes it clear to those who seek truth where all the hatred lies. The difference between Sunnis and Shias is only an excuse to justify all the crimes and wrongdoings.
In writing this, I am representing eight families (maybe even more) but as I am writing this I am representing these eight families. We all followed a certain path previously and have now decided to take a different one-free from all the hatred and hypocrisy which goes against our beliefs and the interest of our children, our families and our religion.
Yes, we are approximately thirty three individuals who lost their way as a result of those who called themselves “the men of national unityâ€ and so-called religious scholars. But we now have discovered the right path and we need to restore all that which got destroyed from faith as a result of the crimes we have committed against many people and the Shias in particular whom we labeled Rafida (meaning Rejecters, a demeaning term). Yes they are perhaps Rejecters – Rejecters of Injustice and Evil.
The following three points have made us take our new position:
- We carefully read and reviewed the demands of those who we opposed and realized that their demands are all fair and legitimate and all the stories about Iran and Hezbollah are fabrications. Where was Iran and Hezbollah before 1979 when both Shias and Sunnis chose Al-Khalifa to rule in 1971?
- Islam is against the killing of innocent people, displacing the poor and cutting off their livelihood. Why couldnâ€™t our hearts carry compassion and mercy for people who advocate reform?? Why did we fabricate all these stories and celebrated this as victory?
- Is it Islamic for a Government to abuse human rights (and especially those of Shias) by importing mercenaries who do not care about the history of this land which our grandfathers, both Sunnis and Shias have built together?
The events in Bahrain have allowed us to witness the highest and most aggressive levels of hate in ourselves which was nurtured by our so-called religious scholars, our fake media, and the dishonest pens of our journalists which we previously respected but now the masks have fallen. We have seen how they all promoted repression and killing and the destruction of mosques and the burning of the Quran and other crimes against a group of people who demanded their rights in more than peaceful ways and we havenâ€™t found anything as of today that implicates them in any of the stories we fabricated against them (e.g. carrying arms or weapons, etc.)
My God! How did we do that? How come we believed those who claim to be the men of nationality unity when they were promoting killing and repression and fabricating stories against the Shias trying to convince us that our real brothers and protectors are those â€˜new Bahrainisâ€™ (only because they share the same sect).
- Who attacked our rights? Who committed all the crimes in Riffa, Muharraq and Askar? Who took our jobs in the defense force, the ministry of interior, ministry of education and other sectors which were previously monopolized by us? Are they the Shias or those new Bahrainis?
- Are government housing projects and other public serves a priority for Shias or the new Bahrainis who have become first class citizens and us 2nd class citizens and Shias 10th class citizens?
Stop lying to us. You donâ€™t deserve this country.
We find the claims of our religious scholars and leaders and on their head the leaders of the National Unity Gathering to carry lots of injustice, ignorance, repression and lies. Their words reminded us of the life of the Prophet (pbuh) and what the tribes of Quraish have committed against him. Keep your fake tears and your fabrications and false media away.
Despite all that and the injustice committed by many Sunnis; the speeches by Shia religious scholars continued to call for peace, love, respect and unity between Sunnis and Shias. May god protect Umm Hassan, perhaps her words were more sincere than all our leaders and religious scholars. Her words are honest and free from hypocrisy and did not call for division as did many others.
From the words of Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Mahmood, president of the National Unity gathering (you brought us shame):
- The Government had to do what it has done otherwise the Shias would have ruled us and the Sunnis would have been subject to discrimination
- The burning of the Koran is permissible; the companions of the Prophets have done it before.
- The demolition of unlicensed mosques is permissible and praying in these mosques is not acceptable.
Here are some excerpts from the speech of Isa Qassim (leading Shia figure in Bahrain): Servants of Allah, we have to fear God and not deviate from the straight path in a moment of anger. Let the good word and action take precedence over all that would debase us in a moment of anger.
And the speech of Ali Salman, Head of Wifaq Society-which we used to call Nifaq (Hypocrisy) Society- included these words: Bahrain is the home of both Sunnis and Shias. No one has superiority over the other, but we are all equal in religion, citizenship and nationality and we shall both respect and love each other and build this country together. Every Sunni individual, family and home is the responsibility of Shias to protect and every Shia individual, family and home is the responsibility of Sunnis to protect. Our country is our responsibility to protect so let us avoid a sectarian war.
In short, Sheikh Abdullatif Al Mahmood gave the green light for killing and destruction and unfortunately we followed him like dogs follow their master. I apologize for not mentioning excerpts from the speeches of our honourable MPs Jassim Al Saidi and Mohammed Khalid and their likes (We ask God to guide us and them). I do not mean to underestimate their person but what they have said does not fall short from sounding like the awful rhetoric of Israel’s Foreign Minister Lieberman towards the Palestinians. In their case, their hatred and xenophobia is directed towards the Shias. We do not know the source of all this hatred but they are convinced on condemning the Shias and permitting Jihad against them! Myself and people like me were hateful against the Shias as well and we used to utter words harsher than what these MPs and others have said against the Shias. Unfortunately, thatâ€™s what weâ€™ve learned in our mosques and from our religious scholars unlike what the Shias learn in their mosques and husseiniyas.
Since the beginning of the crisis, many events were fabricated by Sunnis with the support of security forces. Unfortunately, we believed and promoted these stories and cursed the innocent people all in the name of protecting this country from the fictitious scare they promoted. Some of the stories they framed and invented include the following:
- The â€˜Occupationâ€™ of Pearl Roundabout (which they refuse to refer to as Pearl Roundabout despite being referred to as such in all our school books!)
- The incident at the University of Bahrain. All the videos and pictures bear witness to the criminal acts we have committed against this Country
- The incident of cutting the tongue of the muezzin. I was so angry about this incident that I wanted to seek revenge by doing the same against one of them (the Shias). But then the lies were exposed and the Ambassador of Bangladesh denied the story. This incident demonstrates the extent to which we have sold this country- even our muezzins are foreign, our imams are foreign, our military and security forces are foreign. Truly, we live in a cocktail that weâ€™ve created with our own hands especially for the Foreigner to live and for us to die in. All praise and gratitude be to God that the truth has emerged before it is too late and before our conscious-less and honourless MPs sell this country for good. I am outraged at them because they have intentionally fabricated the facts and created all this hatred in our hearts. They have played with peopleâ€™s emotions and we have given them that opportunity by voting for them.
- The crimes of the (pro-government) thugs and I was one of them and there are many of us including the â€˜new Bahrainisâ€™ who joined us in these crimes (we were about to kill, kidnap, etc.). Despite all that, we have never seen a single Shia enter our villages to destroy or terrorize. Nor did we find any Shia attacking us or committing any wrongdoing to justify the mess we have created it. We started fearing everything and anything because we believed those who sold their country. If all this was to the benefit of the â€˜new Bahrainisâ€™ what was to our benefit or yours? Shame on you!
- The incidents at schools, ministries and companies which was among the worst you have encouraged us to do. We became in a race to finding pictures of the â€˜traitorsâ€™? Was going to pearl roundabout and carrying the flag of Bahrain such a crime? (in reference to the sacking of employees who participated in the protests and general strike)
- I hear and witness events everyday but our media chose not to cover them and we chose to believe the lies of these TV stations, their reporters and their guests who sold their soul to the devil. Even the Takbeer was labeled as noise and therefore deserving of gunshots and teargas. Photos of the leadership are hung everywhere, on every light pole, tree trunk, toilet, kitchen and farm. It reminded us of Saddam and Gaddafi and the crimes they commit and their claims that the people loved them. We love and will continue to love Al-Khalifa and we will not accept anyone else but come on give us a break! Instead of planting the love of our leadership you have made us detest all these exaggerated images.
- The arrest of women also shocked me and made me think: Would we accept if that happened to us? to our teachers, doctors, nurses, students and employees? Donâ€™t we fear God for all the crimes weâ€™ve committed in the name of protecting our Country and our Sect but all we succeeded to do is destroy this Country in a race for money and status!
We have realized that if we want to live a life of dignity and true faith, we should not stand with those who promoted or condoned all the corruption we have witnessed- the corruption of souls, minds and conscience. We have demeaned ourselves by claiming faith which has nothing to do with the Islamic teachings of our Prophet (pbuh).
He who seeks truth and justice must treat human beings as human beings and not based on belief, sect, nationality or any other affiliation as if saying â€œIf you are with us, we thank you and if you are against us, weâ€™ll kill you!!!â€. We do not want to be partners in your crimes and your actions. We do not want your actions against this country to be attributed to us or to any honourable Sunni. We do not want to live a life of abundance over the bodies of innocent people and the dignity of our Shia brothers nor do we want the predominance of our Sect and our People at the expense of others. What has happened proves that we have sold our country. Our country no longer belongs to those who carved its glory but now belongs to a mixture of defeated Bahrainis and a growing number of people committing crimes and panting for money. God forbid what hides behind the hands of those who abuse the security of this country including Indians, Baloushis, Pakistanis, Syrians, Yemenis, Jordanians, Baathists and other naturalized citizens (with all due respect to the honourable people from those countries and those who deservingly were granted the Bahraini citizenship) . It is those kinds of people who made us forget what peace and security is and we probably will not see it anymore. Thanks, all the thanks to our religious leaders and scholars that we are now lost until God guides us to the straight path and restores all our wrongdoing (that which was committed and that which we are aware of and that which is hidden). We ask God for forgiveness from every great Sin.
On Behalf of the Group