Yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen. Another example of Muslims in Bahrain obsessed with controlling the bodies of others. This time, if MP Al Saeedi has his way, way may soon have our very own mutawwas!
Now, I'm quite confident that this proposal will never be able make its way through the legislature to be put in to law. But I will defend the right of anyone (even this guy) to put forward any idea (even this one) on to the table to be debated; for this is after all what democracy is all about. However, I shall also be quick to criticize those MPs who do not use this right wisely. There are so many more important issues that need to be discussed: poverty, crime, unemployment, health, racial, sectarian, and gender discrimination. It is the responsibility of the MPs to know that they shouldn't be wasting the Parliament's time with proposals about religious watchdogs and segregating the university. Other ideas that have been proposed in the past by MP Al Saeedi, which are similar in that they waste the Parliament's time and resources are:
My point is not to suggest that these ideas are completely ridiculous (although the one about reducing prison sentences if you can recite the Quran comes quite close). Rather, my point is that the MPs really need to prioritize, and must be very selective about which ideas are relevant enough to the Bahraini masses for them to be proposed in Parliament. The day that unemployment falls below 10%, and crime is not so rampant, I will be quite happy to hear a healthy debate on these issues. Until then, please, let's focus on the more important issues.
(Taken from the Council of Representatives website)
- Proposed Motion on reducing prison sentence of inmates who recite parts of the Qura'an or the righteous path of the Prophet. Presented by the H.E.: Jassim Ahmed Al-Saeedi, dated: 20/10/2003
- Proposed Motion to allow the growing of beards for men and the wearing of head scarves for women in the Kingdom's ministries and its institutions, Presented by the H.E.: Jassim Ahmed Al-Saeedi, dated: 20/10/2003
- Proposed Motion on not allowing those under the age of 21 to travel outside the country without the consent of their parents. Presented by the H.E.: Jassim Ahmed Al-Saeedi, dated: 22/10/2003
If you'd like to give your opinion to MP Al Saeedi about this, or any other issue, then here is is his contact info:
Jassim Ahmed Al-SaeediI do encourage everyone in Bahrain to get in touch with their representatives as frequently as possible to let them know how you feel. Contact info for the Shura Council is here, and for the Council of Representatives here. So please, call them, fax them, e-mail them, and tell them to get their act together.
Telephone: +973 39460513
Fax: +973 17761997
Well, this is the report from today's GDN:
Bahrainis could soon be told how to behave, by a proposed religious watchdog.Hmmm... I'm confused.
Its job would be to monitor social behaviour, to promote Islam and admonish those who behave in an anti-Islamic manner, says the MP behind the idea.
Jassim Al Saeedi, who represents part of Riffa, said the Islamic Affairs Ministry backed the plan, which will be discussed in parliament once it resumes in October.
The council would offer spiritual guidance and religious encouragement through the media and by publicly preaching Islamic teachings.
But it would not have any power to police the community and would function under the ministry's umbrella, said Mr Al Saeedi.
He said the proposal had already been endorsed by the parliament's legal affairs committee and Islamic Affairs Under-Secretary Shaikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Mr Al Saeedi stressed the panel would focus on spiritual guidance, while respecting the freedoms of others, within the provisions of the country's constitution.
He said that the aim was to safeguard the community's traditions and culture.
"We are seeing every day behaviour which is against the teachings of Islam such as theft, vandalism and other heinous acts," said Mr Al Saeedi.
But he said there was no place for violence in Islam and criticised vigilantes who had reportedly attacked some people over the past few months.
"The people who acted violently against others in the name of Islam are the ones who should be approached by the council to teach them about religious behaviour," said Mr Al Saeedi.