The Islamic State has purportedly released a video threatening Bahrain, titled, “Bahrain – Where is it Heading?” It also threatens Saudi Arabia. Intermixed in the video is footage of sharia law punishments. The video was released on ISIS terrorist channels on December 6.
ISIS has previously threatened Bahrain before, which is headed by a Sunni monarchy that rules over a Shia majority. However, according to The Guardian, “This is not to say that all Bahraini Sunnis are rich or that being Shia is always synonymous with being poor. As many commentators will point out, Bahrain is home to economically powerful Shia families and high-ranking Shia government officials.”
ISIS has tried to play into the historic violence between Sunni and Shia in the Persian Gulf. Last year, Al-Masdar News reported that ISIS called on its sympathizers to attack Shia and their supporters in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
In the video, ISIS gives a brief, Islamist viewpoint of Bahraini history before moving on towards its place in the current political climate.
Over and over again, the video urges for violence against Shia.
At about 15:30, sharia law punishments are shown being carried out by ISIS religious police, known as “hisbah.” Hisbah is short for “Rijaal al-hisbah” and translates to “men who guard against infringements.” “Infringements” in this context refers to anything seen as non-Islamic by sharia law interpretation. According to the Learn to Read the Quran, hisbah police duties includes the monitoring of:
1- Free mixing of the sexes and wanton display of beauty (tabarruj) which are forbidden according [to sharia.]
2- Imitation of either of the sexes by the other.
3- Men making approaches to women either verbally or by their actions.
4- Profane, obscene or indecent speech.
5- Playing radios, TVs or recorders etc. near mosques or in such a way as to disturb the worshippers.
6- Non-Muslims openly manifesting their beliefs or the symbols of their religion, or showing disrespect towards the symbols and rulings of Islam.
7- Displaying or selling pictures, books or video or audio recordings which go against Islamic etiquette or Islamic beliefs.
8- Displaying 3-D or promiscuous images, or the symbols of non-Islamic religions such as the cross, the star of David, images of the Buddha, and the like.
9- Manufacturing or promoting or trading in intoxicants.
10- Means that lead to immoral actions such as adultery, homosexuality and gambling, or running houses and places where evil and immoral actions may be committed.
11- Manifest bid’ah (innovation), such as venerating certain times and places for which there is no sanction in sharee’ah, or celebrating innovated, un-Islamic festivals and occasions.
12- Practising witchcraft, magic and trickery in order to consume people’s wealth unlawfully.
13- Cheating in weights and measures.
Hisbah enforce sharia law, which enforces “hudud.” Hudud means “boundaries” in Arabic.
At the end of the video, ISIS holds an “in memoriam” of Islamic State fighters who have recently died in the Sunni Islamist cause.
In a new photo report purportedly released by the Islamic State, ISIS militants in Deir ez-Zor, "Wilayat al-Khayr," Syria participate in "ribat," an Islamic term for patrolling.Click here to read more
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