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Ministry cautions against religious fundraising.

Summary: Zero tolerance towards curricula that promote violence, sectarianism

Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief

Manama: The Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Ministry in Bahrain has cautioned against raising donations for religious purposes without authorisation.

All parties must abide by the legal measures and obtain the necessary licences before collecting donations, in compliance with the provisions governing fundraising for public purposes, the ministry said in a statement.

The mandatory procedures are in compliance with the law-decree 21/ 2013 on regulating fundraisers for public purposes, edict 47/2014 on issuing the executive bylaw for law-decree 21/2013, the statement said.

The ministry added that all individuals who are raising funds or receiving donations for religious purposes, including alms-giving and mosque construction, or as religious figures, to contact the ministry and apply for a licence.

The Directorate of Religious Affairs has been assigned to receive applications and issue licences and competent authorities will facilitate procedures and guide the applicants, the statement, carried by Bahrain News Agency (BNA) on Sunday added.

The ministry stressed the terms cited in the decree to regulate donations and funds that are raised in Bahrain or abroad and underlined its role, since the promulgation of the law-decree, to streamline procedures and facilitate measures to ensure maximum benefit for those who plan to raise donations.

In the statement, the ministry underscored the importance of regulating fundraisers, stressing its role in enforcing transparency in collecting funds and donations, conserving charities, and ensuring raised funds are not misused for illegal ends.

It stressed the need to monitor any source that may pose a risk to security, social cohesion and the national and Islamic unity and subvert co-existence between all citizens, regardless of their religions or doctrines.

While stressing respect of all differences, the ministry said that no-one would be allowed to exploit this issue as a pretext for illegal acts.

"Leaving religious educational establishments without accountability or legal overview would represent an infringement to the state institutions and the rule of the law", it said.

"There is a need to respect the law and abide by official procedures in order to protect the country against any ideologies or ideas that encourage sectarianism, hatred or violence and are against the spirit of moderation and national unity."

The ministry said it had a zero-tolerance policy towards anything that threatens security and social peace, stressing that compliance with the law preserved rights and duties.

The ministry said that it would take all measures to remove any school curricula that contain ideas that advocate violence, fuel sectarian strife and foment hatred.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Jan 4, 2016
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