Will 355/2023 Edict Open Door to Building Jewish Temple at Bab Al-Bahrain?
2023-04-20 - 11:54 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning in Bahrain issued an edict that raises concerns again about plans to Judaize neighborhoods in the capital, Manama.
The new edict changes the classification of a property in the center of the capital to fall under "religious services". The decision does not include clarification on the nature of these services.
The first article of the edict included "amending the classification of property No. 13060147 located in the downtown of the capital, Manama, Block 304, classified within the classification of service areas and public areas (PS) to the classification of religious service areas (CSR), according to planning and technical studies of the areas."
The edict was based on a presentation by the CEO of the Urban Planning Authority, and what he called social, urban and planning studies of the region.
It further stipulated the implementation of the regulatory requirements for reconstruction.
The property is located in the area surrounding Bab Al-Bahrain, which is the main façade of the capital Manama.
The edict raises further concerns about the government's continuous plans to change the identity of the capital, Manama, by expanding the Jewish presence there to reach up to 40% of the old Manama.
Bahrain Mirror has previously pointed out the opening of a Jewish-themed hotel in the area where the property whose classification was changed is located.
The newly developed "Merchant House" opened near the entrance to Haji Café as an introduction for Jewish neighborhoods and streets.
The hotel is designed in a way that matches the architecture of Jewish communities. Hebrew signs are hung on its walls as well as numerous paintings on Jewish history with a musical background dedicated to highlighting Jewish recitations and songs.
These government decisions have nothing to do with religious diversity in Bahrain, but come within well-known political contexts targeting the presence of the main component in the country, the Shia population. Such a dubious decision comes in light of a programmed trend to exclude Shiites and change the country's demographic make-up as well as the religious identity of Manama in particular.