By Arré Bench Aug. 17, 2020
In a viral video a burqa-clad woman was seen throwing Ganpati idols on the floor of a Bahrain supermarket. It led to outrage online, but the Bahraini police said they’d taken legal action against her. “Destroying religious symbols is not part of the nature of the Bahraini people,” royal adviser Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said.
A video went viral on social media on Sunday, where a burqa-clad woman is throwing Ganpati idols on the floor of a supermarket in Bahrain.
In the video, one can see two women standing near an aisle where idols of Lord Ganesha are kept for display ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi. One of the women starts throwing the idols on the floor one by one, shattering them into pieces. The other woman records the incident on her phone. “This is a Muslim country, correct?” the woman is heard saying to the man in the shop. “Let us see who will worship these statues. Call the cops,” the other woman said.
The viral #video shows a burqa-clad woman in a supermarket in #Bahrain slamming #Ganpati idols, kept on the display ahead of the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi festival, on the floor and shattering them into pieces. बप्पा माफ़ करना इनको 🙏 pic.twitter.com/bH0HAP8RwT
— Vivek Bajpai विवेक बाजपेयी (@vivekbajpai84) August 16, 2020
The incident took place inside a souvenir store in Manama’s area of Juffair. The Bahraini police said they had taken legal action against the woman. The Ministry of Interior of Bahrain tweeted, “Capital Police took legal steps against a woman, 54, for damaging a shop in Juffair and defaming a sect and its rituals, in order to refer her to the Public Prosecution.”
Capital Police took legal steps against a woman, 54, for damaging a shop in Juffair and defaming a sect and its rituals, in order to refer her to the Public Prosecution.
— Ministry of Interior (@moi_bahrain) August 16, 2020
“Destroying religious symbols is not part of the nature of the Bahraini people,” royal adviser Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said.
#Bahrain prosecutes woman for destroying Hindu statues
— Gulf News (@gulf_news) August 16, 2020
The video drew immediate and sharp reactions on social media. “This is not at all acceptable. If you love your religion, doesn’t mean you disrespect other religions,” said Ketan Sawant.
I am totally disappointed by this. #Bloodyhell how can u do such shitty things @PMOIndia @BahrainMirror this is not at all acceptable. If u love ur religion that doesn’t mean that u disrespect other religion. #KarmahitsBack @DrSJaishankar @MEAIndiahttps://t.co/nR92VgQvdJ
— Ketan Sawant 🇮🇳 (@KetansinhS) August 16, 2020
Columnist Tarek Fateh described it as “tyranny that passes for tolerance.”
The tyranny that passes for tolerance.
— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) August 16, 2020
Some wished better wisdom on the women, stating that, “Ganpati Bappa is the lord of fortune, wisdom, good luck and prosperity. May the ladies involved in the act realise their mistake.”
Ganpati Bappa is the lord of fortune, wisdom, good luck and prosperity. May the ladies involved in the act realise their mistake. 🙏🏻
— Sanity (@_Sanity_V) August 16, 2020
Many hailed the country for taking swift action.
— Vineet Chhajer (@Vineet_Chhajer) August 16, 2020
Thankfully it was dealt with appropriate action!! https://t.co/5gqOjU5yfs
— kingshuksen (@kingshuk_sen) August 17, 2020
“And we put the Babri Masjid criminals in government with the biggest ever mandate,” pointed out one user.
— Indian (@tyagiketweets) August 17, 2020
Many users, including Indians who have been living in the Middle East, pointed out that Bahrain was one of the more liberal societies in the gulf region and the blind hatred of the country based on one incident was uncalled for.
Bharain is one of the most liberal and just society in whole of Gulf region.
More liberal then even UAE.
We have full faith in Bahrain.
— Hibernating. (@HibernationON) August 16, 2020
“Bahrain has a very liberal view on religious freedom. This lady is an aberration and not the norm,” tweeted another user.
Yes you are wrong. No minority is oppressed in Bahrain. Bahrain has a very liberal view on religious freedom. This lady is an aberration and not the norm!
— shafiq Fernandez (@ShafiqFndz) August 16, 2020
Foreigners account for over half of Bahrain’s total population of 1.7 million. And while such incidents are deeply tragic, what matters is that swift action is taken and it is not normalised in society. On social media, we all have a responsibility to not perpetuate this hate further based on stray incidents, taking place in a society we know little of. The last thing we need in the middle of a pandemic, is more religious polarisation.