Bahrain charges woman with insulting Hindu religious symbol

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A woman in Bahrain seen smashing Hindu religious statues in a video published online has been charged with intentional damage and publicly insulting “religious idols,” said the interior ministry.

The police said on Sunday that the 54-year-old woman was summoned after the video on social media showed her “intentionally damaging a shop... and breaking religious idols” in the Juffair area in the capital Manama, added the interior ministry.

Shortly after, the public prosecution issued a statement saying the woman had admitted to breaking the statues and was charged with multiple counts of criminal damage and of insulting a religious symbol.

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She will be tried in court, it added.

The incident sparked widespread condemnation on social media.

Sheikh Khalid al-Khalifa, advisor to the king of Bahrain and former foreign minister, said the woman’s actions were unacceptable.

“Breaking of religious symbols is not the nature of the people of Bahrain. It is a crime... of hatred and is rejected,” he tweeted.
“Here, all religions, sects and people coexist.”

Hundreds of thousands of mostly Asian workers of different religions live in the Muslim country.

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