Sunni and Shiite communities in Bahrain have launched an initiative during the Islamic month of Ramadan to encourage greater communication between both Muslim sects, Al Arabiya reported on Tuesday.
Under the slogan “Bahrain brings us together,” Sunni and Shiite Bahraini nationals have organized “Ramadan visits” during the holy month of daylight fasting.
The scheme encourages Bahrainis to meet and visit each other to look past religious differences, at a time of heightened fears over sectarian prejudice.
On Tuesday, Bahrain’s crown prince ordered police to exercise restraint in dealing with pro-democracy protesters and to avoid sectarian discrimination.
As part of the “Ramadan visits” scheme, this week a Sunni member of parliament took a group of fellow Sunni Bahrainis to visit a predominantly Shiite area in central Bahrain.
In the meeting, which was described by the participants as “friendly,” both parties stressed the need for national unity and condemned recent violence during pro-democracy protests which began last year.
“This visit is one that a human being gives to another human being. It renews mutual feelings of love and respect [from both parties]” one participant at the meeting said.
The groups called on Bahraini government councils and policymakers to take the scheme further and push towards greater national unity.