The initiative, initiated by the Bahrain Foundation for Reconciliation and Civil Discourse, for holding joint Sunni and Shia prayers in the Aali Grand Mosque which incidently is a prominent Shia mosque on 3 July is important for demonstrating Bahrain’s national unity at time when the forces of division and intolerance are increasingly active.

The Crown Prince has stressed that Ramadan is a time when Muslims must give priority to the values of peace and tolerance which underpin the Islamic faith. The joint prayers of Bahrain’s two major holy sects is a living manifestation of this.

The recent Sunni-Shia prayers in Kuwait sent a vital message to those deviant extremists who attacked mosques and murdered innocent Muslims, that all Muslims can unite against their message of hatred and violence.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of all those who have fallen victim to recent terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Tunisia and elsewhere.

Sunnis, Shia and all Muslims are united by so much more than the small differences which divide us. We must come together to show the world our love, unity and desire for peace.

We hope that many Bahrainis will heed the call for joining together in prayer and that this one initiative will be the first of many; healing the wounds which have divided our society and declaring that, first and foremost, we are all devoted Muslims and all proud Bahrainis.

May God bless you all.

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