International Al-Quds Day will be celebrated on Friday, June 23, in many Shi’a Muslim communities. Rallies are expected, as Shi’as typically gather on this day to hold anti-Israel protests, condemning Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Rallies could turn violent and take the form of generalized protests against the West.
Al-Quds Day was initiated by Iran in 1979 in opposition to Israel’s Jerusalem Day. Iran sponsors Al-Quds Day rallies and protests in both Muslim-majority and non-Muslim-majority countries. It falls every year on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.
Protests by Shi'a Muslims in Bahrain are common - particularly on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays - and regularly result in violent clashes. On May 23 of this year, five activists protesting in Diraz were killed in clashes with security forces. Shi’as accuse the royal family and the government of marginalizing their community.
Individuals in Bahrain are advised to avoid any form of protest or public gathering, to monitor the situation closely, and to expect traffic disruptions.
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