Antisemitism Around The World - Asia - Bahrain


Further information: History of the Jews in Bahrain

Bahrain's tiny Jewish community, mostly the descendants of immigrants who entered the country in the early 1900s from Iraq, numbered 600 in 1948. Over the next few decades, most left for other countries, especially England; some 36 remain (as of 2006.)

Relations between Jews and Muslims are generally considered good, with Bahrain being the only state on the Arabian Peninsula where there is a specific Jewish community and the only Gulf state with a synagogue. One member of the community, Rouben Rouben, who sells electronics and appliances from his downtown showroom, said “95 percent of my customers are Bahrainis, and the government is our No. 1 corporate customer. I’ve never felt any kind of discrimination.”

Members play a prominent role in civil society: Ebrahim Nono was appointed in 2002 a member of Bahrain's upper house of parliament, the Consultative Council, while a Jewish woman heads a human rights group, the Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society. According to the JTA news agency, the active Jewish community is "a source of pride for Bahraini officials".

In Bahrain's 2006 parliamentary election, some candidates have specifically sought out the Jewish vote; writer Munira Fakhro, Vice President of the Leftist National Democratic Action, standing in Isa Town told the local press: "There are 20- 30 Jews in my area and I would be working for their benefit and raise their standard of living."

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