Sunday, March 6, 2011

Thoughts on Wrath

We stand at a crossroads in Bahrain. Wisdom, fairness and compromise are required at this stage. Hopefully all Bahrainis would refrain from any naïve sectarianism and avoid stereotypes and impromptu assumptions. This report is an attempt to put you in the picture and gain quite revealing insights about the events in my beloved country.

Who are those sit –in demonstrators?

Those demonstrators are grown, mature and calm youth. Actually, most of them are women. They are not veiled, their identities are known and you can get their names with ease and open-handedness. They insist on the fact that their protests shall be peaceful as they stand in peace on both roadsides, not in the middle, sitting on the ground or the sidewalks, raising their hands as the riot police gets nearer, they demonstrate the same way as do the protesters all over the developed countries. No tyres were burnt, no traffic signs were broken, no stones were thrown, and no gas cylinder was exploded, though it was claimed that a cylinder gas truck was stolen to be exploded. No swords and knives were carried as claimed by some biased sources. If any of this had taken place, all photos would be posted and published as headlines in every newspaper in the next day. These anti-regime demonstrators are of a different type, they wave the Bahraini flag and cheer out of love and sacrifice in body and soul for Bahrain. Sometimes, they shout: peaceful, peaceful to remind themselves and others that their rally is peaceful and it should be so. This civil style in expression was our appeal in the past years and even when the security forces left the squares for demonstrators, may be as a way to test their intentions and backgrounds, they kept calm and no escalation was on their parts. They did not throw even a facial tissue at anyone.

Why was there an abuse of power from the ruling regime?

The military presence was intense. It fired a shower of bullets, sound bombs and tear-gas in crack-down on anti-government protests. Ten people have been wounded and two killed in less than 24 hours and the demonstrators have been brutalized. The next day, the situation has drastically changed, maybe the instructions in the first day was an extreme reaction to what was taking place and the recommendation was to take repressive actions against the anti-regime protesters on the belief that protests bred a cycle of violence but the rally was peaceful and calm. The peacefulness of the demonstrations cannot be used as evidence against demonstrators unlike the case when chaos leads to street battles between demonstrators and riot police.
In both cases, His Majesty‘s speech and his assertion on the people’s right of demonstration, sit-in and freedom of speech was undoubtedly the decisive factor in the freedom granted to demonstrators.

What demands are you exactly talking about?

*Constitutional amendments to grant more powers to the people.
*A national board which shall be fully empowered to enter into a full dialogue with all parties for consensus and comprehensive national reconciliation
*stopping the political naturalization
* Accountability of embezzlers of wealth and public funds
*Removal of the rich people, whose wealth proves to be at the expense of others, leading to social stratification, and unfavourable distribution of income along with demands about improving the living conditions.
We do not think that there is any abnormal and anti-national demand. Of course, some demonstrators demand more changes such as a constitutional monarchy as well as a legislative council to be fully elected including the Shura Council but no demands are sacred. The political power can agree with the demonstrators on common ground as this is not a battle of “break the bones’’ policy as some tried to circulate.

If the demands of the anti-government protesters are like that, so why are protesters from the Shiite community? Why does the issue seem to be a sectarian rift among Sunnis and Shiites?

The unique effective way to crackdown on any popular movement is to dub it in sectarian, racial or individualistic jargon, and this exit strategy is used in Bahrain to thwart the fair demands of the opposition rally. Bahrain used to be proud for decades for its vibrant political plurality as well as what the demands of the opposition movement has achieved in the seventies. However, much sectarian problems still divide the population. The Sunni leading political figures used to put their shoulders to the wheel and the landmark achievements today are due to the Sunni prominent leaders, however, a rift developed in the community  and the Bahrainis are right now slipping into a sectarian coma, and voices fuel and instigate the sectarian hatred. As a result, Sunni and Shiites nowadays are deeply wary of each
other, and some of both sects are delusional by believing that any response to the social demands of Shiites is at the expense of Sunnis. Strife is centred on how to cherish and preserve individual gains, not national achievements, though any observer of the protesters’ demands can obviously see them devoid of sectarian labels and suggestions, and meeting these demands will provide welfare and reflect the benefit to society as a whole .

How far are Iran and Qatar having a hand in Bahrain simmering unrest?

The link is like Great Britain and India!!!! It does not make sense to believe the myth that the driving force of Bahrain uprising is motivated by foreigners. The doubts raised regarding hidden hands, foreign agendas, funds of the Iranian neo-Safawid regime and there has been no evidence of Iranian involvement for decades the transfer of remittances is observed, phone calls are monitored, movements and meetings go public and the power has all the means .You are kindly requested to show evidence that there is a direct link between Iran’s sapping and beleaguered  power, plunged into its divide and strife and the Bahrain’s political forces which are at fault, just because Shi'ism is a common denominator with Iran !!!!

Qatar’s satellite channels provide not only a platform for Bahrainis and what are these fallacies and biased assumptions on conspiracy mentality designed for?
What we are talking about is internal demands for an internal situation and it does not stand to reason to label the demands of Bahrainis for their rights or changes to be traitors, troublemakers or renegades!!!

Tension has an economic and social cost!!!

National and ideological upheavals are usually costly but it is price-inclusive as the common wisdom says.
We should agree on demands whether to be realistic, urgent and postponed, the political move is a blessing, social dialogue is a blessing, and the result is a blessing in disguise. Now is the perfect time for people to express their opinions with freedom and transparency. Thousands of protesters who took to the streets are not cats or expatriates, and if they were expatriates, their voices should be heard. Bahrain’s 17 administrative districts which have witnessed demonstrations are not in Tanzania or Bolivia, they are nationals and your fellow countrymen. The anti-government protesters’ demands for welfare and gains will benefit everyone. The problem containment and demands are to be fairly considered is a must.

Why did the demonstrations take place on the same day of the national charter? Is it to spoil the jubilation of Bahrainis?

The national charter used to be a turning point over the course of the action. It was the landmark day in the history of Bahrain followed by prosperous years. This was the dearest unprecedented day in the hearts of Bahrainis and the Bahrainis right now have no anniversary to rally around with love. At noon I attended the anniversary of Bahrain national charter in the presence of His Majesty, though at night I was with demonstrators in the hospital and I said to them:
“The national charter and its anniversary is a source of pride and happiness for us. Yet, we support the Bahrainis right for more reforms, and this is exactly the demands of our people. The charter, used to be ten years ago a shift from a repressive state into a modern one, and the anniversary may as well be the same toward a full-fledged democratic state.”

But the Bahrainis as a whole are not satisfied with such demands? Or rather the way ,these demands are expressed ?

The demonstrators have the right to protest. Each person has his/her opinion about the course of events and freedom of expression should be guaranteed. The jubilant demonstrators who took to the streets, cheering and waving national flags have the right to believe that their hopes are fulfilled, and those bearers of the Bahrain flag have the right to chant its name and demand for more freedom of expression. The most important points include the use of respectful language and mutual appreciation. Objectivity should prevail and the demonstrators in the streets should not be labelled as traitors, troublemakers and anarchists and those loyalists who pledge support to the king, chanting and carrying posters of the monarch are not political sycophants, social climbers and opportunists. Each person has his point of view and freedom of speech should be observed as Voltaire said “I disagree with you, but I'm ready to die to let you express your opinion”.

So what?

Bahrain is the homeland for all sects, and the days to come will be better and do not get scared of changes and upheavals to take place and turn a deaf ear to agents of wrath and sowers of discord.

Man proposes and God disposes


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