Boiling point reached?

30 Nov, '05

The government is being so amateurish lately that it boggles the mind how they actually continue to believe that the only way to rule is by sweeping problems under carpets, rather than courageously coming out and facing them head on. Isn’t this attitude the very thing that started the “troubles” of the ’90s?

We have a “situation” here that threatens to turn the country once again upside down internally, and losing it whatever is left of its tattered reputation internationally.

Why didn’t the Interior Ministry IMMEDIATELY hold a press conference after hearing of these dangerous allegations and propose a full and independent investigation into the matter is beyond belief. This only suggests that the ministry just doesn’t give a damn about it’s reputation in the first place, and that it feels no justification for doing so as it is above suspicion and above the law.

A person was allegedly sexually violated and attacked supposedly by five plain-clothed members of the police in a brazen attempt to dissuade him and his colleagues from demonstrating in front of the Royal Court and not a word of apology or promise of investigation yet, all we get in the popular press is the same platitudes. Should we be surprised that main-street is in uproar?

Up your game guys, please. This is getting very frustrating and tiring.

update 3 Dec ’05: You have to take your hat off to Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al-Khalifa, he organised a press conference last night and laid the full details out in the open and beseached community leaders and parents to help in quelling the rioting while confirming the full rights to democratic ltools like demonstrations and freedoms of speech.

The riots we have witnessed have ceased since last night, when the clerics finally came out and told people to not cause any more troubles.

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Comments (56)

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  1. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    The Interior Ministry will have to answer to these problems, but giving in immediately I believe would be like giving in to the wishes of these rioters. It would let them believe that violence will cause the Government to look into their problems, and I think that would not be right at all! If anything, these demonstrators who resorted to violence should learn that such aggressive and vicious acts would lead nowhere. I’m sure that you will see responses from the Government and the entire community very soon. However, I don’t think that they should be responding immediately after all the atrocity committed. I have no idea as to these people’s backgrounds, and I can’t even begin to imagine what they have to go through on a daily basis from unemployment and poverty, but I am not one who supports violence and definitely not one who would ever give into it!

    I do believe, like you said, that the Interior Ministry must act and hold a press conference as to what needs to be done in order to maintain order in the future.

    Peace!

    Ahmed

  2. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    It’s sad that this kind of thing keeps happening. I can see both sides at fault here.

    Firstly, the protester insist on rallying in one of the few places in the country that protests are not allowed.

    Secondly, in other countries, a person of authority usually meets up with protest leaders as soon as the protest has begun to hold a negotiation, this is what we want, this is what we can give you kind of thing. The fact that protestors mobilised a sizeable number of people means that 90% of their point has already been made & with early talks, it can be made clear immediately what the next few hours of protest will be like.

    As far as the rape goes, you know Bahrain whoever did it will get off with a BD.50 fine, thanks to our judiciary. There is evidence that police are becomming more & more accountable each day, but the pace is still far too slow for the majority of us who expect western standards of conduct & professionality.

  3. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    I think you are missing a pretty crucial word in your post today Mahmood. “allegedly”

    “allegedly” sexually violated and attacked… I do agree that things have to be addressed, but I am also sick and tired of these he said, she said games… and please, don’t point me to bodily injury, etc.. we all know those can be staged..

    the point is, the country has a lot of issues that require immediate action… I just couldn’t help but point out, however, innocent until proven guilty.. and that works on boths sides, whether the accused is a civilian or member of the armed forces..

    my 2 cents,
    nomadicarab

  4. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    One more time im hearing the voice of helicopters I think there is some thing wrong today as well

    Gudda

  5. mahmood says:

    Re: Boiling point reached?

    You are absolutely correct, and I apologise for that slip. I have added the word to the main article as that is actually what I intended. I should stop posting so early in the morning!

  6. Shroof says:

    Boiling point reached?

    This is a scary development which has highlighted just how little Bahrain has really moved on since the 1990’s uprising. The people seem to be waiting on Shaik Issa Qasim to say something, and he seems to be reluctant to get involved, which has created a catch 22 situation. This should not be allowed to go by quietly, Bahrain still needs to change and maybe this is the right time to push for things to happen. Unemployment is still high and the levels of poverty are astonishing considering Bahrain’s wealth and size.

  7. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    Yes there is another demonstration now in Ras Romaan…. and another severe clampdown by the riot police…

    This country won’t see peace until the government addresses seriously its economic and political failings… which means DRASTIC action (not wishy-washy glorified recommendations from a foreign think-tank)…getting rid of corrupt offcials… getting rid of the mercenaries… declaring the country’s true financial income and revenue(rather than what they decide to tell us the country’s financial budget is as they pocket all a large percentage of it)… from this they can build a social security system… if we had someone in power with a true vision, you don’t need to pay millions of dollars for someone to state the obvious….these measure would definitely ease the problem in the short-term… with more transparency, THEN you can begin to implement fancy economic models for the long-term… as for now, McKinsey’s report is worthless and it seems like it was just a marketing ploy to get the US senate to pass a YES vote on the US-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement…

  8. mahmood says:

    Re: Boiling point reached?

    That’s not the issue though Ahmed. The issue is that there was an ALLEGED extreme use of humiliation in order to have the upper hand by members of the government. That news spread like wildfire throughout the community, and with the presence of incitement (from members of the opposition) that will turn into a major riot and unrest that all of us will suffer from.

    The government has the release valve and can calm the situation down immediately by being upfront about it and not resort to escalate the problems further. They should immediately announce that they are holding an independent inquiry and will not hesitate in punishing whoever is in the wrong to the full extent of the law. If the commission of inquiry finds that Abd-Ali fabricated his story in order to create unrest, I don’t want to see him out of prison soon, but if his story is true then the perpetrators MUST be identified and brought to justice and then get the full punishment allowed under the law.

    Unemployment etc are all secondary issues to this as far as I’m concerned. The nation’s dignity must be ameliorated first.

  9. mahmood says:

    Re: Boiling point reached?

    a person of authority usually meets up with protest leaders as soon as the protest has begun to hold a negotiation

    protests are legitimate tools to get opinions to reach those in power who the demonstrators might feel is not cognizant of the facts and feelings they experience because of the various layers between the protesters and management. Protests happen normally as a last resort when those protesting have almost given up hope of getting their opinions heard and a mutually agreeable platform reached. Therefore there should be no restriction as to the venue of the protest, if you consider that the intention of that demonstration is to deliver opinions to the leadership. The Royal Court with deep respect is not The Ka’aba.

    However there is no excuse for any protest to turn violent. If this is the intention, as it seems from Chan’ad’s reports, was its main intention by the fact that they brought bags of stones with them to the protest. This fact alone robs the protest of any legitimacy as it has turned into a riot, a mob looking for confrontation and trouble. It is this that the business community will find alarming, not the fact that demonstrations happen in Bahrain.

    As to the alleged rape, it is incumbent on the state to exercise restraint at all times. Having thugs do its bidding, if true, is unconscionable and inexcusable. Not only the alleged perpetrators of this act should be punished, but their whole chain of command who allowed this lapse in the rule of law to occur.

  10. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    “Who says there was an act of violence from the protestors???? The demonstration was very much peaceful. It is the police that started it, baring in mind that there were women and children as well.” – Regardless of who started what, there should be no rock throwing and garbage can burning! If the demonstrators just marched holding signs asking for immediate gov’t action, you would have definitely seen it all over the news the next day. And to deny that there were any acts of violence from the protestors is absurd. I don’t think the police force was behind all the rock throwing, do you?

    “The unemployment comity had fought for a long time to just have a decent job to live, they were promised and promised, but nothing was done about it, and they did not take them seriously.” – I agree that this issue should be addressed immediately. Once such reforms as the Renovation of the Souq gets implemented, which the MPs have been postponing forever, then you will see change.

    “I hope the government will be overthrown, because that’s what you get for treating its people inhumanly.” – If so, then I’m packing my bags because the performance of the MPs, whom were elected by the people, hasn’t been much better I’m sure we’ll all agree! The MPs have done nothing but discuss useless topics, and unfortunately, they weren’t even able to represent those unemployed in order to get them suitable jobs for their future. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one who supports our gov’t. It is very obvious that it functions under bureaucracy in which a great deal of corruption exists. However, I am sure that if Parliament wanted to help and support the unemployed, well, we wouldn’t even have this discussion now.

    Let’s work together people, because afterall, only with unity comes progress and development!

    Peace!

    Ahmed

  11. mahmood says:

    Re: Boiling point reached?

    With all due respect to Shaikh Isa Qassem and the Council of Ulama, this is an earthly situation that does not require their involvement nor indorsment. I would rather they continue to stay out of it as they have wisely decided to do so far.

  12. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    i just came back to home and i saw too many police and speical forces – they used tear gases and rubber bulet guns
    the best thing is police and speical forces knows very well how to control this situation and the bad thing is bahrain is burning which i hate it
    small place few people and fighting …………

    Gudda

  13. Shroof says:

    Re(1): Boiling point reached?

    They’ve stayed out not out of wiseness but because they don’t have the guts to make a stand. It’s a sad situation but most Bahrainies will not act unless one of the ulama and specifically Shaikh Issa Qasim, tells them to. I don’t agree with this mentality, but it’s the most prevalent in Bahrain.

    (My spelling is a little crazy today it would seem :s)
    [Modified by: Shroof (Shroof) on November 30, 2005 06:27 PM]

  14. anonymous says:

    Re: Alkhalifa, our dignity you will not take

    Calling for someone’s death is call for violence.

    What about “we will be peaceful unless another need arises”.

  15. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Boiling point reached?

    I completely agree and apologize about the misunderstanding. I didn’t know of this alleged crime until recently, and agree that, like you said, “the perpetrators MUST be identified and brought to justice and then get the full punishment allowed under the law.”

    Peace!

    Ahmed

  16. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    Compare this to the french rioting…. the immediate response was to try and understand that underlying factors that lead to youth resorting to violent protests…. by the end, even the government conceded that a lethal cocktail of years of discrimination, high unemployment rates and isolated communities were the causes….

    Ladies and gentlemen, our very own Unemployed Intifada has just erupted so brace yourselves for the worst.

  17. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    It is very sad that when people are given the right to express themselves they have to start bringing bags of rocks to demonstrations. There’s a big problem with people’s mentality. You hope that when you treat people as adults they behave as adults but instead they behave like animals.

  18. mahmood says:

    Re: Boiling point reached?

    Although they appear to have the moral upper hand at the moment – even with bringing bags of rocks with them, and with them fervently threatening people with death interspersed with Muslim-revolutionary-style-Allah Akbar shouts – I fear that if they do not tread very carefully they will once again lose the initiative and fizzle out.

    Now is not the time for violent actions nor fiery speaches. They have the upper hand only if they immediately engage the brain and curtail emotions.

    The negotiating table should be their ONLY goal now, not the overthrowing of a regime, because the latter is a near impossibility, and through the former problems can be addressed and hopefully resolved.

  19. anonymous says:

    Re: Boiling point reached?

    I think there is a problem with people’s mentality when they don’t try to understand the factors that underly such manifestations of protests that could turn violent, often instigated by over-zealous security forces. This isn’t unique to Bahrain, we saw it in Paris earlier in the year, in Bradford, in Los Angelos

    And according to the blogger that attended the protests yesterday, the rocks were thrown in retaliation to being thrown at with tear gas cannisters. Others ran away in fear, and others felt they would retaliate for the sake of a noble cause, and it seems people came well-prepared.

  20. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    [b]Bahrain: new infrigements of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly[/b]

    The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member organisation in Bahrain, the Bahrain Human Rights Society (BHRS) express their deepest concern regarding the reported attack of Musa ’Abd Ali, member of the (unofficial) Unemployed Committee, by alleged members of police forces in plain clothes, near his place of residence, in Ma’amer-Sitra area, on 27 November, 2005.

    On 22 November, 2005 the Unemployed Committee had decided to hold a peaceful gathering near the King’s Court to voice their concerns and requests. As representatives of the Committee were authorized to meet with a delegation of the Royal court, the gathering was postponed. Few days later, considering that no immediate measures promised by the authorities to solve the problem of unemployment were taken, the Committee has decided to organise on 29 November, a peaceful picket near the Royal Court in Riffa and has informed the Police Station at Riffa of this gathering. Their request was refused as the Royal court is considered as a forbidden area.

    Following the declaration by the Unemployed Committee to hold this gathering, several members of the Unemployed Committee and in particular, members of the dialogue team which met with the Royal court delegation have reportedly been subjected to different kinds of harrassment to dissuade them to hold a picket. On 27 November 2005 at night, Musa Abd Ali was caught by alleged armed security individuals in civilian clothes who sexually mistreated and beated him. He was summoned to pass message to the Unemployed Committee and told that the same treatment will be passed to the rest of the Committee and the unemployed if they do not renounce to the demonstration. On 30 November at 2.30 a.m., another member of the Unemployment Commitee, Hassan Abdulnabi was arrested by the police, he was released few hours later. He was also reported mistreated during the questioning.

    On 29 November, 2005 severe clashes took place between security forces and demonstrators protesting against the attack on the Unemployed Committee members, in central Manama. Several demonstrators were reported injured and human rights organisations in Bahrain condemned the disproportionate use of force by the police.

    FIDH and BHRS recall that on 19 June, 2005, the anti-riot police had cracked down on another protest gathering jobless Bahrainis by using excessive force, around 30 demonstrators were arrested for « protesting in a prohibited zone » and released the day after. On 15 July, 2005 a group of demonstrators led by the Unemployment Committee, gathered to protest the fact that the Bahraini national budget had been passed by the Parliament and the Shura Council without provision for a social welfare fund for the unemployed and low earners were reported wounded and were taken to hospitals, a part of them suffering from several fractures.

    FIDH and BHRS urge Bahraini authorities to take measures to ensure that police officers conform to international standards on the right to freedom of assembly and to put an end to use of force in all circumstances. They also call upon the authorities to open an investigation on the clashes and the alleged attack on Musa Abd Ali and to ensure that the perpetrators of the acts of violence will be brought to justice.

    FIDH and BHRS are concerned by these violations of human rights and individual liberties and in particular, the denial of freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly.

    FIDH and BHRS call upon the Bahraini authorities :

    to promote in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of all residents in Bahrain;

    to ensure the freedom of expression to all residents as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bahrain and international human rights instruments in particular, by Art. 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as recommended by several UN Committees which recently assessed on the human rights situation in the Kingdom of Bahrain;

    to ensure the freedom of peaceful assembly and to conform in particular, to 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders which stipulates in its Art. 5b that « for the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others (…) to meet or assemble peacefully ».

  21. mahmood says:

    Re(1): Boiling point reached?

    Sorry I can’t agree with you here, because if I did I would be condoning violence and I reject it regardless of who applies it.

    Now as far as the thought that “there is a problem with people’s mentality when they don’t try to understand the factors that underly such manifestations of protests that could turn violent,” I believe it does have some truth to it, in as much as trying to understand why wars happened in order not to repeat them at future dates. The factors here are plain: fear, frustration, hunger, unemployment, poverty are all powerful aphrodisiacs for violence and fatalistic endeavours, therefor the government would do well to keep these factors in mind and try extremely hard at lessening, rather than escalating the tensions of the street especially by the armed forces.

    There are ills in this country and they have at last been recognised and unashamedly spoken aloud, but intrinsic steps have been taken to try to fix these situations from inaugurating projects of building housing estates, codifying laws to reduce unemployment, mounting educational as well as economic reforms. These things do take time to implement I grant you, but at least there is now a brighter light at the end of the tunnel.

    The pressure that the Unemployment Committee can exert now is to speed up these processes, but not by using and advocating violence. Negotiating and trying to arrive at solutions is much better than continuous confrontation, especially if these confrontations are merely orchestrations declaring the annihilation of a whole family, thus blurring the demands of the protest: jobs or overthrow of the regime?

  22. anonymous says:

    Re(2): Boiling point reached?

    I agree…but like I said earlier, glorified promises of long-term reform, does not put bread on these people’s tables. I guess they are fed up and the straw that broke the camels back was the alleged rape and also an incident which happened last week in which an official emerged from the ministry, promised all the protestors jobs and told the organisors to take names. They all believed that their plight had finally been acknowledge, only to have the organised turned away when they went to hand in a list of names. My friend who was collecting names got bombarded with calls 4 days in a row and collected over 13,000 names. With all their broken hopes…none of the political leaders have the guts to stay at home… and their is a famous saying by one of the Prophet’s companions:

    “3ajaban min la yowjad qoota youma, kayfa la ya5ruj shahiran sayfa”

    This isn’t a call to violence, but it emphasis the need to fight against poverty. And unfortunately, violence erupts when all diplomatic and civilised ways have been exhausted…. it just needs a spark…isn’t the similarity frightening…in paris it was the alleged killing of two youth by the police and now in Bahrain it is the alleged rape by the police…. the parallels are striking

  23. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    Its over now
    police and other forces control whole suq
    very thing is undercontrol
    good night every one

  24. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Boiling point reached?

    …it is sociological thermodynamics (hahahaha i just made that up) behind every uprising and revolution around the world…. the alkhalifa have to be clever in constantly dissipating this tension…

    funnily enough i think that there is even a seasonal effect in this….its just that time in the decade… in the sixties, 1975, 1994, and now 2005 ? ? ? see the pattern… perpetual and recurrent political crises… sociological thermodynamics me says

  25. anonymous says:

    Jan 16 2006: Khalifa flees into exile

    Hi
    I have fear that Bahraini local people are trying to do same situation which irani local people did against shah iran in 1979.
    But if some thing happened to Bahrain so situation will like iraq?
    So it’s much better for this Bahraini govt to keep foreigners???

    Gudda

  26. anonymous says:

    Re: Jan 16 2006: Khalifa flees into exile

    Jan 16 2006: Khalifa flees into exile

    Amen….

    Gudda thats the best thing u’ve said all day… now go to sleep. goodnite

  27. anonymous says:

    Trackback :: Bahrain: Street Boiling

    TrackBack from Global Voices Online

    Zainab Alkhawaja reported that a Bahraini activist was raped two nights ago. Due to lack of proper action from local authorities, Mahmood say that Bahrain is going through a situation that threatens to turn the country once again upside down internall…

  28. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    I think the government is really starting to lose it. Beatin the hell out of an activist is just wrong. If they want to silence people, let them do it in a more humane way.

    Khalid

  29. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    Who says there was an act of violence from the protestors???? The demonstration was very much peaceful. It is the police that started it, baring in mind that there were women and children as well.

    The unemployment comity had fought for a long time to just have a decent job to live, they were promised and promised, but nothing was done about it, and they did not take them seriously.

    I have no idea what the government is waiting for, they should realize that sooner or later, the people of Bahrain will lose faith in the government, then the people will match and there will be no way of stopping them.

    By then, I hope the government will be overthrown, because that’s what you get for treating its people inhumanly.

  30. anonymous says:

    Alkhalifa, our dignity you will not take

    My countrymen, I salute you….

    See it for yourselves…watch this [url=http://70.84.12.173/hasan/manama.wmv]video[/url].

    Very angry indeed…lets hope the government will hear you shout: “Down Down Khalifa” and “khalifoo sheel eeduk, kil ilsha3ab ma yireedik”…

    This has nothing to do with religion… this about the dignity of being Bahraini when mercenaries have the right to rape and torture you with impunity… when you live on 150BD a month with four mouths to feed and a delipidated home… where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer… where there is under-investment in rural villages and over-investment in prestige projects and luxury resorts… it is a painful reality and I am utterly ashamed that I was not there with you in your protest yesterday…

  31. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    Jobseeking youth demonstrate again

    Unruly behaviour by youth continued for the second day yesterday as a number of them gathered opposite Ras Ruman Mosque, and called upon the government to open the job vacancies in the ministries to them.
    In a statement, the Director of the Capital Police Station, Col. Isa Al Musallam, said around 70 people staged the demonstration, disrupting traffic in the area.
    Col Al Musallam said the youth also pelted stones and threw Molotov bombs at two patrol cars, setting them on fire. The police personnel escaped unhurt.

  32. anonymous says:

    Re: Boiling point reached?

    Such behavior should not be tolerated. All those who committed these crimes should be punished. And yes, I do consider throwing stones and bombs to be a serious crime. You give them the right to have their voices heard, and this is how they repay you! It’s very upsetting and frustrating.

    Ahmed

  33. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    Now this is really gettin out of hand:

    POLICEMEN in two patrol cars escaped unhurt when rioters ambushed them and set the vehicles ablaze during a second night of violence in Bahrain last night. Thugs hurling Molotov cocktails and stones attacked the vehicles in Naim, following violent clashes during a demonstration outside the nearby Ras Ruman Grand Mosque.

    The demonstration was staged by the unofficial Unemployment Committee in protest over an alleged attack on member Moussa Abda’ali on Sunday night.

    The protest was led by clergyman Shaikh Ali Al Jidhafsi and human rights activist Nabeel Rajab.

    Organisers urged demonstrators to be calm, but a group of young men started hurling stones at police, who responded with teargas and batons, said sources. Hundreds of riot police had been bussed in to confront the protesters. One protester, 20-year-old Yousif Ahmed suffered multiple injuries and was taken to the Salmaniya Medical Complex, said organisers.

    Police chased demonstrators through the streets to the old Manama Suq area, Naim and even as far as Sanabis and Daih as helicopters hovered overhead, said witnesses.

    Capital security director general Brigadier Isa Al Mussalam said around 70 people gathered for the unofficial demonstration.

    He said they massed in a residential and crowded area, causing congestion and affecting people’s businesses.

    Police repeatedly warned demonstrators to leave but they refused, forcing police to deal with them.

    Brig Al Mussalam said things returned to normal in the area, but at 9pm two police patrol cars were attacked by youths hurling stones and Molotov cocktails, with the intent of endangering the policemen’s lives.

    But the policemen escaped unhurt, he said.

    “These criminal acts scare peaceful people and the situation was escalated by people with bad intentions,” he said.

    There were similar clashes in Manama suq on Tuesday night.

    Unemployment Committee spokesman Sameer Al Asfoor condemned the violence, but claimed the police vehicles had been set ablaze by police firing teargas cannisters.

    He said there would be another demonstration at 4pm today, near Mr Abda’ali’s Ma’ameer home.

    “We condemn any attack on public property,” said Mr Al Asfoor.

    Khalid

  34. mahmood says:

    Re: Boiling point reached?

    The affected Pakistani accent is almost too perfect, so is the signature, the provocations right on the button. I’ve been doing this stuff for too long to rise to the bait and I urge everyone else to just ignore this person.

  35. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    “Unemployment Committee spokesman Sameer Al Asfoor condemned the violence, but claimed the police vehicles had been set ablaze by police firing teargas cannisters.” – Yeah Right.. Keep telling that to yourself Al Asfoor.. I mean, it sounds very plausible that the police fired at their own vehicles to get insurance money and blame it on the demonstrators..

    Wow.. It’s amazing how some people think!!

    Sincerely,
    Ahmed

  36. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    Gudda is just like Saeedi.. a wolf dressed in a sheep’s wool trying to start another fire.
    You know Mahmood? I strongly support your stance on teaching religions in school. It should either be all religions (because all of us are different and valuable in a unique way), or none just to be fair. I disagree with you in one thing. The latter is not a better solution than the earlier. Because we live in an area of the world thats very affected by religion and culture, our children need to be enlightened about the source of why things are the way they are. Most importantly, they are never told this is right and that is wrong, or this is particular religion or sect is preferred more than that one.

    The Joker

  37. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    I don’t think secularism in schools is the answer either. We should be taught all religions equally and fairly. I grew up celebrating Diwali, Christmas, Hannuka, and Eid with all my classmates, taken on school trips to all the places of worship, and learning to love rather than hate. Its better to face religious diversity and teach values of tolerance and pluralism head on rather than avoiding it.

    Funnily enough in today’s GDN, Dhahrani and co. are already on Bin Rajab’s back urging him to drop the case against the Wahhabi_Buffon… yet again trying to sweep the issue under the carpet…. of course it is disloyal and unpatriotic of Bin Rajab to even raise this case… and extremely impolite to covertly record Saeedi in action… funny how the cards shift and now stifling the mumbling voice of justice and elevating the loud extremist voice on the pulpit

  38. anonymous says:

    Re: Boiling point reached?

    Although in reality Shia and Sunni do exist because of humna madness just as Catholics and Protestantas do just as Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Shudras do so where is the positivity of Islam or any religion.

    It is time to wake up and smell the bigotry. Why do you call your religion perfect and positive and this and that and then call your brother a sunni and yourself a shia?

    Shame on us humans for the way we treat our fellow brothers and sisters. We sure love to shit on ourselves. And we call animals haiwan.

    Hrmph!

  39. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    Although in reality Shia and Sunni do exist because of humna madness just as Catholics and Protestants do just as Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Shudras do so where is the positivity of Islam or any religion.

    It is time to wake up and smell the bigotry. Why do you call your religion perfect and positive and this and that and then call your brother a sunni and yourself a shia?

    Shame on us humans for the way we treat our fellow brothers and sisters. We sure love to shit on ourselves. And we call animals haiwan.

    Hrmph!

  40. mahmood says:

    Re: Jan 16 2006: Khalifa flees into exile

    Ah, we have a wanna be agent provocateur in our midst. Excellent!

  41. mahmood says:

    Re(2): Boiling point reached?

    I think the recurrance of these events are not so much seasonal nor cyclical as they are the result of stasis and the application of laws of bygone eras without regard to current circumstances. The political organisation must change with the time and reflect the makeup of the society in order for it to be successful and sustainable. The only way to achieve this of course is through public engagement into policy making.

    There are other factors of course, maybe chief amongst them is the concentration of power in the hands of few and the resultant disenfranchisement of the majority of citizens.

    With the advent of constitutional organisations in both ’73 and ’02 that power, however minutely, has begun to be shared. More should be shared still in order for people to start thinking and acting with responsibility and that they have a direct influence on how their country is being run. This might be a medium to long term plan because it will take time for these visions to be translated into something discernable. Therefore more immediate fixes are necessary, but in order to produce these fixes, trust must be established in order to work as a cohesive team to achieve successful results. That trust is sorely lacking at the moment.

  42. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Boiling point reached?

    Mahmood, I totally agree with Mr. Aali. In Islam, the Muslim, whether convert or ethnic, should know that there is nothing to fear about other religions. As a matter of fact, according to what it says in the Quran, this is the “perfected” religion made for mankind. I take this as all the good things from all the different religions that came from different prophets over the centuries, are all compacted into this final product to which there was going to be no new additions until “the end of days” – this last part is where the biggest gap in interpretations comes from (ijtihad).

    The Shia and Sunni difference is quite vast when you carefully study them both. However, in the big picture, there’s so much more in common. Of course, you should allow “Bahraini” institutionalization of Shiite Islam in your government school system. If you don’t, it just increases the “taqiyya” factor, which doesn’t really help the dominant powers. Also, it will keep focus on local leaders, who will naturally learn to work with the establishment as they see cooperation. This will keep their ears and eyes off of Mashad and Najaf as much. With the nature of the shia clergy, these links will stay, but at least there will begin to be better feelings toward the king and his men. This has to be gradual, or yes, there will also be the “…[i]give ’em an inch, they’ll take three[/i]…” factor with any poor and deprived people.

  43. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    You know what it is? I’ll say it loud and clear, once. Even if it is a religious difference, consider this: Shiites are really weak under other Muslims that rule them. Look at them, so pathetic at the hands of Saudi, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. Why is it so? Ever wonder? Because Shiites are taught to accept the Sunnis as Muslim brothers since childhood. No one on that side of the fence is taught that the Sunnis are Kafir. When you watch a video of a Shiite being beaten down on the streets of Baghdad by a Republican Guard in Iraq pre-2003, he looks at his captor and cries for mercy. He takes the betrayel personally. This is indeed a weakness, a fate he feels will continue as long as this semitic tongue survives. Brothers taking advantage of brothers. However, put a Shiite in the mouth of the enemy, he whips Israeli forces out of his land through unrelenting force. He becomes master of his own domain, a follower only to his leader, and unstoppable (Israel mind you, whooped 5 arab countries in 1967 in 6 days just in order to humiliate them for future generations to come). Put a Shiite country in the rule of foreigners, and the whole nation rises against them in a matter of 2 generations. If your nation got invaded by a neighbor than you can guarantee one thing when you come back to “liberate” your land – only Shiites standing in defense, having lost 100s of martyrs. Shiites’ compassion for their “misguided” brother who values gold more than spiritual health is an undying cause. Separation only creates a bigger division which slowly helps the Shiite view the Sunni as the “other”. Learn from the United States and other democracies. Kick out the foriegn workers at the bottom levels and let them do those “dirty” jobs. They won’t mind, I’m sure. It’s better to feed them and give them a voice.If you’re secular, you have nothing to fear by a little preaching every now and then:) – Army Chaplain

  44. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    Ok you you have point. Problem is that this time like 1995 is not same because Saudia is very busy with internal problems. No National Guard will come to help this Bahrain governement and also Shia is very confidence because his brothers in other contries getting better promise. Also I think America wants more democracy in area now that there is more military presence near. There must be fast solution.

    Dosary

  45. anonymous says:

    Re: Boiling point reached?

    So why no mention of the fact that the demonstrators came armed with bags of rocks? Do your homework before issuing these statements.

  46. mahmood says:

    Re: Boiling point reached?

    I’m not sure how to take your comment, but the pervasive sense of being offended overwhelms me. Regardless, let’s look at the positive:

    MP Abdulla Al-A’ali of the Bahraini parliament reportedly wanted to table a motion in Parliament’s 4th session to make the teaching of the “Heavenly Religions” (Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism) in government schools compulsory, the premise is that teaching these religions will educate our youth about those religions, their concepts and their rules and regulations thus aiding in rapprochement and bringing all religions together, especially as Islam has categorically recognised them. Unfortunately because of the uproar (arabic) that followed, he retracted and disassociated himself from this suggestion (arabic) which I still think is an excellent idea.

    The objection was:

    [arabic]وأوضح عضو لجنة المراÙ?Ù‚ العامة والبيئة Ù?ÙŠ مجلس النواب(أحمد حاجي) “أن من يعتقد أن تدريس هذه الأديان السماوية Ù?ÙŠ المدارس الحكومية كجزء من انÙ?تاح الأجيال على العالم Ù?هو مخطئ، لأن تدريس هذه المناهج Ù?ÙŠ المدارس الحكومية ربما يولد لدى الأبناء قناعة بصحة هذه الأديان، كونهم سيعتقدون بأننا نغذيهم بمنهج مقبول به، وسيكون ذلك بمثابة محÙ?ز لهم على القبول بهذه الأديان”
    Al-Wasat[/arabic]

    The objection was that should these religions be taught, then “it would be a possible admission that they are correct in the minds of youth.”

    I cannot understand that if Allah deems it that they are in fact His religions and they ARE correct (even though they are believed to have “strayed”,) I’m not sure how Ahmed Haji or others can be more correct than Allah.

    Even more dangerous, this is also an absolute admission by the honourable MP that Shi’ism is incorrect (thus, heresy) because Shi’ism is NOT taught in our public schools! The only flavour of Islam that is being taught are the 4 sub-flavours of Suniism.

    Even more dangerous still was when this deficiency was highlighted in parliament so that a new law would ensure that Shi’ism is added to the religious education carriculum, it was vehemently opposed by the usual suspects, and the government fully supported them.

    How does it feel to constitute 70% of the population and be labelled heretics by your parliament and government? They should either start teaching the basics of Shi’ism in our schools, or can the whole religious education lessons altogether (as far as I’m concerned that would be a much better solution.)

    Getting back to what I think your comment is all about, the easiest way to curtail violence against Shia and aid in better understanding the principles that guide them not to them, but to the Sunnis, is to start teaching the subject within the regular Islam lessons in our public schools.

    Maybe then some Sunnis will stop looking for horns which some believe grow from our heads but we use “taqiyya” to hide them!

  47. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    You know, I dont care what everyone says about protests being peaceful, when im in the car with my family & I pass by a bunch of these guys, I get the immediate instint to plough through any crowd that approaches us.

    Have you ever been scared for your family when you see the protests outside the british parliament ? NO

    Despite what their cause is, Bahraini protests are volatile (maybe cause of the huge percentage of male teens involved) & I would be in fear if there were any near my home.

    There are a few exceptions though, I remember a protest a while ago where mature adults were protesting near jawazaat on their way to exhibition road.

  48. anonymous says:

    Re(1): Boiling point reached?

    yeah they also forgot to mention that two police officers w a n k e d themselves over an innocent civilian and arrested him with no warrent

  49. mahmood says:

    Re(2): Boiling point reached?

    No matter how you look at this situation, the result is bad simply because the entity which is entrusted to upholding the law is not doing the very basic thing in immediately announcing that it will do a full, thorough and transparent investigation into this fiasco.

    Yes, I too saw the front page slug on the GDN that they will do an investigation yet in the same paragraph they have already concluded that no wrong was done, and most definitely nothing with sexual humiliation.

    That organ of government never had any credibility in its history, but had a huge value of good-will given it when Shaikh Rashid rose to the challenge and shook the Ministry of the Interior in ways that we never imagined possible. That good-will is slowly but surely dissipating, exactly as has happened to that bestowed on the king since Feb 2002. Whichever PR firm that was hired in 1999-2001 should immediately be hired again, because the current one, if there is one that is, is doing a dreadful job.

    Maybe this is the time that Shaikh Rashid MUST be waiting for to create an independent “Internal Investigation Directorate” that looks into public complaints against the police, and one that acts independently as a police watchdog?

  50. mahmood says:

    Re(2): Boiling point reached?

    Yes, what you say is correct, except for one major thing that I urge you to re-examine: your understanding of the concept of Taqiyya. I suspect that you built your understanding of this concept on what “the Right” has been feeding you. It is not as you understand it to be. And no, this particular thread is no place for religious education.

  51. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    [b]Official[/b] estimates of unemployment:
    [quote]BAHRAIN’s latest unemployment figure stands at 20,200, which is 14 per cent of the total Bahraini workforce of 144,000, it was revealed at the workshop on Education and Training Reforms yesterday.

    In the 20 to 24 age group unemployment is about 28 per cent

    [/quote][url=http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story.asp?Article=128672&Sn=BNEW&IssueID=28256]GDN[/url]

    30% unemployment!!!! God knows what the real figure stands at…40% ??!! Absolutely fucking prepostrous in a small country like bahrain…we need drastic reform NOW before they really do burn the whole country down…. the crazy thing is that I haven’t even heard the King, the CP or the Prime Minister even mention unemployment…they’ve just let small ministerial officials try and shift the cards with trivial studies and wishy-washy recommendations that are never seriously implemented… more interested in bum-licking then tacklinig the issue at hand

  52. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    Salaam
    Well, I m not agree with any one because this is not a good way to act, today I was talking with one Bahraini guy he said

    “Bahraini govt should hire us in police why they hired Pakistani people�

    Just imagine if Bahraini govt hire local people in police what they will do with the govt?
    If people are too much poor so there is another way to solve there problems
    For example they can take zakat but there is no concept of zakat in shiya’s and mostly people in Bahrain they are shiya’s.

    Bahraini shiya’s has too much money to spend on MAJALIS but they can not help to poor Bahraini people what is this? Its not logic

    What I found in Bahrain, these people who doing this type of protest they want to become sheikh
    They don’t like to do work simple if there is not much opportunities in Bahrain they can work in other countries but they don’t want. If they don’t want to solved there problem so it’s useless to say any thing against govt.

    Gudda

  53. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    One more time im hearing the voice of helicopters I think there is some thing wrong today as well
    gudda

  54. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    What the hell is goin on, this is not gettin out of hand and just demonstrates pure stupidity:

    VIOLENCE erupted for the third consecutive night in Daih and Sanabis areas as a group of youngsters clashed with riot police last night near the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre.

    The youngsters, aged not more than 20, started a demonstration at 8pm protesting the assault on an Unemployment Committee activist even after being warned not to do so by organisers, who cancelled the event earlier in the day.

    Nearly 80 youngsters went on the rampage, setting fire to garbage dumps, torching a car and throwing stones at riot police, an Interior Ministry statement said last night

    Eyewitnesses reported two gas cylinders exploding in the area, which was closed down by police.

    Fifteen teenagers were arrested.

    Families at Bahrain Mall and other shops nearby were not allowed to leave until after police cleared the area.

    People were still stuck in Dana Mall at midnight, witnesses said.

    Families were seen leaving the mall and other shops as soon as the riots began. A couple who were supposed to celebrate their big night at Marmaris Wedding Hall near the mall, were also stopped from getting into the area.

    Health Ministry public and international relations director Adel Abdulla told the GDN last night at midnight that no ambulance had been called to the scene and that no one was being treated at the Salmaniya Medical Complex.

    Khalid

  55. anonymous says:

    Boiling point reached?

    Reports of a protest tomorrow in Riffa is circulating around the Bahraini news and forums. If you may not know, its a sacred place to the government with a big no no for protesters to be near. It’ll be an interesting day. I hope they don;t go all childish like last night and keep it clean for their own safety’s sake.

  56. anonymous says:

    Re(3): Boiling point reached?

    Firstly, I know taqqiyah better than you can understand, simply because I’m a Shiite myself, and not an arab, persian, or indian. Secondly, what I’m trying to say is this. Thirty years ago, we didn’t know much about Sunnis and Shiites other than their split which goes back to Mohammad’s succession. Today, it is understood that there are distinct differences not only in the way they worship, but in belief systems. So, a Sunni believes that a Shia is a Kafir – no problem, he can get rid of him, and he feels he’s doing the world a favor. The Shiite on the other hand, believes that a Sunni is a fellow Muslim, and therefore cannot kill him due to it being an unforgivable sin.

    However, when confronted with non-muslims, Shiites have given their adversaries a really difficult time. Therefore, the approach to leveling the Muslims is simpler than previously ever fathomed. For Sunnis, you must secularize and “arabize” (or nationalize – kind of like how a Paki really thinks he’s so different from an Indian), for Shiites, have a Sunni confront him on a battlefield rather than a non-muslim. There’s a saying in history, believed by almost all people, “Let your enemies kill your enemies.” As far as the near future, Shiites that think they’re happy since they’re getting all these great hand-outs, think again. This is a ploy to finally finish off the region.

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