A fist is mightier than the word!

2 Jul, '06

MP Mohammed Khalid putting ice on his black eye caused by a punch he received from MP Jassim Al-MawaliBankruptcy comes in difference guises, the most dangerous of which of course is that which is associated with the intellect; because if one is intellectually bankrupt then everything is acceptable, even if the solution is at the cost of morals and societal norms.

What then can we expect from a whole intellectually bankrupt parliament whose members rule by simplistic and devastating metrics they no longer bother to hide under the surface? Using only sectarianism to arrive at decisions has become the rule rather than the exception, and members of both sects are wholly culpable.

The Sunnis align themselves blindly with the government, thinking that it will continue to offer the teat that nurtured them as long as they fight everyone else off it; while the Shi’as continue to cry foul and intransigently oppose any government action if their Sunni colleagues support it.

Of course the problem is a lot deeper than this, at least one hopes that it is not that simple. The inescapable fact is that the Shi’as form a majority in a country ruled by a minority. They have been sidelined and subjugated for centuries and not many avenues have been open to them to take without a fight. The opposite is perceived to be true for their Sunni compatriots.

It is the quintessential fight of the haves and have-nots then. And that will continue to breed these kinds of situations unless an honest attempt is made to bring the two sides together, and that is never going to happen unless the government launches a real program of rapprochement between its citizens and create a real truth and reconciliation program to remove the chasm between the sects and the schism between the citizens and the government and ruling family, and until the law is witnessed to be applied fairly and equally across the whole society.

MP Jassim Al-Mawali attacking MP Mohammed KhalidUntil then, we shouldn’t be surprised to see scenes like these… hungry dogs in a fighting pit each concerned only with itself and its own survival, rather than recognising that they both really should unite to demand and get what is rightfully theirs… life with dignity for all the citizens regardless of sect, gender, colour or ethnic background.

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  1. Mahmood’s Den · Lost, Found, Deported! | 5 Jul, '06
  1. bikeshed says:

    I dunno, I like a good brawl every once in a while…makes for a more democratic show…anyway, someone has got to say these things cause resorting to generalisations about the past won’t help us move forward…at least there is a forum to do it in…we can now boast we have a parliment that is as good as the Russian, Taiwanese and Korean parliments…looking forward to round 2…

  2. NewMe says:

    Would it sound so evil of me to say I was thrilled with the punch in the face more than anything else recently!!! regardless of the reason!!!

    Sure it would!!!

    & Still, I will say it!!! I am glad somebody finally did 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Round 2 Al Saidi , any bets who will do it.

  4. mahmood says:

    can I have the honour? :>

  5. chanad says:

    this was round 2.

    round 1 took place in july 05, between jassim abdul aal and dr saadi mohammed. read here:
    http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/1yr_arc_Articles.asp?Article=117507&Sn=BNEW&IssueID=28122&date=7/20/2005

  6. bikeshed says:

    that’s right…I forgot about that one…that was when JAA told him that if he wanted to live the way the prophet did, he should return the BMW he was given for his role as MP…not quite sure how flash cars help MP’s do their job better…have you ever noticed Israeli cabinet meetings? they are mostly wearing short sleeve shirts and looking like they just got out of bed, no pomp and circumstance but they could have just taken a decision to uproot a 2000 year old olive grove, destroy palestinian homes or bomb a beach full of kids…I guess collateral damage sounds better in casual clothing…

  7. Anonymous says:

    I was in the bldg when the fight broke out the other day. We had a lot of screaming here yesterday as well. One guy from Nuwwab came into my ofc yesterday and told me that this stuff is normal, that everyone does it. Then he turned the conversation towards disciplining children and how he disagrees w/ any sort of discipline for “naughty” boys, saying that this is how they are and no one should try to change them….

    I found the turn of conversation to be quite interesting and it really made me think about things and how these men act at Nuwwab…

    With respect to Sunni and Shi’a’s… I don’t think these two sides will ever come together. I converted to Islam years ago and I can not tell you how many people I meet, Sunnis, who tell me how wrong I am to be Shi’a and how I should reconsider the path I chose …. they say all sorts of things. There’s a lot of hate between the two and people don’t give up that kind of hate easily.

  8. mahmood says:

    We can start though…

    I vote that henceforth, if asked “who” we are, we unashamedly say that we are unisect!

    And to hell with the extremists on both sides. I’m sick of them.

  9. Entrtnd says:

    You know, it’s sad how both sects have such different views and therefore end up clashing all the time. But you know, the new generationers aren’t really as fanatic and I’m hoping (wishful thinking) that they grow up to be one community, Muslim, regardless of what sect they follow. Modern thinkers find it sensible to re-invent how the deal with each other, rather than imitate what was being done (and what is being done). I mean, these parliamentary idiots are quite old – how long will they stay in power? How long will they be coherent? Yes, they have quite a few followers, but I believe is “la tkhaf illa min il sakit” – which means, fear the silent ones. And I believe, we are the silent ones, the new generation, that in one way or another, will supersede and put an end to this constant head butting.

    A lot of my friends who are sunni are married to shi’ites, and vice-versa. I myself am married to someone from the other sect. So what? You’ll start seeing a lot of these inter-sect marriages (which is a horrible name by the way – it’s a marriage period) and soon enough – you’ll see a new breed coming up – a breed of people that don’t give a rat’s as* what sect you belong to, or where you arms are when you pray, as long as you’re beautiful inside.

  10. Great article! These MPs deserve to be on my list of Bahraini Idiots!

  11. Omar says:

    Unisect? Sounds like an oxymoron.

    As if there is so much difference between Sunnis and Shi’a. At the end of teh day they believe in the same God and follow the 5 pilars that make them both Muslim. The rest are details (although one could argue that the devil is in the details :-))

    As a *sunni* I do like the high sense for social injustice that you can find more with Shi’a. God bless them for this.

    As for the government, it is the good old formula of “divide et impera” that works just fine to stay in power.

  12. ByronB says:

    How familiar this all seems – in the UK, read Labour and Tory for Sunni and Shia – some people would rather cut off their right hands than vote for the other party, even if what it is doing is right. We haven’t seen a lot of fighting in Parliament for some years, but I sometimes think that would be better than all the stupid name-calling and snide remarks our politicians use.
    As for religion – why allow the central message to get fogged over by human baggage of who does what and who was related to whom? It’s crazy! The Church in the UK is about to split in half over whether or not there should be women priests. I suppose some people just aren’t happy unless there’s something to argue about.

  13. Anonymous says:

    We ignore the fact that our MPs are elected officials.
    Whilst we wax lyrical about what should be and what isn’t we are overlooking the fact that these representatives have constituency support.
    This can only mean that the majority of our electorate support the agenda
    of the very loud and intimidating extremes.
    On this blog we are, for the most part, moderate, educated individuals with access to the cyberworld. I challenge any of you to have this type of conversation with 75% of the electorate. You will be dismayed to discover that they do not think individually, they vote as they are told to usually by men of the cloth. The budget, foreign policy, education, defence the judiciary are not even considered. The most absurd of these examples is women demonstrating against their own personal status law!
    We are not reflective of Bahraini society. We are minority commentators.
    The division between Sunni and Shi’a is very real and is exasperated by Shi’a support of Iran and Sunni insults and extremist views.
    TO move forward, schools need to teach basic political studies and the clergy must be banned from parliamentary elections. Without inflaming old old old religious divides, we stand a chance of unity. With them we are condemned to another generation of ‘Hussain’ and ‘Omar’ cancelling each other out

    Live Long and Prosper

    Peace Taker.

  14. mahmood says:

    I challenge any of you to have this type of conversation with 75% of the electorate. You will be dismayed to discover that they do not think individually, they vote as they are told to usually by men of the cloth. The budget, foreign policy, education, defence the judiciary are not even considered.

    This, my friend, is just one of the cultural shocks I was subjected to over the last couple of weeks.

    It is totally disheartening and an almost devastating experience, and one that amply demonstrated to me the disparate intellectual paths which makes me, and a named few of those who shared our grief, that we really are the black sheep of society!

    I honestly didn’t realise that the problem is of this magnitude.

    We have a huge battle ahead of us; one that makes Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo and many others combined pale into insignificance. In actual fact, I think that it is because these differences have been ignored and allowed to fester for centuries, we are now paying for the consequences in spilt blood and world-wide terrorism.

  15. Grace says:

    Differences exist but surely name calling and face punching is not the solution?

    My oh my! Is this the way to win the next elections? perhaps it is for some!

    What does it for me?

    The candidate that opts to ban veiled women from driving!!! Honestly, that is very dangerous.

    Have you noticed that all of them drive out of date mini-buses? and most often than not are inclined to obstruct other drivers lanes?

    The other day a veiled woman pulled a finger at me!! Now if we both went to the station, me, being dressed in “I own the world” business attire and her in her black chastity robes, who would they beleive? and even if they attempted to understand, how would I prove it was her? Would I be asked to identify her finger amongst 5 others?

  16. Faisal says:

    Yuba just cancel the bloody parliament! Its causing too much trouble between the sects and the government is doing nothing at all .

  17. Anonymous says:

    The trouble between sects is not caused by parliament it just mirrors what is actually happening in Bahrain. Have a tour in this youth site .

    http://bahrainforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=2

  18. mahmood says:

    Well, proof positive that we have a big problem as I’ve said above. Honest dialogue with open minds might bring both sects closer in their relationship; however, having one point the negatives of the other sect in such a way as the mentioned “forum” does the complete opposite.

    It is one person or two from what I have read so far on that site who are out simply to appease their egos rather than try to find a path that both can tread. We should find a way to let these people to understand that there is not “completely correct” or right answer to every single question, and they should realise that living and letting others live would lead them to true salvation.

    Now, who do you think would be best to bring this understanding and change in perceptions about? Religious clerics of course! It is their very responsibility to bring these people closer to each other and teach them tolerance of views… NOT get involved in politics! They have a much higher task to perform, but from what I have heard, seen and read – on both sides – is that these very clerics have made an art of spreading hate, and that has become their stock in trade.

  19. Anonymous says:

    mahmood, i so agree with you! i think it needs to come from the clerics. i wonder if it’ll ever happen!? the thing is.. you have people watching fanatics on TV that preach crazy stuff and the very women and men who are raising the youth believe everything they hear… and i’m assuming that many mosques preach the same (don’t know for sure) and, in turn, you see what is out there and the beliefs of many. i see this with my in-laws. they’re good people but the things they say and believe amaze me.

    i work in the parliament building and am frequently dazed by the things i see and hear. at first i thought it was just me but from the things i’ve been reading on your blog, i see that it’s not. there are so many lies. so much is for show. i truly hate it and have started to despise everything about the government and the people who occupy these positions, including shura members. so much is done just for the sake of having it talked about or printed in the papers. if only the same attention could be focused on truly tackling serious issues. but in saying this, you know that the higher ups see this. you know they *know* what is happening, so does that mean it’s ok with them? truly, it’s ridiculous.

  20. Anonymous says:

    “Honest dialogue with open minds might bring both sects closer in their relationship; however, having one point the negatives of the other sect in such a way as the mentioned “forum” does the complete opposite.”
    Mahmood, this statement is so simple for minds like yours and mine to absorb. But consider it’s complexity to two opposing sects. To invalidate the one over the other is the point. The very essence, the very motivation. If I understand you correctly, and I know I do, you are advocating EMPATHY. And that, from where I’m standing, is a bridge too far at this time.
    For the Sunni to say to the Shi’a “I see what you mean and I understand why that is important to you, and how can we embrace each others insecurities.”
    For an exchange like this to occur the speaker must be willing to risk ridicule from his/her peers. He will be spurned by his own sect/community and treated with greater suspicion by the other.
    A society that activley rejects basic human freedoms, that hangs evil eyes around babies to ward off evil, that sacrifices live animals on new cars or houses, that universally attacks the West whilst benefitting from the scientific advances of that culture,is destined to wander the void. (I saw a bumper sticker on a car yesterday morning that had the US flag crossed out and the legend “Boycott USA”written underneath. He was driving an Oldsmobile!)
    The Childish reactionary attitudes that define us at the moment can only really be dissolved by time. We, on this blog, can’t understand why they seek to discredit each other. These pages are full of irony and disbelief. “Surely they can see!” we bleat, but I honestly don’t believe they can.
    The physical appearance of Bahrain, it’s modernity, is just garnish.
    The truth is as old as Islam.
    As depressing as this may appear let’s take heart from each other.
    We will allways dissagree about the offside rule, I’m afraid that’s just me! That you happen to be Shi’a is of no more consequence to me than if you revealed you were not a natural blonde!
    There is a way through this, let’s keep talking eh?

    Live Long and Prosper

    Peace Taker

  21. LiB Team says:

    The question is, how do we “moderate” and “normal” people go about making the change? This is something that we have to be united through. Cuz we have to make it loud and clear that extremism from both sects is unwated, period. Extremists fight from both sides and it falls on the heads of the rest of us.

    So we have to be one hand against this and start a BIG awareness campaign to let everyone know what the rest of the nation intends in spite of extremism, ignorance and their growth amongst the newer generation.

  22. chanad says:

    The trouble between sects is not caused by parliament it just mirrors what is actually happening in Bahrain. Have a tour in this youth site .

    http://bahrainforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=2

    Although there is alot of heated debate about the Sunni-Shia issue on bahrainforums.com, I generally find that it is one of the few online forums in Bahrain where these issues are actually being discussed by both Sunnis and Shias, rather than by just one side stirring up hatred (or alternatively being swept aside and pretending that there is no problem). There are several extremist posters, but there are also several regular posters there who actively seek to counter the sectarianism of the extremist posters. A few them even use banners in their online signature which say something like “Shia and Sunni are one”.

  23. chanad says:

    hah. Here’s a link to the banner I mentioned above:

    http://www.500kb.com/up_ar/ar/la-farq.gif

    I love the use of the different headgear to represent Sunnis and Shiis!

  24. Heyder says:

    Anyone actually heard Mohammed Khalid give a speech? The guy can’t even put together a coherent sentence. As much as I’m against the opposition’s decision to enter this year’s elections, one thing that I’m sure everyone will be greatful for is that we’ll finally (and perhaps arguably – such is politics) have people with more sincerity and intellect representing the population.

    Hey, this’ll be like pre-Saddam Iraq and post-Saddam Iraq, except that there it was thick moustaches and here it’s long, swaying beards.

  25. mahmood says:

    Heyder I have – unfortunately – listened to Mo Khalid ranting at the speed of 120km / s on a radio show “discussing” his favourite subject: Satan Worshipping. I also agree that his intellect is below par, and that’s being generous.

    All of that of course does not condone the use of violence to make the other side understand the error of his ways.

  26. bikeshed says:

    A wise uni-sectual once said, the most dangerous man is not the one with all the knowledge, or the one without any…it is the one who has a little bit and thinks it is everything…

    I, for one, think that diversity is a good thing and could make for a more robust society, IF people had the civility to afford others their own beliefs and rights to practice them (within reason, of course).

    Maybe I’ve been reading too much Nicholas Hagger recently, but does it seem to anyone else that the banner represents the two sides shaking hands in a circle of light at the top of a pyramid? And what is with the colours…white, black and gold?

    Query: is it actually true (an is there a reason for) that shia mosques have more onion shaped domes as opposed to sunni ones that are…well, more dome like? I have been trying to work it out from observation without any luck…

  27. LiB Team says:

    Oh Mahmood, so one of my friends didn’t call him “mulla turbo” for no reason!!! I mean this guy said that even in his prayer he recites the Quran way too fast and the guy finished tarawee7 prayer in like 25 mins or less!

  28. mahmood says:

    LiB I can believe it… the guy talks far too fast, in fact too fast for even his brain to catch up with what his mouth is doing!

  29. abu arron says:

    Did anyone else catch the comment from Iran when the USA announced that they had proof Iran is supplying the Taliban?

    “This accusation is ridiculous. They are Sunni, we are Shia, why would we help them?”

    I still can’t decide how to react to this little nugget of wisdom.

    “Not Taliban, not Iranian, just oppressive” 😕

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