Collecting the reigns

20 May, '07

Wasn’t it only a few years ago that the then Minister of the Interior got, erm, sidegraded because he ordered his troops to “intervene” against a public demonstration attended by high religious figures, in which one of those respected figures got injured and taken to hospital?

When the new minister took the reigns and due to new policies he put in place – community police, more openness, good PR, etc – he actually was loved and hope was hung on him that he will be changing the turbid reputation of that much loathed ministry into something more modern, tolerant, understanding and civic.

That ministry seems to be adopting the same tactics recently as its predecessor and negating all the hard work which has taken place since its leadership’s change, by essentially acting like a thug against any and all public demonstrations hiding behind a law which is directly at odds with international human rights covenants the kingdom has legally adopted.

I hope it is not too late for the minister to take control of his ministry again by demonstrating the same civic spirit on his accepting the responsibility. I have hope because the gentleman has amply demonstrated his willingness to listen and to take immediate actions to fix wrongs; he was the first, for instance, who has required all his top officers to attend human rights seminars and other programs which entrench the idea that they – the ministry – is there to serve and protect the public, and not be a tool for continued subjugation and silencing the voices of political opposition.

Is there a reason then for the continuous inordinate use of violence to quell demonstrations? Is there a reason for the continuous firing of tear gas into populated and sometimes crowded neighbourhoods? Is there a reason for rubber bullets? Is there a reason to face violence with even more violence?

Is there a specific and legitimate reason to target and shoot one of our leading national symbols of democracy?

My humble advice to the good minister is that it is high time to take up the reigns again and tighten that slack a bit, else the horse will bolt. And that doesn’t take a violent pull to achieve, just a gentle gathering up of the reigns and the horse will be beautifully collected.

A kind work and a judicious glance is sometimes all that is needed.

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Comments (13)

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  1. mohd says:

    what do you suggest them to do when things start going wrong?

  2. mahmood says:

    Violence is the result of failures of diplomacy. I do not believe that diplomatic solutions have been investigated in full, not even partly, to necessitate the use of force.

    If – after the exhaustion of sincere diplomatic efforts and if a situation threatens the national security of the country – then judicious application of violence might be necessary.

  3. Anonymous says:

    فيديو لأحداث التسعينات… شهادة التاريخ


    في هذا الفيديو مشاهد خطيرة تفضح الشيعة في البحرين أيام التسعينات

    شاهد هذا الفيديو وستعرف من هو الظالم ومن هو المجرم

    اللهم أنعم علينا بالأمن والأمان

  4. mahmood says:

    مشكور و ما قصّرت

    ما ادري عندك مئات الساعات من اشرطة التعذيب و ما شابه التي فيها معانات الشيعة فقط للمعادلة؟

    Although this video you have uploaded is sectarian, and is designed specifically to not just castigate the Shi’a of Bahrain but also portray them as criminals and traitors, I shall allow the link to stand in order for people to see the depth of problems we do have here in Bahrain and the deep rift that exists which is propagated by people whose only motive is to deepen the rifts even further, like yourself.

    What I have to say in response to you is rather simple:

  5. mahmood says:

    Another thing, could you tell us what is the source of this video? It contains images I suspect that is only available to the authorities and I suspect it is the same video that a member of our respected parliament tried to show at a Victims of Torture conference and was thrown out?

    I know that the main site dealing with this issue and trying to redress the balance is blocked by our government, but you might be interested in researching the issue a bit; you can start here and then just do a simple Google search to find out truths which are unembellished by the authorities (like the video you provided for instance.) (unblocked today for some reason!)

  6. Outsider says:

    Bahrainis have nowhere to run to so be careful if you f**k up your country with all this sectarian s**t. Once the box is opened you cannot put the lid on it and hope for a peaceful life – look at Iraq and Gaza – let the sensible older generations warn the hot headed youths.

    It is fun setting fire to cars and fun throwing stones at police and letting off gas bottles, thats what youths do the world over but they must not be encouraged by their elders. They must be convinced that it is wrong and have a pride in the Island. Once you let this place be like Iraq, no one will give a Bahrainis a travel visa and you will be stuck on this island prison hell of a place. Lets face it look how small it is, it will be hell if you don’t stop it now.

    The video is horrific but do the MP’s want it to stop? If the balloon goes up all the big people and foreigners will leave and then see what you have got left.

    Don’t s**t on your own doorstep.

  7. mahmood says:

    They must be convinced that it is wrong and have a pride in the Island

    You’ve hit the nail on the head there. And this pride could be easily achieved by enfranchising everyone, allowing for equal representation, allowing for a parliament that can legislate and over-see the executive branch, allowing for a truly independent judiciary, by respecting human rights, by removing the impunity torturers and people of influence enjoy, by investing in proper education, by providing a good employment infrastructure, by inculcating democracy, by having a constitution that protects the rights of people especially the minority.

    See, it’s easy to achieve.

    Is there a political will to make it happen though?

    I’m NOT being pessimistic, before someone lobs that brick at me. I truly believe that these things are achievable even if it takes a few years to do so, but there has to be political will to start the ball rolling and that must be clearly and succinctly communicated so that people will feel part of the project and take ownership equity in it.

    At the moment what we have is rule by haphazard wishes which have become the rule rather than a distant exceptions.

    This situation that we are living in at the moment makes me furious as I can see the spark and can see the TNT barrels lying around and there doesn’t seem to be the will to extinguish that spark or the removal of the barrels!

    But these islands could very easily turn to paradise!

  8. dsa says:

    Although this video you have uploaded is sectarian, and is designed specifically to not just castigate the Shi’a of Bahrain but also portray them as criminals and traitors

    Yes that video portrays the Shi’a as criminals and traitors but how do you want him to present the facts? Wouldn’t you agree with me that burning of cars/trash cans and vandalism of private property was done by Shi’as in the 90’s? And they wanted to overthrow the government? If that is what actually happened then how else do you want him to present the facts so it isn’t considered ‘sectarian’?

  9. doncox says:

    “Is there a reason then for the continuous inordinate use of violence to quell demonstrations? ”

    I think the reason is psychological. You have to ask, what kind of man looks for a job in the police force? Isn’t it likely that at least some of them are people who like the idea of dressing up in a uniform, wearing a gun and being able to bash other people?

    And these types rise up the ladder, too.

  10. mahmood says:


    That’s how I would have liked him to present the facts, not a one sided story produced by the government which completely ignores the plight of the other side.

    Would you not agree that the Shi’as have suffered too? To the tune of over 40 killed in torture cells and with live ammunition?

    What is required to be able to go forward – as a country – is to have complete transparency in dealing with this situation.

    This is why it is vitally important to have a proper truth and reconciliation commission in which these things are openly discussed and reparations given – to both sides – in order to reach closure and get on with our lives.

    Heaping blame on one side and forgetting the other is not going to achieve that.

  11. Maverick says:

    M is right. I remember previously he had suggested constructive dialogue between opposing parties. More over the law that was passed by the legislative representatives and signed by we know who was not conducive to a healthy atmosphere for dialogue, moreover it violates seriously human right to voice opinion and freedom of speech and right to gather politically and for political reasons.

    You either have democracy completely or not, you are either married or not, not kind of married. There cannot be half hearted effort.

    If you do no trust your people, it means you did not earn their trust, Perhaps the protesting party can invite the Min of Int to the protest to hear and witness their grievances. It might help them to feel better that they had a patient ear and may also calm things down. It is like sending soldiers to settle the problems between India and Pakistan. It works for a while but not for long. 🙄

  12. أحتراق سيارة الجيب في قرية النويدرات فبركة

    بعد يوم من حادثة الهجوم على قرية النويدرات وبطريقة فجائية وبدون أي مقدمات تحوم الطائرات فوق قرية النويدرات وتنتشر قوات الشغب مطلقة مسيلات الدموع ويتناهي للسمع خبر أحراق سيارة لقوات الشغب

    أعتقد بكل بساطة أنها عملية مفبركة فشكل السيارة يوحي بإنها سيارة شرطة مدنية عادية

    سيارة شرطة عادية تحترق واضح تصوير هذا النوع من السيارات لإجل غرض إعلامي

    لتخويف السنة ولعمل نوع من التوازن بعد الإنتهاكات الفاضحة تجاه الندوة اللي صارت قبل بيومين

    المهم الغريب في الموضوع أنه بعد تلك السويعات المفبركة لم يحدث تفتيش ولا اعتقالات ولا وجود لصور من الشباب في الجريدة الرسمية بعد يومين أو ثلاثة كما هو المعتاد في مثل هكذا حالة

    ياناس يا هووووووو ما حدث في قرية النويدرات من احتراق سيارة الجيب كان فبركة فبركة من تلك التي تكلم عنها البندر

    والله كيف تسكت قوات الشغب على احتراق سيارة جيب دون بذل اي مجهود لإيجاد الفاعل


    ومع السلامة

  13. Salman says:

    The irony of putting a verse from the Quraan saying that God will punish the tyrants. Seems they forget who are the tyrants, and who are the oppressed. And listen to the sectarian name calling and insults to the Shias. The funny bit is, all these people are government ass kissing toe licking twats. They are living lavish lives, big villas, high end luxury cars, and have nothing to complain about.

    As they say, every man has his price. Well, turns out the ones who are priceless are the odd ones out, and are unwanted.

    Hayhaat mena al thela 🙂

    Dieing with dignity, is a lot better than living without it.

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