Country Divided

8 Jul, '07

Strategic rift in Bahrain’s royal court

Some members of the ruling family reportedly back hard-line Sunni groups; others advise helping disenfranchised Shiites.

Leading members of Bahrain’s royal family have thrown their weight behind hard-line Sunni Muslim groups, some of whom share the outlook of Al Qaeda, in an attempt to counter a perceived Shiite threat, government officials and critics say.

The strategy, first exposed in a government report that surfaced last year, has revealed a rift within the court of the ruling Khalifa family.

One faction believes in reconciliation with the Persian Gulf nation’s disenfranchised Shiite Muslim majority. The other believes in suppressing Shiite aspirations, even if it means supporting Sunni groups propelled by the same ideologies that inspire Osama bin Laden.

A ranking government official who is a member of the royal family said there was “no doubt” that a hard-line movement existed within the Bahraini power structure.

“Then, there are the moderates who believe that cohesion is the way to go forward,” he said.
LA Times – 7/7/07 – free registration required, full article also appears here and here. Thanks for the heads-up JJ

Count me in with those who want social cohesion. 110%. No qualifications.

The thing that needs qualification; however, is why would a country as minute as Bahrain make it with such heavy-duty articles to some of the world’s top publications other than the world is somewhat sitting up and taking notice that inequity should not go unreported? The spotlight has been shining on us for decades but its beam has specifically been focused on us especially over the last few years and all the world is seeing is the aggregate negative that emanates from this country. That doesn’t mean that the positive is ignored, not at all, this particular article is a case in point. However, for the positive to start to outweigh the negative, we need to stop the frivolity of accepting the various diversions from our main causes and problems by giving weight to worthless pursuits such as going for Guinness world records or paid for prizes and treating those as the germane issues of the day and expending countless litres of ink in their discussion.

What needs to be done by those of us who are “moderates” is to pony-up and do something concrete to further our points of view and tell the hard-liners that they can’t play their game any longer. Their dirty laundry has been spoiling our horizons for long enough and we are taking back our future.

It’s time for them too move aside and we shouldn’t be overly concerned of their just final destination which surely cannot be anything but the growing garbage heaps of history.

Need we really give them the time of day then?

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Comments (14)

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  1. SoapOpera says:

    why would a country as minute as Bahrain make it with such heavy-duty articles to some of the world’s top publications other than the world is somewhat sitting up and taking notice that inequity should not go unreported?

    See! When the Bahraini people voted not to be part of Iran, they told the world that they want to be Arabs and part of the Arab Unity. And for starters they approved the 1973 constitution affirming that said voting. Now, although Arab Unity is still far and even whatever fragile roots it took back then are even weeker, there should be no doubt in the minds of anyone that our aspiration, as the people, is to be in union with the rest of the Arabs. As such, Bahrain should not and will not, forever, remain as minute a country as it is now for the benefit of the Inperial/Zionist Movement which created it in the first place.

  2. Ammar says:

    An unfortunate truth that a seemingly stable and faultless growing economy should have so many underlying problems hiding beneath the surface. The problem is, although these situations might seem minute and easily kept quiet to certain people, it can actually help tear down the whole fabric of the society we live in. Just picture this; intolerability of the current regime, sectarian violence, followed by a total rebellion and a state of martial law through total chaos. Unfortunately, its not as far-fetched as it sounds.

  3. Redbelt says:

    I for one agree wholeheartedly with the LA times report. The portion quoted that I saw at least.

  4. Solo says:

    The moderate voice is becoming stronger. Arab unity? I think it goes far beyond that in this age of information and communication. Walls of separation between cultures are being torn down on a daily basis. We no longer have to depend on the media, politcians, diplomats, and ambassadors, to determine our futures. Segregation is not a functional policy and those that subscribe to segregationist philosophies, such as al Qaeda, are doomed to failure. Time is on our side, not theirs. Education and communication are the weapons that will defeat them.

  5. Yvonne Dettwyler says:

    4 Solo
    you are dreaming, kindly do some wakie
    wakies, will you?Walls of sparation between cultures are being torn down on a daily basis??
    The US puts up a wall keeping the Mexicans out, Israel remembers their outside ghetto existence once upon a time, putting oherws outside the walls, now they live inside the walls. There are well over looo US military basis – new walls – around the world
    defending the American Empire, Purin quite rightly protesting. . Israelis practicing unhampered complete genocide of the original Palestinian population. Iraq in shambles Sunnis against Shias and vice versa which never happened before thanks to the American liberators and democracy lovers. As for Mahmouds news:
    A ranking government official who is a member of the royal family said there was “no doubt” that a hard-line movement existed within the Bahraini power structure.

    this may be the death knell for Bahrein. I hope not. It would be better for the monarch exercising quiet neutrality, not taking sides to preserve Bahrein intact. Isn’t Iraq enough
    trouble?A little visit to Iraq may be informative?

  6. Capt. Arab says:

    Another can of worms not just wedged open, but busted wide open..

  7. Mike says:

    Only 5 posts before blame was passed to the USA.
    Bravo

  8. Solo says:

    Lol! Well she actually helped make my point, as defeatists usually do.10-15 years ago would we have even been able to have this discussion, not between governments, but between people? Doomsday advocates always want to bring others down, rather than work for a more positive future. No problem is ever solved by running from it. We have unique opportunitiies now to share thoughts and ideas on a personal basis.Yvonne, (that’s a beautiful name btw), I believe you are way too bright, to keep your mind so closed.

  9. Ingrid says:

    it’s so simple a child can understand it. Since when throughout eons has suppression helped anything or anyone? It’s plain dumb and I think Mahmoud, that instead of even focussing on suppression vs. cohesion, the slogan ‘Just Bahraini’ should be promoted in the spirit of Bahraini nationalism. Not that nationalism is such a great thing but in order to prevent people from turning the debate into a religious one.. the ‘Just Bahraini’ slogan really tells it as it is. Does it matter what you are? You’re Bahraini and that ought to be enough.
    Basta!
    That is probably what moderates can do to promote social cohesion..
    Ingrid

  10. Anonymous says:

    “Israelis practicing unhampered complete genocide of the original Palestinian population”

    The original Palestininan refugee population numbered about a million in 1950. There are about 7 million today. The Israelis aren’t very good at genocide, are they

    “Iraq in shambles Sunnis against Shias and vice versa which never happened before thanks to the American liberators and democracy lovers.”

    Because prior to the American invasion Iraq was a land of daily rainbows and happy music, where children swam in chocolate rivers.

  11. Solo says:

    Very much luck to you in your efforts Mahmood. I confess to ignorance of Bahrain politics, and Bahrain life in general. You are a good teacher ;). Peace be upon your family and the future of your country.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The original Palestininan refugee population numbered about a million in 1950. There are about 7 million today. The Israelis aren’t very good at genocide, are they

    No, they are not, because the world is
    watching. But still they try. The apartheid
    state builds and builds its walls on the
    land and in hearts and minds … and still
    they’re not very good at genocide.

    Because prior to the American invasion Iraq was a land of daily rainbows and happy music, where children swam in chocolate rivers.

    Your response is a joke in very bad taste.
    In Saddam’s heyday, when he was at his peak
    (and Rumsfield was shaking his hand and we
    were selling him weapons and outfitting his
    secret police) Iraq had clean water on tap,
    an enviable healthcare system, some of the
    best doctors in the world, different
    religious groups living almost in harmony,
    women who were not afraid to leave the
    house unveiled and go to school to get
    Master’s degrees. But that’s all changed
    now. It’s a terrorist-ridden shit-hole
    that’s further away from civilisation
    than it has ever been in living memory
    and you yanks are mainly responsible for
    that. The one good thing that has happened
    is that mad Sunni clans are now further
    away from access to nukes than ever. But
    the price the Iraqi people have had to
    pay thanks to the greed, dishonesty and
    incompetence of the American ruling
    familes and their military-industrial
    machine …

    Your easy sarcasm is sickening. Who – or
    what – raised you? You jest – you fucking
    jest – about Iraq’s children. Your armies
    and your leaders and your foreign policy
    is responsible for the deaths of over a
    million of them. Do you follow Madeleine
    Albright’s line on this? Do you follow
    her line on children who have died from
    bombs, from your cluster bombs, your
    mines, poor sanitation, the strange cancers
    that have arisen since the allied attacks
    on Iraq? Do you still feel like making
    cheap jokes on this forum?

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