more trouble…

19 Jun, '08

They’re starting to gather at the Saar Roundabout as I write this. Various parties called for a demonstration in support of cleric Isa Qassim of Duraz, the followers of whom felt slighted by Jassim Alsaidi’s unwarranted attack on “their symbol”, and as they regard an attack on Qassim as an attack on the whole religion, they are taking Saidi’s brainfarts very seriously, rather than be less emotional about the whole thing and be less of a manipulated toy in the hands of strife loving MPs and their masters.

This is not unforeseen. The powers that be know how emotive these things are, they know that our situation is akin to an already lit powder keg, all they need is just accelerate that burning fuse and it will explode. I don’t think; however, that either side realises the severity of this explosion, nor are they cognizant of the aftermath. It is a chaotic situation which cannot be put back in order by adopting such incendiary tactics.

But unfortunately it is beyond that now. Now it is just a pissing contest and we’re all in the spray’s path.

I don’t know about you, but I am quite tired of all this crap and I don’t blame the people who just upped and left to better climes and to places where they are respected, as is their intellect.

The solution is quite evident, those in power know it, how in God’s name they choose not to use it is simply and utterly beyond me. But they are not the only party to blame here, not by any chance. The followers of these two politico-religious figures also have a full hand by lending their unfettered support to their chosen cleric and drawing a so called red line which is forever shifting to suit their needs, and in the process elevating their leader into a position of a deity beyond reproach and definitely beyond criticism. If he is criticised – God forbid – then not only he was slighted, but the whole Muslim religion too.

It is a complex situation to be sure, but the solution could be very simple; segregate religion from the state and tell those who elect to represent us to choose either the pulpit or politics, not both together. Combine both and you get what we continue to go through.

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Comments (8)

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  1. chanad says:

    How sad is it that when certain people are merely verbally insulted, a sea of people show up on the streets in protest. But when other people are tortured by the government (allegedly) its just fifty or so usual faces.

    Reassess priorities?

    Obviously Qassim, Saidi or the rulers won’t be complaining.

  2. daniel ruso says:

    so when 120,000 people peacefully demonstrate you do not like it. When people burn tires and throw molotov cocktails you do not like it. when people sit at home and do nothing you do not like it. when people give talks or sermons you do not like it. is that generally what it takes to be a blogger? or are you just making up for your inner insecurities?

  3. Anonny says:


    When people work for change in a positive and effective manner, that’s when we like it.

  4. mahmood says:

    Daniel, what were they actually demonstrating for, those tens of thousands of people? Were they demonstrating to preserve and enhance personal freedoms and freedoms of expression? Or were they demonstrating to impose those very restrictions on others? Were they demonstrating to support the constitutional right of criticism of public figures or were they drawing an arbitrary “red line” beyond which no one should cross as they perceive that criticism akin to grievous transgression on religion, the prophets and God, raising the already vaulted position clerics occupy in our society to a level of deities and infallibles?

  5. Sam says:

    Apologies for my pessimistic views here but there’s allot of things at play here and all I see if fail fail fail on so many fronts.

    People will always be critical of public standing figures whether in govt or society. It comes with the job. Everything you do or say is scrutinized and you won’t be able to please everyone. That’s an absolute given!

    Why oh why can’t we accept criticism in this part of the world? What is so utterly wrong with embracing the fact that people are free to critique and disagree or otherwise?

    You know something is VERY wrong when those in power (govt or otherwise) go to such extremes to curtail personal freedoms and break national & international laws and conventions to simply protect themselves against criticism.

    This can’t be sustained forever.

    It is a complex situation to be sure, but the solution could be very simple; segregate religion from the state

    I agree, that might well be the solution.
    Maybe it’s time for a campaign.

  6. Al Rayyash says:

    I think the issue bigger than al-Saidi in the demonstration which was very civilized and will organized!!
    All the slogans that have been said was targetting Al Bander project.
    lets face it Qassim is not the target by Al Saidi it’s all Bahrain and that was the reson for our demonstration

  7. chanad says:

    the protest was well organized and civil, and managed to attract a large crowd it seems. on the method, full marks to the clerics for doing it right, and knowing how to mass mobilize people in support of their issues. it is their right to peacefully demonstrate.

    but im more concerned about the issue they were demonstrating for. you say that all of the slogans were against bandargate. i wasnt there so i dont know, but the slogans on the posters shown in the photos were not about bandargate. all of the ones i saw were along the lines of: labbaik ya faqih, ma3kum ya 3lema, or shaikh isa qasim kha6 a7mar, etc. and there was hardly a poster without qassim’s portrait on it.

    i get worried when movements are so strongly centralized around characters and not issues. it seems to symmetrically reflect the obsession with photos of the pm and the king on the other side.

    moreover its clear how much power these clerics hold in their hand to mobilize people on the street. but are they using that power for the best interests of the people? if they really cared about seeing action on the bandargate front, they could have issued calls for street protests way back when the issue first arose, and called for them to continue until the government responds. but asides from one or two medium sized protests, there was not much — a very lukewarm reaction from the clerics.

    they could have mobilized people to demand investigations into torture allegations, or against illegal naturalization, or against discrimination in govt hiring, or for better social security. but thats not what we see.

  8. monline says:

    I believe that it is a fact that our society in most part is figure-centric, unfortunately; Annas 3ala deeni molokihim!
    With all due respect to Shaikh Qassim and the party; firstly, they represent their opinions as facts. People agree/disagree with something, just because the sheikh says so.. No thinking process at all.. I remember university days when petitions papers were distributed for signatures; it’s enough to say that the sheikh endorsed it, everybody would follow, with no regard to the content or the cause…
    My brother is clerk and a hard-line follower of Sh. Essa. We always get into arguments, me suggesting that masses are manipulated.. For a follower, this is not a manipulation, because it’s the orders of God coming to us through the sheikh… We have no choice to disagree anyway! I can give so many examples on figures that were expelled from religion, just because giving a different opinion.
    The above is also valid for other religious hardliners in Bahrain..
    Having said that, I have no doubt that anybody who would express his/her opinion opposing our enlightened leaders would face a tough time, criticism and curses. It’s part of our culture, and it would take years to change..
    The problem now is sectarianism, and all the brainfarts of Saidi would lead us nowhere safe.. Let’s just pray… If I were to be consulted, I would advice people of Sh. Essa to just ignore! Wala tarrudu 3ala alsafeeh jawaba

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