Ethnic Cleansing?

30 Dec, '09

It looks like some neighbourly sorts took umbrage [Arabic] with the display of some murals and traditional black flags in some of Bahrain’s villages [example], took matters in their own hands by removing said flags in Sanad. In Busaiteen, a sleepy village in the Kingdom of Muharraq, they went a step further and torched a couple of houses which had the temerity of displaying their heritage by way of a couple of black flags on their houses.

These acts did not go without a reaction – thankfully – so Sanad villagers took to the street in an authorised protest:

Sanad villagers protesting against the removal of their Ashoora flags. Photo credit: Al-Wasat

While it’s not clear yet who the perpetrators are, it is relatively safe to say that it is people who aren’t happy about “having that sort of thing” in their neighbourhoods. Put bluntly, they don’t like the Shi’a to be in their neighbourhoods. The Shi’a being there from time immemorial is beside the point. Now that they’re living there, hell, it’s their patch! I guess that the thought of living comfortably and peacefully with each other doesn’t cross their mind.

Unfortunately Bahrain is getting to be like this with more incidents which escalate the canton-like existence. People, from both sides of the divide, demonstrate against “foreigners” coming to live in government developed housing estates in the vicinity of their village. The “foreigners” in some cases are none other than indigenous Bahrainis who lived just a few kilometres away. No, only sons of their own village would be welcomed. Parliament seem to have gotten in this particular sectarian dance, with some standing with those villagers, while MPs from the other sect taking up an opposing view.

Integration is key to bringing the Bahrain of old and the only way for us to prosper in the future. We have always lived together regardless of our religious differences and backgrounds and we should be actively encouraged to do so even more, rather than what the current situation has become, little closed villages virtually surrounded by high walls to keep the others out. If “infiltrated” and one dares to show some sort of personal belief differing from those in the area, daggers – or kerosene – come out.

These situations should be brought under control by applying the law and by encouraging community activities. This is probably a good start which leaders within the community themselves should undertake without government interference. Elders within the community can and should bring their communities together to ensure that this sort of strife does not happen again.

However, judging by how seemingly systemic these incidents have become; that is, politicising every event befalling the country or community, the issue could be much larger than that. The general feeling is that people suffer from social injustice, discrimination and marginalisation. Even if these feeling are just perceptions, they must be addressed at the state level and addressed immediately.

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Comments (6)

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  1. bahraini4eva says:

    “Elders within the community can and should bring their communities together to ensure that this sort of strife does not happen again.”

    Unfortunately, I think, the elders themselves are the ones who motivate such cruel acts on both sides. I honestly don’t think that there will ever be an end to this ridiculous aggression, and as we have all seen in the past, the innocent people are the ones who end up being victims of these tragedies!

    • mahmood says:

      Could be. But as “the elders” are those from the 40s and 50s where religion important as it was, was a personal thing and sectarianism was present but controlled, would be more (generally) more worldly. That’s the idea. But your comment made me look around and search and it does look to me that quite a number of those whom I used to look up to from that era, leave quote a lot to be desired.

      Maybe it’s then time for us younger generations to take matters into our own hands to correct these injustices and help eradicate sectarianism.

  2. wa7admenalfraj says:

    but what to do if some of us sold their soul for some curtain country*

    *hint: they constantly wene that the island belong to them!

    yea you heard it right! ******* like iran is financing such acts ! all over the world terrorism.

  3. heraish says:

    Were police reports files? You should’nt let this story go like that. Keep us posted. Police need to arrange some sting operations to catch some culprits if this thing doesnt stop.

  4. Roger Thomas says:

    Those who are Muslims need look no further than the Quran. 3:103

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