Al-Qaeda exposes itself in Bahrain

A scuffle broke out in Hamad Town between Bahrainis and recently naturalized Bahrainis in which wooden planks, knives and swords were used. A good summary of this recent event is available on GlobalVoices. This is not the first time troubles between these groups happen.

Hamad Town is a council housing estate built to benefit low to middle income families in Bahrain. It houses Bahrainis from all walks of life. A percentage of houses and neighbourhoods are occupied by newly naturalized Bahrainis and scuffles regularly break out between them and others in the vicinity.

A day after the scuffle broke out, a group of apparent residents were seen walking the neighbourhood’s streets intimidating others in the area, and one was seen carrying a black flag some say is distinctly similar to the Al-Qaeda flag, as seen in this video:

And this screen grab with superimposed graphic for comparison:

Source: http://twitpic.com/469rt4

Although I knew that there were sympathisers to Al-Qaeda here – I’ve seen pictures of bin Laden in some government offices just after 9/11, but haven’t since – I believe this is the first time that the Al-Qaeda flag is so blatantly exposed and by inference, their allegiance to that organisation is plainly shown. This – to say the very least – is a worrying development. The last thing we need in this country is to invite the trouble associated with Al-Qaeda and its criminals to this country. The government represented in the Ministry of Interior should take immediate action and must thoroughly and professionally investigate this incident. Ignoring this or delaying this investigation is akin to inviting some Al-Qaeda sympathiser to wreak havoc in this country by blowing himself up in Pearl Roundabout and kill several hundred innocents in the process. We all know that this is possible, as that organisation has shown the mindless killings it perpetuates everywhere it is allowed to set foot, be that in Afghanistan or Pakistan through to the United States and every other country in between.

For the sake of Bahrain, something must be done about this new phenomenon, and be done promptly.

130 thoughts on “Al-Qaeda exposes itself in Bahrain”

  1. Every single day the dialogue is delayed is another step towards a blood shed.
    Opposition leaders are just comfortable pushing their political pre-conditions.

    The people have simple demands opposition groups are squeezing political agendas to their demands and that must be stopped.

    Regardless, we can’t take this seriously, but it’s very likely that al-Qaeda will gain footstep here. Look at the messages Wesal and Safa TV channels are sending.

    1. I agree that discussions should start promptly in order to pull the rug from under the extremists from both sides.

      1. Al hamdulillah! A positive step by the opposition. Bahrain is in my prayers.

  2. Seriously, common quit whining! One flag of Al Qaeda has been raised….I bet you it’s a Shia holding it too…
    All the while, it’s alright for the Shias to hold up Hezbollah flags?
    I’ve seen it during Ashura myself! My own eyes!
    Green flags, black flags, yellow flags!

    1. Hardly. I object just as strenuously to other flags as I do to this one. However, the point here isn’t just a flag, but its significance cannot be underestimated, especially at this particular time. If we do, then it will be at our peril.

    2. If you have any children, I feel very sorry for them with the kind of bigotry and sectarian hatred they have to be raised around.

      Good luck to them and I hope they realize that co-existence is the foundation of a prosperous society before you brainwash their innocent minds into becoming clones of your thoughts.

  3. Mahmood,

    For those of us whose Arabic isn’t what it could be, what does the flag these guys are holding say?

  4. Guys, there is no al qaeda flag. That’s just a flag with the seal of the prophet. You can find a copy of the seal at the museum. My take: Bahrain is navigating through very troublesome waters, and if both sides keep pushing like this something or someone is going to give (in a major way). The flag these guys are carrying is to differentiate and announce that they are of a certain religious group and not the other group (spelled plainly: Sunni/Shia). As an outsider, I say you Bahraini’s are better than and above this. It’s a thin line between love and hate.

  5. The MOI will never make a move against this incident. Besides, these are the infallible protectors of Islam who have sworn to murder the Shia infidels.

    1. Mahmood, you’ve been online for like since the web started. You work in video and film and web logs.So I know you know that information is a double sided pen. In our times, we have to take every piece of info we find online with two grains of salt. The picture you link to is no proof. Everything that is Arab, Islamic and Muslim has been hijacked royally since September 2001. For all I know, that could be a Israeli propaganda aimed at what-not somewhere during the past 10 years. Al Qaeda was created by the US to put a “face” on “Islamic terrorism” to better market it to the American conscience. Pure Goebbels: announce it and hammer it in, and keep hammering it in until they can’t resist anymore and just accept it as truth so the headache can go away.

      1. Excellent taqqiyya, Khalid! Keep telling everyone that Al Qaeda is a Jewish plot. There are plenty of Muslims who will back you up. Why, Bin Laden is probably a rabbi whose real name is Cohen!

        Of COURSE, Al Qaeda is an American creation, probably cooked up on a Hollywood back lot with extras from Central Casting playing jihadis. I heard that Zawahiri is played by a Mexican guy who delivers pizzas between acting jobs.

        Remember, Khalid, what OJ taught: Deny, deny, deny, until you die! No matter how many facts are stacked against you, deny them, deny them all.

        Of course, the only problem with this is that you undermine any grain of credibility that Islam or Muslims have left in the world and lead non-Muslims to give Muslim opinion no weight. But what do you care about that?

        1. While it IS true that the government of Israel is, for lack of better terminology, a terrorist state, being the only nuclear power in the Middle East and, for some unexplained reason, draining bah-zillions of dollars from the United States for its “defense” while randomly attacking its neighbors and presently tasked with the genocidal annihilation of the Palestinian people, it is a common indicator of a (United States) government propagandist and agitator to make mockery of these facts by saying that everything is “a Jewish conspiracy.”

          So you have once again exposed yourself for what you are, “Steve-the-American.”

          The fact concerning Al-CIA-Duh is that it IS a creature of the CIA and the Anglo-American military establishment set up as a scapegoat for the murderous false flag (just like Hitler’s Reichstag fire of 1933) attacks on 9/11…which was an inside job as anyone who will bother to examine the facts will have to admit.

          [Uniformed Pentagon Security and Eye witnesses telling what really happened:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5FhQc-LJ-o

          Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth:
          http://www.ae911truth.org/

          Pilots for 911 Truth:
          http://pilotsfor911truth.org/

          Where did the towers go?:
          http://www.drjudywood.com/

          Unfortunately, many people would rather be ostriches and hide their heads in the sand that to examine real evidence and see the dangers our world is REALLY in for what they are.

          To support the fact that Al-Qaeda is an apparition and a boogey man of the military-industrial complex, there are a whole slew of articles about Anwar Al Awlaki, number 3(?) man at the top of Al Qaeda being buddy-buddy with the Pentagon, to the extent of dining with them at the Pentagon here:

          http://www.google.com/#hl=en&&sa=X&ei=8RdzTaCIDZDmsQOT1JDbCw&ved=0CBMQBSgA&q=anwar+al+awlaki+dined+at+pentagon&spell=1&bav=on.2,or.&fp=eda1291fdd569703

          Just because some thugs walked down a street by a public housing complex in Bahrain carrying a flag and trying to stir up trouble proves NOTHING about Al Qaeda. It is common practice, and has been proven in EVERY such “terrorist act” concerning Al Qaeda, that the CIA was provocateuring every single one.

          The MO (modus operandi) in every case has been to set up imbeciles who had little or no idea of what they were really doing. Many times they were drugged out of their minds.

          I would suggest that those unsettled by this event to identify who the individuals in the video are and to examine their affiliations and possible connections to various intelligence organizations.

          It looks like nothing by the old false flag “Order out of Chaos” to me. This is merely an attempt to start chaos.

        2. Taqiyya most probably doesn’t apply in this case (forgive me Khalid, trying to prove a point here). Don’t just throw it out there when you don’t know much about it.

          1. I disagree, Mahmood. Taqqiyya is an apt description of the preposteroud claims that Al Qaeda is an American or Israeli organization. We Americans have received a vast education in taqqiyya since Sep 11, in the incredible lengths Muslims will go to deny the obvious.

          2. You’ll have to stay in your ignorance in this on your own Steve. Taqiyya is the wrong principal here.

      2. Hence my fervent call for a proper investigation to be mounted immediately and its results to be broadcast transparently. Only with these will people be able to intelligently judge for themselves how to deal with this kind of phenomenon in our society.

  6. sorry Salman, clicked the wrong reply to button! Meant Mahmoods’ comment above yours.
    Cheers.

    1. Its OK Khalid :)

      Wonder if readers are having a hard time differentiating between sarcasm and bigotry. Check out the ratings haha

  7. then again so what?

    would fun watching alqada and hezbollah fighting it out!

    we can rest in peace from those terrorists groups
    haha! :P

  8. I actually find the way this is “reported” and its “caption” just as troublesome as the thought that AQ might actually try to make inroads into Bahrain.

  9. it is quite self-contradiction

    you ask the gov to do something , and lebel those people as ‘gov thugs’

    so our goverment are run by alqeeda now? LOOL

    1. Learn the difference. The picture was sourced untampered with and [was] displayed as is including its original caption. I have not removed that contentious caption in order to concentrate on the basic idea we’re discussing, which is the presence of at least Alqaeda sympathisers who – in this case – are terrorising some neighbourhoods in Hamad Town.

    1. اعتبر سماحة الأمين العام للوفاق الشيخ علي سلمان أن دعوات تشكيل مجموعات للدفاع عن النفس “دعوات لتشكيل مليشيات” وهي “أمر ليس مقبولا من أي طرف في البحرين”.
      كما دعا سلمان المواطنين “لعدم التواجد في أي أماكن فيها توتر” و”عدم الاستجابة لأي رسائل تدعوهم للتواجد في منطقة توتر ” .

    1. Why are you shocked?

      This man is a bigot and a hatemonger, somehow even proud of it.

      What bothers me is the gullible crowd listening to him actually believe every word he says like his speeches are heavenly verses.

    2. Unbelievable. THIS much hate? And the hundreds listening to the ass hole, not a single one getting up and stopping him? Or at least walking out? This twit was an MP for two terms? Unbelievable.

  10. I am shocked, shocked to find Al Qaeda in an Arab country! SHOCKED!

  11. I am not so surprised actually, I follow Maryam Alkhawaja and Chan’ad Bahraini and several others on twitter and the amount of hatred they are trying to spread is very disapointing to say the least. Some calling for revolution at “martyrsquare” as Maryam calls the pearl roundabout now.
    Tweets become more and more violent, It start to run hysteric with some of the people.

    1. I have to agree. I think twitter and FB are actually being used to whip up more hate and divide people, rather than just call people together for the common good of Bahrain. I am shocked and disappointed by the things written by people I have followed in the virtual world for some time, and even met in a few cases.

      At this point I see enough people stirring the pot that I wonder if there will be any resolution before Bahrain’s social and economic fabric is null and void.

      PEOPLE: Stop using twitter to create MORE PROBLEMS!

      PS: Mahmoud, I like the way you engage in dialogue on twitter and avoid engaging in the divisive cacophony like others.

      1. Facebook and Twitter are symptomatic of our daily lives. They don’t normally create something from nothing, but through them degenerates like Mohammed Khalid and others get exposed.

        1. And not only this creep, Mahmoud. I have seen and read terrible stuff from opposition members.

          FB & Twitter expose the entire world to how much we have degenerated as human beings.

  12. I have seen the vids but my comprehension of Arabic is low, however the tone of voice does not sound like he is speaking at a wedding passing his blessings, I have put the comments in translate and yes it does not give any positive note here either. We will continue to follow the input we receive from the people around us and pray Bahrain will become once again a peaceful place that with thrive with happiness and a healthy ecconomy for all that put in their efforts in a positive manor.

  13. Mahmood,

    Here is something you should watch and perhaps write about it. This is a video for a speech (few days ago) by ex-MP Mohamed Khalid in Muharaq. This is very very serious and it has been aired on Wesal satellite channel. Every word of his speech is more than enough to incriminate him in front of any court for inciting violence and hatred, yet the government seems to be fine with what he is saying.

    Compare this speech with speeches on the other side.

    Part 1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK8X47q-tlY

    Part 2

    1. sorry just reliesed someone has already reffered to the same speech.

      what’s really shocking is not what he said, but the reaction from his audience. we need a clear statement from the pro-goverment guys that they denounce every word of this speech and that they are not resorting to violence and that they respect all Bahrainis from all religions and sects.

      Guys how do you want us to read this, in your pro-government rally Sh. Abdullateef Almahmood claimed that there are Bahrainis from all religions and walks of life among the protesters at Al Fateh while in the preparation for that rally we hear something doesn’t differ much from Al-Qaeda literature??? Somebody has to explain

      1. Agreed. I have called for and shall continue to call for an effective anti-sectarian law with severe penalties for its perpetrators. Like South Africa showed us already, enacting such a law is the only way out of this quagmire of hatred on both sides.

        1. A law like that would be good

          But with a government like the one we have, than this law will be used against a specific group rather than all groups

          In more clearer words, a law like the one suggested will be always used against the Shia for claiming inciting Sectarian differences… like the current situation we are seeing

          1. I was assuming a fair and impartial judiciary of course. Else, there is not much point of having any law as it won’t be worth the ink it’s printed in!

          2. The problem is not with creating a law. The problem is with that ideology and way of thinking that harbours terrorism, hatred and intolerance against other human beings with different beliefs. And what makes it worse is that we have to live with it!

  14. Mahmood, thanks for the blog post. We hope this is an isolated incident and not indications of bigger problems.

  15. I have an announcement: Since the petite Kingdom has taken its sweet time to get its act together, I have, unfortunately, taken the decision to relocate all my business interests (and that of the foreign companies I represent) to Dubai. Keep it up and you may all end up playing with yourselves in a desert of empty real estate. Good luck!

    1. Thanks for your sentiments Karim. We’re sure that we shall survive without your input into our economy, in fact, your contribution, lacking as it most probably was, and representations, shan’t affect our way of life in the slightest.

      Don’t expect to be welcomed with open arms when it’s all over. Traitors do get remembered the longest.

      1. Although Karim wrote this in a disparaging and nasty tone, taking a business decision to relocate doesn’t make someone a traitor. Business is business and just like F1, Are they traitors, too? Who wants to come to Bahrain now for tourism or business? This is an expected result of the ongoing stand-off. Let’s be honest, there will be others and in an economic decline, the poor will suffer the most.

        1. “Business is business”

          Hardly. Business is much more than that. At least, successful businesses are. The social component and the integration with the community are just as important, if not more so, than the simple bottom line. Sustainability demands it.

          1. And the current economic climate sets a different standard just for survival. As a businessman, you must understand the concept of profit/loss margins. A business can’t survive past a certain point and considering the state of the economy today, there is less breathing room for most.

          2. Although I disagree with Karim’s tone…what he said does have some sensibility. I am an expat living (not working) in Bahrain. We contribute to your economy. We pay rent, buy groceries, purchase cars, eat in your restaurants, buy gasoline, etc. More than half of the Bahrain population are non-Bahrainis…all supporting the economy in some way. If the tension continues and the opposition refuses to talk our companies will start to move all of the families out of Bahrain. Who will sustain the economy? Who will bring the badly needed jobs? What will the country use to lure businesses to set up here?

      2. Once again Mahmood, thumbs up! Good come back! But I do not share your optimism. Its over.

        1. Fair enough. You made your bed and all that. I’ll continue to see that light at the end of the tunnel which is shining brighter at every passing night.

    2. Seems “Khalid” has the money and resources to relocate his own business and his foreign affiliations in 20 days. (the protests is 21 days old)

      WOW .. so fast and swiftly .. you have a lot, I mean a lot of resources .. imagine the cost of moving and re-setting up and than you have all the firing of local force you have (if any)

      If its true… than people like you who are hurting the economy by not hiring the local labor force and with your attitude to the prostest maybe you use Sectarian favortism to hire just like the many managers I have seen do??

  16. Karim,

    It’s really pathetic if you really think Bahrain is mere collection of businesses. There is no much in this little island and be sure we will be able to live and prosper without your input and even if all foreign companies left we will survive. And always remember those companies need Bahrain perhaps more than it needs them.

    I might have an extreme view about foreign companies and the majority might not share the same, but I seriously think we are better off without them but that’s another topic.

    1. Clearly you are not a business person, better not comment on things you know the least about. Stick to the newly created industry of protesting, maybe theres a niche market for that somewhere. You dont need foreign companies! Hahahahaha! Ignorance truly is bliss!

      1. WOW .. nice use of the Business Words “Niche Market”

        you dont need a business person to know that relocating a business is that easy especially to another country

    2. Hassan,

      It’s not in your interest to chase out anybody who wants to create wealth in your country. Look at all the rich countries which allow foreign investors and compare them to all the poor countries which prohibit foreign companies. The more investment capital you can draw into your market, the better and richer everyone gets.

  17. Well,

    This just shows that things go as planned by the regime, it had failed to intimidate the protestors who came out on 14 Feb, but done very well to put on the switch on those ignorant jackasses.

    I get surpirsed every time by how naieve those people are, and how they are filled with crap, even by those who consider themselves liberal and academic (e.g. Sawsan Al Shaer).

    There are people still believeing that those in the Pearl roundabout are holding Hezbullah flags there and chanting slogans against the Sunni’s !!!

    And what’s ironic is, those promoting fear amongst the people, that the Shia will overtake the country and bring the “Welayat Al Faqih” system, are practicing their own religious system on the Shia. As the Kings and princes are considered as “Waly Al Amr” or “Ulu Al Amr” in plural in the Sunni beliefs, and therefore must obey them and not criticise, even if he hits your back and takes your money, as per the Sunni narratives of the Prophet Mohammed PBUH.

    1. Good job contributing to sectarianism, exclamation mark. You just reiterated my belief that there can never be healing between Sunni and Shi’a. :’(

      1. Can you please elaborate how exposing the practice of double standards is a contribution of sectarianism?

        Please :)

        1. Here you go:

          “As the Kings and princes are considered as “Waly Al Amr” or “Ulu Al Amr” in plural in the Sunni beliefs, and therefore must obey them and not criticise, even if he hits your back and takes your money, as per the Sunni narratives of the Prophet Mohammed PBUH.”

          As a Sunni I find the ideas you are expressing here — that we Sunnis believe that we must fully obey and not criticize our leaders, even when he beats us and steals from us — to be a distortion that seeks to divide us.

          1. peacefulmuslimah,

            Please read my words carefully… I did not generalize that as a belief of all Sunni’s
            but is being promoted by “those promoting fear amongst the people, that the Shia will overtake the country and bring the “Welayat Al Faqih” system”

          2. If I misunderstood I apologize. But when I reread this it still looks to me like you are claiming this is Sunni belief based on Sunni narratives of the Prophet (saw).

            We know that some idiots (like the ones in Saudi) are stating this, but I think it should be obvious that the majority of us don’t listen to these wackos. Just like I assume the majority of you didn’t listen to Khomeini when he was alive.

            Again, if I am misunderstanding the way you wrote this I apologize and in that case, hope others will also not misunderstand.

          3. The term “Waly Al Amr” or “Ulu Al Amr” is present in the books belonging in the Sunni sect of Islam, and while reading through it you find there are conditions and prerequisites that need to be available for anyone to qualify for this position.

            But what extremists do today, is using such terms and apply them on tyrants to provide some immunity and protection in the name of islam.

      2. Peacefulmuslimah,

        Extremists are the ones promoting such thoughts amongst the people, to create some fear by creating a devine immunity to the rulers, by saying that going against them contradicts with the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah, Sh. Abdul Azeez Al Shaikh, prominent sunni scholar in KSA is a typical example.

        1. Read my response to Salman.

          Do you think some with extreme interpretations of Islam represent all of us Sunnis? Does Iran represent you?

          Authu billahi minash shaitanir rajim.

      3. This is not contributing to sectarianism

        This is in fact exposing the double standards that the government and its followers/loyalists impose on us

  18. Dear Karim,
    Perhaps we can take over your CR and clients and let Bahrain benefit from it.

    Dear Hassan,
    I need to disagree with you where it comes to foreign companies. you may survive but Bahrain is a huge trading hub that benefits a large portion of the people.

    1. For a price sure, you can have my CR and client lists. I dont do charity work and neither am I a big believer of CSR.

  19. This is a serious problem Bahrain has got itself into.

    By naturalising uneducated foreigners from countries the like of as Pakistan, Syria, Saudi, etc Bahrain has involuntarily imported the alQaeda ideology in to the country.

    Scores of these newly naturalised are recruited in the security and armed services of the country, and have ready access to guns and explosives. With violence against shia and non-muslims being a tenet of alQaeda belief, this has amalgamated into a perfect formula for disaster.

  20. Reading your comments I did not think you were the charity type. your loyalty to your principals and the ease of parting so easily it cannot be worth much let alone moving your operations to Dubai. Perhaps auction it off on e-bay to get the best offer.

  21. Dear Herman,

    as I said earlier that’s another topic and my view is an extreme one. Business is always good for an economy this is a fact of life, but only when its benefits are distributed fairly on the people.

    as I said earlier that’s another topic and my view is an extreme one. Business is always good for an economy this is a fact of life, but only when its outcomes are distributed evenly. What is happening in Bahrain is quite different; foreign companies in Bahrain employ very few Bahrainis compared to their large work forces, and they almost pay no taxes; So let’s have a look at their contribution to the overall GDP of the country:

    - They occupy office spaces and pay high rentals.
    - The pay decent salaries
    - Their expat employees pay high rents for their apartments and villas
    - They spend some money in the local economy to purchase equipments … etc
    - they (pay very low) administration and registration taxes.

    It looks great, ain’t?! But when we look at the other side of the equation and found that very few Bahrainis really benefit from that and they are specifically landlords and large family businesses we might change our view about those companies. for the rest of us, it means higher prices and more competition.

    Of course this is not the mistake of those companies but rather it is a mistake of the oligopoly in this country.

    So when we successfuly change the system to the better we will love to have more of these business in our country and I’m sure they will find it more attractive and even the expats will love to come in live here because they will face no discrimination based on their color and nationality like how it is today.

  22. Dear Hassan,
    I have been in Bahrain long enough to understand the economics here, I agree with most of your statements, Employing Bahraini’s become less feasible all the time, a foreign worker can be fired if they do not perform,the foreigner takes that risk and gets paid for that extra.
    I can name many more reasons, as long as foreign companies have high risks with their investments they will remain to hire people from outside the GCC. A foreign company can lose their assest and benefits within 1 hour if even making the wrong comment to a person that has “friends”.
    To bad that so many good Bahraini’s with good intentions are duped that way, I also wish this was diffrerent but as you know a foreigners word is not worth a lot as you mentioned in your last sentence.

  23. exclamation mark:

    The problem is not with creating a law. The problem is with that ideology and way of thinking that harbours terrorism, hatred and intolerance against other human beings with different beliefs. And what makes it worse is that we have to live with it!

    Well there are world precedents which we can learn from. I was briefly speaking to a South African friend who said specifically that the anti-discrimination law was the key through which the country was managed and repaired between the two eras of South Africa. We might learn from that, and also from their proven successful Truth & Reconciliation efforts too.

  24. Having groups of bandits carrying swords and sticks is unprecedented in our peaceful country.

    I agree with Mahmood, these are acts of terrorism and should not be tolerated.

    What we see in the video is a by-product of Dr. A.Latif Almahmood negative reinforcement speech on Thursday’s night, after the fight.

    In that speech he encouraged the youth and families (of those who had the weapons, unharmed certified slashers) to move in groups, and prepare to kill when necessary!
    Even reciting speeches from the Prophet (PBUH) justifying such irresponsible acts.

    Dr. Almahmood Full speech (arabic) is available on:
    http://www.m6m3.com/u/up_live/m6m3.com12992873441.mp3

  25. Back to answer Steve the American, Robin Cook, Ex UK Foreign Secretary seems to agree with me:http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/jul/08/july7.development
    Needless to say, Mr. Cook resigned soon after.
    Now whether groups with individual agendas sought to capitalize on “al qaeda’s name” establishing branches North, East, South and West is a different matter. If you go back to the history of false flags and terrorist attacks, you can correlate that “al qaeda” as a “group” only started emerging after Arafat and the PLO signed a peace treaty with Israel. I’m sure you all remember the 70′s and 80′s when international terrorism was carried out mostly by Palestinians.
    Forgive me if you guys have moved on to other topics of conversation, not trying to flog a dead horse, just trying to make a point.

    1. Yes, you’re flogging a dead horse, a horse that has died and decomposed and whose bones have been made into glue. Nobody believes Al Qaeda is Made In America, not even Muslims. This is just a bogus story to deflect the shame of Islam’s crimes against humanity.

      1. Al CIA-DUH IS made in Amerika: [link]

        There are none who are so enslaved than those who think they are free and yet they are not.

        admin edit: re-contained link

  26. The BBC, back in the day, made a great documentary on terrorism named: The Power of Nightmares. Just found this clip for those of you who prefer the visual stimulation:

  27. I expected this from day one.
    We are the peaceful people of Bahrain, minding out own business, no political agendas and no demands.
    And now we’re between a rock and a hard place, opposition groups pushing for more demands, government ignoring them and extremists from both sides ready to crush us.
    I’m applying for work outside Bahrain, being a Bahraini this really breaks my heart, but this isn’t the right environment to raise my child.

  28. Don’t give up yet. I still believe that Bahrain is a pretty decent place compared to the surrounding countries. And I still hope that the opposition leaders and royal family can work together to make the country even better than it has been.

    I doubt your kids have been in any danger the past three weeks and it’s unlikely they’ll be at any risk in the next year.

    1. Here is the thing Jeremy, the opposition are the protesters and they have no one leader. They are leading their own march towards reform, and regardless of difference in opinions between them their demands remain unified.

      This is making it extremely difficult for the government to negotiate because the protesters refuse to allow anyone to lead and have not officially appointed anyone to represent them. In a way they look at it as if having a leader makes him a target and somehow a weakness.

      A fear of the negotiator backing down from vital demands in exchange for others is not something they are willing to take a chance on. The government has lost all credibility and there is no trust between the opposition and them left.

      How do you want them to trust Hamad or Salman when they come asking for dialogue and their fangs are still dripping from the blood of the martyrs?

      I am interested in how these 20,000 job vacancies magically sprung up?

      And if my calculations are correct, the Ministry of Housing will need to complete 45 houses a day, to deliver 50,000 homes within 3 years.

      Is the crown price going to Qaddafi for advice or something?

    2. Bahrain neighbors Saudi Arabia. When you claim Bahrain is decent compared to its neighbors, you’re setting the bar very low. You’re actually digging a hole to bury the bar.

  29. Can I just point out this response in comparison to Karim Abdulla’s?

    I doubt anyone would criticize your decision, Observer.

    When things get tough, people make decisions based on what is in their best interest and for those things in life that matter, be it family, career or enterprise.

    To Karim, making really condescending statements about the political environment in Bahrain really hit a few nerves. And I certainly feel that the reactions you got on this blog was rather proportional to the instigation. (oh, that reminds me, has anyone found Abdul-Latif Zayani? I last heard that he was sighted wandering the parking lot at CNN’s studio complex)

    Would we prefer to have people in Bahrain who have a good bit of “skin in the game”, that would help work things out? Absolutely. But if it is a legitimate interest that drives you to relocate, who can question you?

    But you didn’t have to be rude about it. I mean, it’s not like anyone took away your fruit-stand or anything…

    Observer, best of luck to you. As serious as our responsibilities are to our nation, none is as heavy as the ones to our children. May yours suffer no harm.

  30. Salman,
    Here are some facts about few things.
    1- the 20,000 jobs are created by the GCC marshal, why MOI is very simple, the skill requirements are very low. You don’t expect them to make a space program to recruit 20,000. This is a double edged sword since they can really delegate security responsibility to the people. The Army is out of the question now cuz it will create a major issue with the other sect.
    2- You can’t calculate the houses by trying to figure the daily average, cuz houses are not built individualy. still, I doubt that we have the raw material, manpower and infrastructure ready today.

  31. To bad things are getting out of hand, last weekend westeners were attacked near the pearl, residents of the appartments there had their car kicked to pieces by youngsters. Where will this lead.

  32. Anonny, mafi Salmiyeh it seems, My friend had her 9 year old son in the car and youngsters stood in the middle of the road blocking it and then started kicking the car. Now they will also leave Bahrain wihin a few weeks, leaving 2 Indian, 1 philipina and 3 Bahraini jobless as her husband will cancel his CR from out of Bahrain. The couple told me at school today at pickup time.

    1. People can change tactics, but they can never change mentality.
      Simiyeh is a temporary cover for some.
      I just hope marches will stop.

  33. Not to offend anyone, but there are _still_ idiots in the opposition, some of them were burning tires a few months ago and now they’re being kept in check by the rest of the folks there, but sooner or later their itch for a fight will go through the masses and the situation will blow itself.

    That is to say, the opposition do have valid points, but right now, this country is heading into a civil war if this situation isn’t resolved quickly, and I pray that the more sensible minds like Wa’ad and the others like them prevail and opt for dialogue before this heads downhill, which it is very quickly from what I can tell.

      1. No it’s not, this Friday you will definitely see violence. it’s pretty much irresponsible to march to the royal court in Riffa. people from Riffa are planning to stop them and it will turn ugly, especially when you have the police trapped between a rock and a hard place.

        Mahmood, What’s wrong with captcha codes?

        1. I suspect this is what many among the protesters want. They must be bored now that they have been allowed to camp out where they please. They need violence to get international attention again, which is what many seem to want if twitter is any indication.

          I just pray that some leadership will emerge that can control this rabble-rousing element.

          1. That is exactly so, Peacefulmuslimah. Doing nothing is boring for kids while rioting is exciting. I am struck by interviews with rioting kids in the US who, when asked why they were rioting, said, “It’s fun.”

        2. Why is it irresponsible? Is it the fault of the peaceful protesters that a group from Riffa want to attack them and are challenging them to set foot in their “holy land”?

          What right do the people of Riffa have that allows them to stop people from voicing their opinion in their country? Or is Riffa a separate nation with its own borders and laws? Is Riffa a private land where they will be trespassing? Is it exclusive to those who are loyal to the Al-Khalifa only?

          Yea, many of them are “planning” to, also they are all being tough men behind keyboards. But how many will actually show up? And will they be able to stop them?

          Friday is only 3 days away, time will tell the outcome.

          peacefulmuslimah, it sounds like you are the one who is bored of following an uprising that has gone completely peaceful without anymore casualties or blood shed to increase the intensity of the situation.

          1. ok, lets take it this way.
            Protesters from Riffa and Muharraq will march to Diraz around Shaikh Isa Qassim’s house.
            Is this fine? or it’s irresponsible now?

          2. And what did I say to give you that impression Salman? I certainly hope and pray that Bahrain will settle down, people will be able to go back to work and return to peaceful lives. Please show me where I said otherwise.

  34. One more thing that can make someone snap, my brother was driving back home and he was greeted with protesters next to the Financial Harbor.
    One “peaceful” protester kept knocking his car window hard and slapped a 1 dinar bill on the window.

    All you need is one person to snap and then hell will break loose.

    Remember that some of today’s peaceful protesters are yesterday’s Molotov cocktail shooters. I didn’t hear about a rehab program for yesterday’s violent protesters, all I know that some of the people are the same and they are using a new tactic. (I said some!)

    I feel extremely uncomfortable when if my wife plans to drive alone, known that she can be stopped, harassed and even attacked, while attackers will be left untouched. Even when they get caught, next thing you’ll have people screaming for their release from prison.

    This is becoming a lawless country.

    1. Was just talking about this!
      How ironic!

      From twitter:
      @livebahrain: Toyota Prado plate no. xxxxxx ran over protesters near BFH

  35. You are walking a thin line here, and at a fragile time. Assuming you want a democracy, that has to include freedom of speech. As such, how do you draw the line between making political statements and actually promoting violence?

    I think that anyone should be able to carry whatever flag they want, but if they try to pick up fights or entice violence, they should go to jail. Don’t fall into the “thought police” trap. Regulate actions, not affiliations.

    Shachar

  36. Shachar,
    I also believe in freedom, freedom can only be earned though honesty and respect. However I would see that waving a flag that represents Al-Qaeda is making a statement that does not particularly promote peace and tollerance, and thus people can only react to that as people have families to care for. Next Friday we will see what happens, Many people will make a final decision on the credibility of Bahrain if violence breaks out, no matter who started it. I pray for both parties to receive the wisdom and strenght to work it out in a reasonable manor.

    1. The question is what do you do with people waving flags? Do you punish them for the mere flag waving?

      Because if you do, the best you can hope from this potential revolution is to replace one tyranny with another, and I’m fairly sure that is not what gets Mahmood all worked up and hopeful about what’s going on in Bahrain today.

      Forging a Democracy isn’t easy, and it is going to be an uphill battle no matter what. All I’m saying is that statements like these is where the battle begins.

      Shachar

  37. Reader 911,
    I certainly do not want to take a statement because I was not there.
    “We all know who lives there” is an assumption, creating negative thoughts without facts. I understand both “groups” live in the area. Violence is seldom the answer in a dispute, it’s all a state of mind, your thoughts may not be the same as others but that does not may either thought wrong. This issue brings up a lot of questions.
    Why were they beaten?
    Who provoked who?
    How does a man handle a sword and yet the oposition survived?
    Why would 6 man fit in 1 car go do what in a place they may not need to be at a time of unrest?
    I am not defending those that attacked, I just try to understand the issue.

  38. I heard Pardo woman lives in Busaiteen, somehow the newspaper misses this vital piece of information.

  39. Dear Shachar,
    Punishing for waving “a” flag? a flag waving is an expresion of the thoughts and what the specific flag stands for.
    It seems to me that political related flags that represent other than freedom is counter productive as in this case.
    I would love to see a flag waving with the tekst:
    ” we forgive your mistakes, become our heroes.
    regards,
    Your brothers”

    1. a flag waving is an expresion of the thoughts and what the specific flag stands for.

      And a democracy encourages both freedom of thought and freedom of expression. This is the very heart of democracy, more so than free elections or equal representation.

      I should make it clear. No one who even remotely knows me would think me an Al Qaeda sympathizer. My attitude toward them is only slightly better than their attitude toward me, in that I do not wish them all dead.

      The thing I do care about is freedom, for everyone. If you start advocating taking others’ freedom based on no more than their opinion and/or non-violent actions, then it is ultimately your own freedom you are hurting.

      The way everybody wins the most is if Bahrain becomes a democracy. A real one, where people are actually free to express their opinions. Some of those opinions you will not like. I will probably not like the great majority of those opinions. Still, everyone is better off if those opinions are allowed to be expressed.

      Shachar

      1. “The true democrat is he who with purely nonviolent means defends his liberty and, therefore, his country’s and ultimately that of the whole of mankind”

        -Mahatma Gandhi

  40. Shachar,
    I agree with you mostly,Implementing scuh will take a mature effort from both sides and stop blaming each other for what went wrong and move towards a solution instead of throwing mud back and forth, however I still have a mixed feeling about both sides “visible” agenda when it comes to the “leaders” so far.

  41. This just got me thinking:

    A lot of people witnessed what had happened yesterday outside the Financial Harbour, and those who noted down the number of the car merely distributed its license plate number through instant messaging services on their phones alerting people to be on the look out for this car after the driver ran someone over without stopping.

    Now, here comes the interesting part. The full name of the car’s owner, home address, both telephone numbers registered to her name, occupation and exactly where she is employed was also information that somehow emerged out of nowhere.

    Who has access to such information? How were her details leaked?

    1. Anybody who works in the government that has access to such records could have done it. Who are you suggesting?

      1. In most states in the US License Plate numbers are a matter of Public Record. Meaning anyone can find out the owner of a car by the License Plate number at the local DMV/RMV. The general basis for this is driving is not a right but a privilege.

  42. I feel inclined to speak on the subject of democracy. A true democracy is the rule of the majority at the expense of the individual. Not even the US is a democracy, it is a republic and that should be the word you use. In a republic, the unalienable rights of the individual is protected.

    But a republic is easy to call for and far far harder to inact. For a republic to work there must first be liberty. Too many countries attempt to become republics without first ensuring human liberty.

    And there-in lies the rub. For how can we acheive liberty when our ideals are trapped in archaic, dogmatic interpretations of our religion. In Islam, a woman is only 5/8th of a whole. Not considered a whole person.

    There is a renassaince of thought which needs to take place in the minds of all Arabs before we can ever achieve a representative government.

    1. Given all the time in the world, and absolute control, the order I can think of is:

      Right of the bat, ensure total freedom of expression and freedom of criticism.

      Start teaching people about tolerance to minorities and different opinions.

      Once that’s entrenched, introduce free elections.

      The main problem is that people think that freedom of elections is the most important part of it. Free elections without a culture of tolerance toward different opinions lead to cases such as Hammas in Gaza or (example not given due to Goodwin).

      Then again, this is not the only risk to democracy (republic, whatever). Another is when the people are made of distinct groups who do not see themselves as sharing a common interest. The most glaring example of how that can go wrong is the only Arab democracy today, Lebanon, where the country has spent more time in civil war than out of it (and, sadly, it seems like it is heading for yet another one now).

      Which means that the Shia vs Suni issue in Bahrain is not a minor detail to be resolved, but a major obstacle (possibly, the major obstacle) to a true democracy.

      Shachar

    2. One of the problems I see is a willingness to question and reform existing power structures EXCEPT for Islam, which is the power structure by which almost every aspect of our lives is legislated in Islamic countries, whether through Shariah or culturally entrenched positions that shape everything we do. As long as questioning and reforming our interpretation of Islam is “off the table”, I hold little hope for significant change in the Arab world.

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