Sites to be blocked, and become famous

Ban something and suddenly everyone wants to know why so they would do whatever is possible to get through that ban. It’s human nature. Just like rubber-necking a car crash. So why would anyone in their right mind think that the answer to correct a wrong is simply just to block the source is beyond me. It’s like that perennial image of burying one’s head in the sand and pretending that the situation simply does not exist.

This method simply does not work on the Internet, as the network itself is built with the central premise of resilience and redundancy. It was designed originally even to withstand a nuclear attack; therefore, imagining that a simple URL, keyword or IP block would suffice in eradicating the underlying problem is hardly going to work. Alternate routes will immediately spring up and people will tread those routes with alacrity to at least see what the big deal is. The downside of course is that these blocked sites audiences will probably be distilled into their central support units who might very well use the imposed semi-isolation to propagate even more hate and spread even more sectarian poison without the possibility of people engaging them and ameliorating their fervour. They will flourish in their own vacuum. Hence, the block will simply aid rather than hinder.

Blocking Internet sites is simply not the answer. And doing so administratively without judicial intervention goes against the human rights and press freedom codes the government has ascribed to. At best, these blocks will aid in Bahrain’s further descent in the international freedom indexes, at the expense of sending an impotent political message that this is the only way the government has at its disposal.

Although I don’t agree with a lot of the content of the three sites to be blocked, I don’t believe that blocking them is the correct method which should be used to deter them from spreading sectarian thoughts and hatred.

The sites to be blocked are, Shams Albahrain and Mamlakat Albahrain Forums.

ed: wrong url given originally for Shams Albahrain, this has now been corrected. Apologies.


  1. Sam

    Are these simply warning shots being fired? Do you think this might be symbolic? A way for the govt to reiterate the fact they’re search for “black” websites is ongoing?

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  4. Anon

    The infamous is blocked! Since the MoI is in the habit of blocking sites they claim to incite hate many have called on it to block bahrainforums but they didn’t because guess what…the site is pro-government albeit with an outrageous anti-shiite stance. Although I am strongly against any form of censorship, at least in this instance there was some hint of fairness in their actions.

  5. Ali7

    Mahmood, there are more than “shams” for Bahrain, and the blocked one is not the mentioned above .

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  7. monline

    It’s been so long since I visited the troublesome I remember being so badly sick of it, these are kids!! No job but exploring the danger of Safawis in Bahrain!

    I do theoritaccally agree with you Mahmood.. However, we talk about problems; merely about solutions.. What’s the practical solution in your opinion?

    For a normal layman/woman who visits these website, he/she really gets into the secterian wave and start carrying that retarted ideas…

  8. bt in sa

    Have to admit that when I saw this in the first thing I wanted to know was what sites were blocked…

    Like pork and alcohol in SA the desire for what you are not allowed to have is only made stronger whether you really want it or not.

  9. Post

    The very practical solution is to take them to court! The Ministry of Information should be made to do that so that the separation of powers at least appears to work.

    I am against any sectarian overtones, and judging by meeting these moderators first hand, they do leave a lot to be desired, hiding behind the justification that “anyone who calls us sectarian is sectarian” and other nuggets of this ilk, but regardless of what we think of their content – as long as they don’t call for violence of propagate hatred – they should be left alone.

    Clearly, people and the Ministry knew that they have transgressed on these tenets; hence the decision to block them. But if they have transgressed into what is clearly a criminal or civil offence, and as they (2 of them anyway) are registered with the Ministry which means that the Ministry knows the moderators and their contact details, they should have been presented to the Public Prosecutor and let justice take its course.

    If I were a political society, or a lawyer who has some time on his/her hands, I would have raised a civil case against them citing specific examples of their hatred and sectarian propagation.

    What would blocking a website by itself do? Realistically, all you have to do is this to unblock it.? Does that prevent the authors from continuing to publish their content which potentially contain the spreading of hatred and sectarianism or even using alternate methods to publish their words?

  10. Qasim Ahmed A. Rasool

    That reminded me much of an e-mail I sent over the blogger’s group regarding a petition to block,

    And the nice thing is that the owners closed it “by themselves” removing the website & leaving a message of apology for the reasons of the closure…

  11. Post

    Yes, I remember you wanting to launch the petition and I was completely against it. I’m glad that we didn’t.

  12. Sam

    I take the unfashionable view that freedoms of expression should be absolute and without restriction. I believe any person should be free to express themselves, and I reciprically should be free to hear what others have to say.

    Where does this leave a country’s social progression if we cant hear/see/read people’s thoughts and ideas? How are we to tackle and overcome problem areas and expose sour grapes in society?

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  14. Redbelt

    I am strongly against this move.
    I agree that some websites were taking it too far, however, appointing a single authority to decide what is right and proper and what is not is very insulting to me.
    I am a grown man I can distinguish bull shit something that isn’t bull shit…
    I would suggest as Mahmood said to take people who write lies to court and ask them for proof else the offending post is taken down. But as far as opinion (I don’t like this or that) It should be fine and warranted, so long it isn’t hate speech targeted to a mass of people.

  15. Konfuzed

    You have a great topic, very nice subject and an exciting way of addressing issues. But can’t you write in a more simpler way? I mean I hardly think you are trying to impress anyone, try to use simple common language puhleeeze, would make your blog somewhat closer.
    Just a thought, don’t bring out the bigguns now and start shooting my way 🙄
    I DO enjoy your blog 😆

  16. Post

    😕 Konfuzed you hit a nail on the head there. As I have started to write scripts for filming, I found out the hard way that it is vastly different from writing for reading. That one is normal and conversational, this one offers more latitude. I must confess that I enjoy writing for reading much better and that better reflects me, I think. And that is also a reason that I don’t think I can ever write anonymously, people who read me regularly will be able to spot me a mile off!

    Anyway, thanks for the advice, but you will have to forgive me as I don’t think I can change my style. At least not just yet.

  17. Post

    bloody hell, I just read what I wrote in 16 and after reading it, I think I can’t write for either medium! 😯

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