With the Egyptian demonstrations entering their 15th day, with today reportedly the largest so far, they seem to have defied all naysayers and kept their focus sharp and their demands very well defined. I don’t have any doubts at all that Mubarak will fall well before his due date, his expiry date has already comprehensively passed. Maybe the Egyptians will beat the Tunisian record and get the deed done before the three week milestone.
How did they do it? How did they succeed? The short answer as far as I see is that they both eschewed what differentiates them and worked very hard at what unified them. Didn’t you hear the shouts of “ÙŠØ¯ ÙˆØ§ØØ¯Ù‡ ÙŠØ¯ ÙˆØ§ØØ¯Ù‡” (one hand one hand) whenever someone (Islamist or otherwise) attempted to hijack their cause?
In Bahrain, I fear it’s a completely different situation. So far.
I am disgusted by what I read in various sites and feeds. The over-arching direction in the Bahraini sphere is not only religious, but overly sectarian. Have a look at this video which reached me this afternoon:
read the comments which are dripping with hate and sectarianism (on both sides) and then just go over to the various Facebook pages set up for the cause here and here amongst others I’m sure and see the quality of discourse there. Do you really think that any such movement would succeed? And if they do succeed, do you realistically think they will last long enough to launch a new a modern democratic country?
I hate to be the pessimist, and I am also the most fervent supporter of democracy, democratic values and human rights, I am extremely pessimistic now that I have perused the various available social media and other sites more than ever.
How can they convert this almost definite failure to success? Emphasize and believe in unity. Don’t – for all that’s holy – bring out labels, songs, videos and writings with “azza beats” or liken what you’re doing with Ashoora, the best you could expect when you do is to completely alienate the rest of the population, and that you cannot afford to do, not even for a second.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, every “revolution” has its own prerequisites and its own catalyst. I see that while one might be present in Bahrain, the other is most definitely missing so far.
What’s to be done then? Forget about it and stay as we are? Not by a long shot. I say that now, at this particular state of local affairs, continue to exert pressure on the government, extract as much concessions as could be taken but direct all efforts at ensuring proper human rights and freedoms, political and economic rights and work on evolutionary rather than revolutionary modes of operation.
Until we in Bahrain really believe in the mantra of No Shi’i, No Sunni, Just Bahraini, we’ll not be moving far from where we currently find ourselves and shall continue to wallow in our own sectarian filth.