Overdue Reactions – Translated

Thanks to @BahBourgeois, we now have a translation of the original letter which created a lot of feedback and requests for translation. So here’s the translation:

To The Gathering of National Unity
Thank you. Thanks to you we are no longer at a loss and we now know the path of righteousness so we followed it.

I am Sunni Bahraini and I love Al-Khalifa and I won’t be exaggerating to describe myself as a fanatic Sunni to the extent of hating other Islamic sects which I believed are not even worthy of being called Islamic. In short, I along with many others regarded ourselves as the followers of the ‘Right Path’ who will survive Hellfire. Except for our belief and sect which we cherished and defended, we believed that all other sects and their followers are the firewood of Hell especially the Shias whom we called Rafida, Majoos, Safawis, Children of Muta’a and other offensive and obscene things. All that as a result of the hatred that dominated our conscience and our minds and made us inclined towards evil and lies and stories about differences between us that do not exist except in our minds and souls. We disagree with them (the Shias) because they do not lead their lives except in accordance to clear principles while we have been like those who the Prophet (pbuh) described as (blind) followers of all good and evil.

We have shrouded our view with excessive sanctity and regarded our religious scholars as our guardians, valued their preaching and became slaves to their teachings but that has led us to losing sight of our religion and our belief that God enjoins justice and kindness, wisdom and fair preaching and compassion. God said in the Quran “And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you” This verse was the reason many unbelievers embraced Islam.

  • Are we the follower of the Quran and the Morals of Islam or are we the followers of those who call themselves Al Salaf Al Salih (The Righteous Ancestors) and their alien fatwas?
  • Who are these Righteous Ancestors whom we take from only that which divides us with other sects as if it was a divine book?
  • Why do we glorify many of the Prophet’s Companions and name our mosques after them (while we don’t even know their history) and yet we choose not to name our mosques after Ahlulbayt (Members of the Prophet’s Family) – may Allah be pleased with all of them? Who is more worthy of being remembered and immortalized- Ahlulbayt or the Companions of the Prophet (some of whom were described as hypocrites in the Holy Quran)?
  • Or are we like the ignorant people of Quraish who created idols, sanctified and worshipped them and killed all those who refused to do so?

This is a sample of questions which, whether we like it or not, demonstrate that we are following the wrong path. We simply withhold the banner of Islam and use it to justify all the injustice we commit against people who disagree with us. We interpret our religion according to our own whims and prejudices and based on what our Guardian’s dictate but they only surround themselves with people who claim knowledge and faith and piety while in reality they only seek to achieve their own personal interests at our expense.

The recent elections and what happened in it from insult and cursing (against the Shias) makes it clear to those who seek truth where all the hatred lies. The difference between Sunnis and Shias is only an excuse to justify all the crimes and wrongdoings.

In writing this, I am representing eight families (maybe even more) but as I am writing this I am representing these eight families. We all followed a certain path previously and have now decided to take a different one-free from all the hatred and hypocrisy which goes against our beliefs and the interest of our children, our families and our religion.

Yes, we are approximately thirty three individuals who lost their way as a result of those who called themselves “the men of national unity” and so-called religious scholars. But we now have discovered the right path and we need to restore all that which got destroyed from faith as a result of the crimes we have committed against many people and the Shias in particular whom we labeled Rafida (meaning Rejecters, a demeaning term). Yes they are perhaps Rejecters – Rejecters of Injustice and Evil.

The following three points have made us take our new position:

  • We carefully read and reviewed the demands of those who we opposed and realized that their demands are all fair and legitimate and all the stories about Iran and Hezbollah are fabrications. Where was Iran and Hezbollah before 1979 when both Shias and Sunnis chose Al-Khalifa to rule in 1971?
  • Islam is against the killing of innocent people, displacing the poor and cutting off their livelihood. Why couldn’t our hearts carry compassion and mercy for people who advocate reform?? Why did we fabricate all these stories and celebrated this as victory?
  • Is it Islamic for a Government to abuse human rights (and especially those of Shias) by importing mercenaries who do not care about the history of this land which our grandfathers, both Sunnis and Shias have built together?

The events in Bahrain have allowed us to witness the highest and most aggressive levels of hate in ourselves which was nurtured by our so-called religious scholars, our fake media, and the dishonest pens of our journalists which we previously respected but now the masks have fallen. We have seen how they all promoted repression and killing and the destruction of mosques and the burning of the Quran and other crimes against a group of people who demanded their rights in more than peaceful ways and we haven’t found anything as of today that implicates them in any of the stories we fabricated against them (e.g. carrying arms or weapons, etc.)

My God! How did we do that? How come we believed those who claim to be the men of nationality unity when they were promoting killing and repression and fabricating stories against the Shias trying to convince us that our real brothers and protectors are those ‘new Bahrainis’ (only because they share the same sect).

  • Who attacked our rights? Who committed all the crimes in Riffa, Muharraq and Askar? Who took our jobs in the defense force, the ministry of interior, ministry of education and other sectors which were previously monopolized by us? Are they the Shias or those new Bahrainis?
  • Are government housing projects and other public serves a priority for Shias or the new Bahrainis who have become first class citizens and us 2nd class citizens and Shias 10th class citizens?

Stop lying to us. You don’t deserve this country.

We find the claims of our religious scholars and leaders and on their head the leaders of the National Unity Gathering to carry lots of injustice, ignorance, repression and lies. Their words reminded us of the life of the Prophet (pbuh) and what the tribes of Quraish have committed against him. Keep your fake tears and your fabrications and false media away.

Despite all that and the injustice committed by many Sunnis; the speeches by Shia religious scholars continued to call for peace, love, respect and unity between Sunnis and Shias. May god protect Umm Hassan, perhaps her words were more sincere than all our leaders and religious scholars. Her words are honest and free from hypocrisy and did not call for division as did many others.

From the words of Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Mahmood, president of the National Unity gathering (you brought us shame):

  • The Government had to do what it has done otherwise the Shias would have ruled us and the Sunnis would have been subject to discrimination
  • The burning of the Koran is permissible; the companions of the Prophets have done it before.
  • The demolition of unlicensed mosques is permissible and praying in these mosques is not acceptable.

Here are some excerpts from the speech of Isa Qassim (leading Shia figure in Bahrain): Servants of Allah, we have to fear God and not deviate from the straight path in a moment of anger. Let the good word and action take precedence over all that would debase us in a moment of anger.

And the speech of Ali Salman, Head of Wifaq Society-which we used to call Nifaq (Hypocrisy) Society- included these words: Bahrain is the home of both Sunnis and Shias. No one has superiority over the other, but we are all equal in religion, citizenship and nationality and we shall both respect and love each other and build this country together. Every Sunni individual, family and home is the responsibility of Shias to protect and every Shia individual, family and home is the responsibility of Sunnis to protect. Our country is our responsibility to protect so let us avoid a sectarian war.

In short, Sheikh Abdullatif Al Mahmood gave the green light for killing and destruction and unfortunately we followed him like dogs follow their master. I apologize for not mentioning excerpts from the speeches of our honourable MPs Jassim Al Saidi and Mohammed Khalid and their likes (We ask God to guide us and them). I do not mean to underestimate their person but what they have said does not fall short from sounding like the awful rhetoric of Israel’s Foreign Minister Lieberman towards the Palestinians. In their case, their hatred and xenophobia is directed towards the Shias. We do not know the source of all this hatred but they are convinced on condemning the Shias and permitting Jihad against them! Myself and people like me were hateful against the Shias as well and we used to utter words harsher than what these MPs and others have said against the Shias. Unfortunately, that’s what we’ve learned in our mosques and from our religious scholars unlike what the Shias learn in their mosques and husseiniyas.

Since the beginning of the crisis, many events were fabricated by Sunnis with the support of security forces. Unfortunately, we believed and promoted these stories and cursed the innocent people all in the name of protecting this country from the fictitious scare they promoted. Some of the stories they framed and invented include the following:

  • The ‘Occupation’ of Pearl Roundabout (which they refuse to refer to as Pearl Roundabout despite being referred to as such in all our school books!)
  • The incident at the University of Bahrain. All the videos and pictures bear witness to the criminal acts we have committed against this Country
  • The incident of cutting the tongue of the muezzin. I was so angry about this incident that I wanted to seek revenge by doing the same against one of them (the Shias). But then the lies were exposed and the Ambassador of Bangladesh denied the story. This incident demonstrates the extent to which we have sold this country- even our muezzins are foreign, our imams are foreign, our military and security forces are foreign. Truly, we live in a cocktail that we’ve created with our own hands especially for the Foreigner to live and for us to die in. All praise and gratitude be to God that the truth has emerged before it is too late and before our conscious-less and honourless MPs sell this country for good. I am outraged at them because they have intentionally fabricated the facts and created all this hatred in our hearts. They have played with people’s emotions and we have given them that opportunity by voting for them.
  • The crimes of the (pro-government) thugs and I was one of them and there are many of us including the ‘new Bahrainis’ who joined us in these crimes (we were about to kill, kidnap, etc.). Despite all that, we have never seen a single Shia enter our villages to destroy or terrorize. Nor did we find any Shia attacking us or committing any wrongdoing to justify the mess we have created it. We started fearing everything and anything because we believed those who sold their country. If all this was to the benefit of the ‘new Bahrainis’ what was to our benefit or yours? Shame on you!
  • The incidents at schools, ministries and companies which was among the worst you have encouraged us to do. We became in a race to finding pictures of the ‘traitors’? Was going to pearl roundabout and carrying the flag of Bahrain such a crime? (in reference to the sacking of employees who participated in the protests and general strike)
  • I hear and witness events everyday but our media chose not to cover them and we chose to believe the lies of these TV stations, their reporters and their guests who sold their soul to the devil. Even the Takbeer was labeled as noise and therefore deserving of gunshots and teargas. Photos of the leadership are hung everywhere, on every light pole, tree trunk, toilet, kitchen and farm. It reminded us of Saddam and Gaddafi and the crimes they commit and their claims that the people loved them. We love and will continue to love Al-Khalifa and we will not accept anyone else but come on give us a break! Instead of planting the love of our leadership you have made us detest all these exaggerated images.
  • The arrest of women also shocked me and made me think: Would we accept if that happened to us? to our teachers, doctors, nurses, students and employees? Don’t we fear God for all the crimes we’ve committed in the name of protecting our Country and our Sect but all we succeeded to do is destroy this Country in a race for money and status!

We have realized that if we want to live a life of dignity and true faith, we should not stand with those who promoted or condoned all the corruption we have witnessed- the corruption of souls, minds and conscience. We have demeaned ourselves by claiming faith which has nothing to do with the Islamic teachings of our Prophet (pbuh).

He who seeks truth and justice must treat human beings as human beings and not based on belief, sect, nationality or any other affiliation as if saying “If you are with us, we thank you and if you are against us, we’ll kill you!!!”. We do not want to be partners in your crimes and your actions. We do not want your actions against this country to be attributed to us or to any honourable Sunni. We do not want to live a life of abundance over the bodies of innocent people and the dignity of our Shia brothers nor do we want the predominance of our Sect and our People at the expense of others. What has happened proves that we have sold our country. Our country no longer belongs to those who carved its glory but now belongs to a mixture of defeated Bahrainis and a growing number of people committing crimes and panting for money. God forbid what hides behind the hands of those who abuse the security of this country including Indians, Baloushis, Pakistanis, Syrians, Yemenis, Jordanians, Baathists and other naturalized citizens (with all due respect to the honourable people from those countries and those who deservingly were granted the Bahraini citizenship) . It is those kinds of people who made us forget what peace and security is and we probably will not see it anymore. Thanks, all the thanks to our religious leaders and scholars that we are now lost until God guides us to the straight path and restores all our wrongdoing (that which was committed and that which we are aware of and that which is hidden). We ask God for forgiveness from every great Sin.

On Behalf of the Group
Abu Abdelrahman


  1. anon

    Thanks for the translation, gives us hope that not all the eyes are closed in Bahrain. They need to unite it should not be a Sunni/Shia issue its a humanitarian issue, Didn’t Imam Ali write as part of a letter to one of his governors “respect all your subjects if they are not your brother in Islam they are your brother in humanity”. Bahrainis have lost respect for each other, how to rebuild it that is the golden question now?

  2. Bernie

    Incredible words that should be promoted wherever and however it is possible to do so.

  3. Ahmed Moahammed

    I will assume that this letter was really written by sunni (although terminology used and the writing style indicate otherwise). (please not that the English translation was somehow shortened and don’t accurately represent the Arabic original , i may use the Arabic as reference here)

    OK not all Sunni think a like, I will represent my POV here … which i believed is shared by a large number of Ash’ari Sunni community (liberal to moderate Sunni):

    1- We see Al-Khalifa as ligtmite rulers (as per the Notational charter) but we are not “blindly” loyal to them and they are not in anyway “holy”, they made mistakes and they should be hold accountable.

    2- We are proud of our multi-ethnic, multi-religious society, We believe *as our crown prince* that this diversity is the source of Bahrain power. and we respect everyone regardless of any ethnic or religious factor.

    3- We view Shia as our brothers and sisters, even the extremist of them.

    4- Calling the other sect insulting names and the exchange of hate messages is not acceptable from both side . words like Rafida or Nasabi should be avoided.

    5- What make us confuses about Shia , is their not-so-clear-position are they aiming to change the regime or reform the exiting regime, are they aiming for a civil country or religious country lead by ayatallah! take for example Alwafaq position, i can’t explain why they are suddenly flirting with the regime in their 24th April statement (http://bit.ly/k7f915)!

    6- Aside from BTV and state run media, we have evidences (even from Shia sources) that what some Shia want and what they aiming for is a religious state , i wouldn’t accept Sunni religious state nor Shia religious state. Iran represent a model of what Wilayat-e-Faqih will look like … no thank you!

    7. What the government is doing from human right abuse, torture , demolition of houses of worship, secreting divide, etc … is unacceptable to us and should be stooped. the government should resign and changed.

    8- We don’t agree with the naturalisation policy, however we don’t hate naturalized citizen, we respect them as any other citizen. and then “some” describe them as bounden and unwanted (who racist now!)

    Ok i will take brake now. but after the break i will show with evidence that the writer of this letter is not Sunni.

  4. Ahmed Moahammed

    This the “Prove”

    I will write this comment in Arabic as it’s highly Cultural comment .

    هذا التعليق يمث وجهة نظر مبنية على الاستدلال والاجتهاد وهو يحتمل الصواب كما الخطأ ,,

    ادلة :
    يبدوا لي ان الكاتب انه شيعي لأنه تطرق لأمور من المنظور الشعيي وكل المقادير موجودة وهي:

    * انتقاد الصحابة وتفضيل آل البيت عليهم
    * عقدة بني امية ووصف الحكام بنظرة استغلال الدين (تفسير القرآن على حسب الاهواء) ووعاظ السلاطين الذين همهم ارضاء اسيادهم .
    *الكره للمجنسين ووصفهم بالمرتزقة وغيرها
    من الصفات
    * التطرق لنظام صدام حسين وحزب البعث

    الاتنقاد المفرط للصحابة ويشير اليهم الكاتب هنا بالسلف:
    1- عبارة “السلف الصالح وفتاواهم الغريبة” تناقض في نفس الجملة! ومعروف ان السنة لايرون ان للصحابة فتاوى ولكن هو اقتداء
    2- عبارة “من هؤلاء السلف” وعبارة “ماذا نمجد الكثير من الصحابة”
    3- “ونحن لا نعرف تاريخهم وسيرتهم”ØŒ وانا كتربية سنية اعرف سيرة الصحابة بالتفصيل!
    4- “ومن أولى بالذكر والتخليد والاتباع أهل بيت النبي أم أصحابه وفي بعضهم نزلت “سورة المنافقون”؟” هل دخل الكاتب نقاش مذهبي!
    5- أم نحن كأصحاب قريش؟! ـ اوليس الرسول (ص) وآله قريششين!

    العقيدة والملوك ووعاظ السلاطين!
    “هذه عينة من تساؤلات شئنا أم أبينا تبين أننا نسير في الطريق الخطأ” هل يتبرأ الكاتب من عقيدته هنا! اذاً لامغزى ان يكتب
    الكاتب في بداية المقال انه سني.

    “رأينا أعلى وأعنف مستويات الحقد في داخلنا بفضل علماء الدينار ” عبارة علماء وعبدة الدينار عبارة يكررها الشيعة باستمرار

    “ونفسر القرآن حسب أهوائنا وما يشتهيه ولاة أمرنا الذين أحاطوا أنفسهم برجال يدعون العلم والتقى والورع، وهم في الحقيقة يسعون وراء تحقيق مصالحهم” هذه هي النظرة الشيعية للملوك بدء من بني امية — ووعاظ السلاطين! فهل الكاتب ينظر من منظور شيعي!


    “أن هؤلاء المجنسين اللقطاء ما هم إلا متاجرين بـأوطانهم وأعراضهم وسوابق إجرامهم تسبق حصولهم على جنسية وطن له تاريخ” — الكتاب يشتكي تواً من المعاملة الاانسانية للشيعة ووصفهم بابشع الالقاب وفجأة
    يصف المجنسين باللقطاء! والمتاجرين بالاعراض! وسوابق اجرامية !!!! كل هذا حقد!!! ـ
    “أخوتكم هم المجنسون الغرباء اللقطاء وهم من سيحمونكم” لقطاء مرة اخرى!

    “جرائم البلطجية وأنا منهم وما أكثرهم وهم أهلنا ومحبونا وأهل مذهبنا ويشاركنا الأخوة أبناء الوطن الجدد واللقطاء ” !!!! اللقطاء مرة اخرى …. اخرى!

    “من هنود وبلوش وباكستانيون وسوريون ويمنيون وأردنيون وبعثيون” !!

    حزب البعث ونظام صدام حسين

    التخوف من نظام صدام البعثي هو وجهة نظر شيعية في الغالب
    “/تجنيس بعثيين من أزلام نظام صدام المجرم” Ù€

    – وبين يوم وليلة صار شهيدا وبكيناه مع الباكين على بطولاته وصولاته !!! أي عقل وفكر ونفس تطيق العيش داخل أجساد تناقض ما تدعيه في إيمانها وإسلامها ØŸ (أنا كسني لم ابكي او احزب على صدام حسين المجرم)

    “حتى بتنا نتذكر صدام وما يفعله ”

    “والعياذ بالله مما تخفيه أيادي العابثين بأمن هذا الوطن من هكذا بشر لم نعرف الأمان بعد مجيئهم ولن نراه بعد الآن”


    “هل جرائم الاغتصاب والتعدي والقهر في الرفاعين والمحرق وعسكر من الشيعة أم أخوتنا الجدد؟؟؟؟”
    لم اتعود سماع كلمة “الرفاعين” من السنة!
    أم الموضوع فيه ان

    موضوع تشبيه النظام باسرائيل سمعته كثير من الشيعة: “وخطابهم الشنيع الذي يشبه فقط وزير خارجية إسرائيل ليبرمان وحقده على الفلسطينيين من ناحية ما في نفوسهم من حقد وغل وكره دفين” وخصوصاً ليبرمان

    “للأسف أقولها : هذه هي تربية مساجدنا على كثرتها .. وانظروا لتربية مساجدهم على قلتها” احصائياً مساجد الشيعة اكثر وهو امر معروف.

    1. Post

      Let’s not turn this into a “shia/sunna” thing please. The original author – regardless of who he is or what his beliefs are – noted some legitimate positions and thoughts, it is those which we should evaluate rather than destroy them just because you “think” that he is of this faith or otherwise.

      Concentrate on the message, rather than the messenger. I see from your previous comment you largely have and I thank you for that, coming back and “proving” that one is green or purple is a moot point.

      To me, this letter demonstrates hope. Hope in as much as it purportedly shows that not all Sunna are pro-government and not all Shia are anti-government, but both are largely pro-reform.

  5. Jassim

    Could not agree more with the previous comment. The letter holds a lot of hate and prejudice aimed for “naturalized citizens”, almost to the point of inciting racial attacks. Mahmood I did not expect you to agree with the letter, even if your standpoint is not necessarily with the government we are all human beings at the end of the day.

    1. Ahmed Mohammed

      Yes! sooner or later this kind of hate messages aimed for naturalized citizens will lead to violence against them .

      let me quot here Isa Qassim (leading Shia figure in Bahrain):
      “وأنتم يا طلاب المدارس سنة وشيعة اخوة، وأنتن يا طالبات المدارس أخوات ،اخوتكم جميعاً اسلامية ووطنية، واخوة رفقةٍ وزمالة، ولكل هذه الأخوات حقٌ فارعوا حقوقها، ولا يكن بينكم شقاق. ومناقشة التجنيس ورفضه شيء، ومعادات المجنسين شيءٌ آخر، فلا عداوة ولا تعدي ولا جدال” — الشيخ عيسى احمد قاسم

      Translation: “And you, school students Sunni and Shiite are brothers and sisters, brotherhood based on Islamic and national values, and the company of brothers and fellowship, and for this brotherhood there is rights,so do these rights, and don’t split. And discussing naturalized citizens is one thing , and regarding them as enemies is something else,so there should be no enmity nor doubt “- Sheikh Issa Ahmed Qassim”

    2. Bernie

      I didn’t really take it as hate. I do think the writer may have some issues with naturalised citizens and in emotionally heightened times one can only assume the feelings behind the words. He does almost apologise after so I will assume he is somewhat torn at the moment, who knows?
      I still feel the general message is a positive one.

  6. sleepy in saudi

    Wow and wo again. Thanks for the translation. We expats need to keep abreast of the true feelings that are being expressed. I’m sure I wont read about it in the arab news :0

  7. Kay

    I am an Arabic speaking expatriate and I am stunned to read that this letter represents hope. I read it in Arabic a few days ago and couldn’t believe the racism, xenophobia and antisemitism that it contained. The way the author talks about what is supposed to be his own sect reflects a lot of hatred: “I7ti9ar”, which makes me agree with the question: Who is the real author. The word “Jewish” in the letter in Arabic is used as an insult a number of times, which is shameful for anyone, but mostly for a Bahraini Muslim who shares his country with fellow Bahraini Jews. The word “Naturalized” is systematically mentioned as a racial slur and all of them are insulted in the letter in an abject way. Sorry to say I was disgusted by this letter, and I advise all English speakers to get the Arabic version and have it translated by someone neutral, you’re up for a surprise.

  8. Markus

    I am an English expat living in Riyadh. I had a local friend of mine translating it and it does not seem like the translation here. Initially, I thought my friend was wrong, but many thanks to Kay here for clearing things up. From the Arabic version, I found that there were a lot of racial slurs and I thought if this was the the overdue response you were looking for Mahmood, then you are obviously not on the right tracks to reforms.
    Still sounds like it is the dark ages in Bahrain, where people are targeted according to their ancestry and birth origins.
    Sorry to be blunt Mahmood,but you Sir, clearly have failed in ” bridging the cultural gap” by endorsing such articles.

  9. Ahmed Mohammed

    I just want to translate one paragraph:

    Arabic text:

    أن هؤلاء المجنسين اللقطاء ما هم إلا متاجرين بـأوطانهم وأعراضهم وسوابق إجرامهم تسبق حصولهم على جنسية وطن له تاريخ وشعب عاش على أرضه السنة والشيعة ويشترك أجدادنا في صنع هذا التاريخ لهذا الوطن الذي يجهل تاريخه وتقاليده من باعوا أوطانهم ليحمونا ويستحلوا حقوقنا نحن السنة قبل الشيعة ! نعم حقوق السنة قبل الشيعة ومن له عقل وضمير يعرف ذلك جيدا !!!؟ ومهما أعطتهم الدولة وحرمت غيرهم حقوقهم لن يكون ولاء من باعوا أوطانهم إلا لمن يدفع أكثر، والشجرة المثمرة تزرع وتثمر في تربتها فقط وهؤلاء نحن عرفناهم وجربناهم وذقنا مرارة جرائمهم في كل مناطق أهل السنة ولم ولن يثمروا بل كاليهود يغتصبون أرضك باسم الجنسية ويسلبون وظيفتك باسم الحماية ويغنمون من خيرات البلد باسم الولاء للقيادة . والخافي أعظم مما تخبئه الأيام من تجنيس بعثيين من أزلام نظام صدام المجرم الذي طالما أيدناه وصفقنا له فغدر بنا واحتل أرض أخوتنا الكويت وقتل من قتل من شعب الكويت وشعبه وبين يوم وليلة صار شهيدا وبكيناه مع الباكين على بطولاته وصولاته !!! أي عقل وفكر ونفس تطيق العيش داخل أجساد تناقض ما تدعيه في إيمانها وإسلامها ؟

    Translated English text:

    These naturalized foundlings are only traders to their homeland and the honor of their families and their history of crimes are there before they have aquire the nationality of the country that has a history and citizens who lived in it land both Sunnis and Shiites and our ancestors who share us in the making of the history of this country who is unaware of its history and traditions those who sold their country to protect us and take our rights, we Sunnis before Shiites!

    Yes, the rights of Sunnis before Shiites, and everyone who got a mind and conscience knows it well!!!? Whatever the state gave them and deprived others of their rights, their allegiance of those who sold their country will always be limited only to those who pay more, and the fruit tree can only be grown and bear fruit in it’s own soil, and those who we learn about them and have tasted the bitterness of their crimes in all regions of the Sunnis, they did not bear fruit and will never be, but they are like Jews who are taking your land on in the name of citizenship , taking away your job on the name of protecting you and taking the state goodies in the name of loyalty to the leadership.

    And what is hidden of what coming is greater from the naturalization of Baathists from the ousted regime of Saddam ,who for a long time we supported him and applauded him only to deceived us and took the land of our brothers of Kuwait and killed the Kuwaiti people, but between a day and night he has become a martyr and we wept on him on the ground of his heroic actions!!! What kind of a mind and thought that can bear to live inside the bodies that contradict what it claiming of faith and Islam?

  10. Bernie

    Do you all really think the person who wrote this has that much hate or is it anger?
    I’m beginning to think I’m mis-reading something, maybe being dim or just naive.

  11. Ali

    I read this in Arabic and again I read this in English, but I still don’t understand the point of having this article here! First of all, it is in no way written by a sunni, but Mahmood said in a comment previously “Let’s not turn this in a Sunni/Shia thing”. Well, this letter is already making a Sunni/Shia thing!!! I don’t understand where the hope in this letter is? This letter is supposedly addressed to the Gathering of National Unity, but did it really reach them or this writer sent it to Mahmood to publish it here first and then he will think if he wants to send it to them or not?!?! I’m sorry to take part in this discussion, but having this letter in this blog made me disbelieve in the objectivity of this blog and its owner’s mission to really bridge the cultural gap. Unfortunately, it is clearly painting one side as white and beautiful, while presenting a dark and gloomy other side.
    Apologies to Mahmood, who I respect, if my comments are offending.

  12. Isa


    Have you considered that “bu abdulrahman” was a literary technique, an “author surrogate”, i.e. it doesn’t matter what sect of the author is.

    It seems to me the technique is used in order to highlight a lot of the sectarian (and sometimes racist) anti-opposition rhetoric that is not only condoned, but is practised in public by state-owned media, the press, some current MPs (I’m sure you can guess who) and other public figures.

    That’s the point of the “letter”. Contrast the rhetoric in articles in the press and shows on BTV since March 14th with the King’s latest speech/statement from the BNA which is more inclusive of society and you can see the difference. If you want to be pro-status quo it might be useful for you to take note of the King’s speech.

    Kind regards,


  13. Coolred38

    My friend Maryam, a journalist, said she recognizes this man with one who has argued with her many many times using these same sentiments. He actually sent this to her a few weeks back…and his name is Jassim…and he is very much a Sunni. According to her.

  14. anonny

    I spoke to a Sunni from Riffa who was upset at how rudely the ‘new Bahrainis’ treated his father. His father received a knock on his door in West Riffa, and he opened the door to a Syrian man who abruptly asked him, “Are you selling your house?”
    His father replied with a response to the greeting that should have been uttered by the visitor (but wasn’t)and then said that he wasn’t selling his house and asked why he should. The Syrian man answered that he and his cousins had bought up the property around the house and wanted to buy that one too.

  15. Lando

    To annony,

    I do not understand or respect this racism. This is utterly disgusting especially the manner in which people who are not original to Bahrain are treated or described here by you personally or the “so-called confessions of Sunni” which according to other commentators is false? If the person you were talking about was rude, then that is the way he brought up and his personality. You are no position to generalize and say that every single immigrant is rude and a replica of this person you are talking about.
    From what I heard it is true there are immigrants that are no use to the country, however there are others working hard (doctors, security guards, cleaners, teachers). It is the same in my homeland you get some just living on benefits and having extreme standpoints that do not fit in the country, however there are others who are diligent and hard working and want to improve their livelihoods and the growth in the countries.

    I hope you heed this advice because it can change you as a person and remove all the hatred from your heart.

  16. Ahmed


    It is quite ironic that you said do not turn this into a Sunni/Shiite thing, when the letter was exactly that! From what I have seen from the letter any Sunni is considered a Salfi/from Qurayesh/ worships the Prophet’s(PBUH) friends and followers,and the list of insults goes on. It makes me question the credibility of this letter. Some people like me would accept this letter with a pinch of salt, but with others it might just further exacerbate the sectarian divide.
    I can see that most people are disgusted, and I say this is just a glimpse of how bad the treatment of immigrant workers is, because of this sick mentality whereby anyone not from Bahrain is considered inferior.

  17. anonny

    @Lando I’m just repeating what I am told. It’s up to you to decide if it’s true or not. You are being a drama queen.

    As for the letter, I too waited for some clue as to its original provenance. It sounds too anti-Sunni in its original Arabic (according to my work colleague whom I showed it to). But I wasn’t referring to that. You’ve just decided to condemn me for telling _somebody_else’s_ story – a Bahraini’s story.

    Also, I did not generalize about every single immigrant and say that they were rude. You are in no position to put words in my mouth. At what point in this topic have I generalized? Please show me exactly where in my writing or shut up.

  18. Lando

    I beg you pardon, Shut up? You are clearly quite childish. what sort of discussion is this? Why did you use this story as an example then you imbecile? clearly its out of context if you just wrote it because you heard it somewhere. This letter has some points that are blatantly against immigration, and if you bring up a story up like that based on you generalisation of “new Bahrainis” then you obviously are agreeing with it.

    I am saying do not bring up one-off incidents like these to make the rest of the hard working immigrants look unworthy of settling down in Bahrain.

  19. anonny


    Try giving your orders to somebody else. I don’t care how much of a hissy fit you throw. It’s not going to work on me. As for medical terms like ‘imbecile’ you are clearly incompetent to use them. You should learn some manners just in case the day arrives when you can’t hide behind your computer screen any more, you sad little petit-mal automaton.

    The story is in context and germane to the issue of immigration. It also represents a Bahraini viewpoint. I related it after asking the Bahraini who told me of this incident. Are you trying to tell me that Bahraini viewpoints have less validity because they don’t fit some apocryphal code of international political correctness?

    You use the words “blatantly against immigration” as if it were immoral for a Bahraini to disagree with naturalization. In spite of the best efforts of people like yourself, with your condemnation cliches, Bahrainis still have the ability to express their opinion. And I have the right to assist. If you can’t handle that, that’s your problem.

    Speaking as an expat, I think the existing ‘expat’ paradigm is suitable for Bahrain’s needs. Are you an immigrant yourself? From where comes your petulant defensive posture on this issue?

  20. anonny


    You have still failed to answer my original question. In my re-telling of my friend’s story, where did I generalize?

    Come on, answer the question if you are able. Where did I generalize?

  21. Ahmed

    I think you should be more civilized with your dialogue and stop using medical conditions to mock someone. My niece suffers from epilepsy and its not joke to be spewed anytime you feel like someone has been offensive to you.

  22. Rashid

    I think you should be more civilized with your dialogue and stop using medical conditions to mock someone. My niece suffers from epilepsy and it is not a joke to be spewed anytime you feel like someone has been offensive to you.

  23. anonny

    @Ahmed Moahammed

    Your Pt.2 in Arabic? Oh, but that is sad. I wanted to read what you had to say. Google translate is not easy, you know 🙁

  24. anonny

    Hello Ahmed/Rashid,

    You are right, I apologize. However, I wasn’t being literal. The word ‘automaton’ points at the cybernetic not medical usage of the term.

    I was, however, called an ‘imbecile’ – a term that applies to severe mental disability. Any comment on that, or is it just a certain selection of us with certain opinions who have to be careful what we say?

    Anyway, thank you Mr Ahmed (and/or Mr Rashid) for your etiquette reminder. I shall try to be more polite from now on. I was in now way intending to mock people with real medical problems.

  25. anonny

    Typo: My previous post should have read “I was in no way intending to mock people with real medical problems.”

  26. Sky

    I too found the xenophobic and antisemitic tone of the letter distasteful. I have been seeing this trend grow in the past few years and I find it alarming. Far more heartening were the 8 points made by Ahmed Mohamed. If these are the views of the average Bahraini sunni then there is much common ground between that and what I am hearing in the shia Bahraini sphere that I belong to, a pretty average (I think!) Bahrani family.

    Making a scapegoat of immigrants and naturalised citizens is to ignore the real issues and fault lines within Bahrain. I’ll leave aside issues of constitutional and electoral reform, aside from those we have fundamental problems that are feeding this kind of anti-immigrant stance, which have sadly spilled over into violence directed towards migrants/naturalised citizens. Such violence is deplorable.

    First, there is a problem with growing unemployment, which is particularly high among the shia youth. Local workers are outcompeted by migrant labour in terms of price, skills, experience or a combination of these factors. This feeds the notion of migrant workers “stealing jobs” and stokes resentment. There is no easy fix, and the transition will undoubtably take time and require sometimes painful adjustment. I believe the Crown Prince’s economic reforms are a step in the right direction to addressing these problems. A reform of the labour laws to bring conditions and pay for migrant workers closer into line with those demanded by Bahraini workers would not only improve the lot of our migrant workforce but would narrow the gap and make Bahraini labour better able to compete particularly in terms of wages. An overhaul of the education system and modernised curricula is vital, and a huge investment in vocational training and apprenticeships is necessary to ensure that the young coming through the system are employable and fill the skills shortages that drive employers to seek foreign labour.

    The second biggest driver of anti immigrant sentiment is the result of the recruitment policies into the security forces. A large section of Bahraini society is barred from service in the security forces and it is overwhelmingly staffed by foreign migrants. Being barred from service in the security forces reinforces the perception of not holding equal citizenship rights or as being viewed by the state with distrust as a result of heritage. There is also a widespread view that many members of the security forces have been fast tracked to citizenship in a deliberate attempt to alter the demographic makeup of Bahraini society. Figures on how many members of the security forces have obtained citizenship are not published, and repeated calls for investigations are ignored. This, coupled with a history of human rights abuses committed with apparent immunity by some of the security forces is fueling anti migrant and anti naturalised sentiment. It is necessary that the law is upheld against all who break it. Members of the security forces must be held to standards of the international human rights treaties to which Bahrain is a signatory.

    A transparent and above all consistent policy on obtaining citizenship must be universally applied to all prospective citizens. Credible investigations into allegations of “political naturalisation” are necessary otherwise this issue is simply going to rear its ugly head again and again. We owe it to indiginous Bahrainis, to naturalised Bahraini’s who have obtained citizenship lawfully and legitimately, and to our migrant workforce who may be at risk as a result of incorrectly apportioned blame to put this issue to rest once and for all.

    Diversifying the makeup of the security forces would not only help alleviate the perceived grievances of a large segment of society, but it would also help reduce the unemployment problem and promote greater trust and co-operation between the population and those whose job it is to uphold law and order.

    The finger of blame should never be directed towards naturalised citizens (including those in the security forces) or migrant workers. All of them are simply seeking a better opportunity for themselves and their families, who can blame them for that? Every economy needs migrants to fill skills gaps and migrant labour in Bahrain have contributed hugely to its development. Those who live and contribute to Bahraini society and make their home here deserve to one day become full citizens. Intead, the finger of blame should be directed towards the policy makers, for it is their immigration policy (or absence of consistent policy) that is failing and is causing rifts in Bahraini society and providing fodder for xenophobes.

  27. Bahraini Bourgeois

    As many people noted, Bu Abdelrahman’s article may be seen to include many xenophobic inferences but the fact remains it’s a potentially genuine reflection of a person or a group of people who made the often difficult choice of changing inherited beliefs and attitudes.
    This whole discussion on anti-immigration is irrelevant. Bahrainis are not against immigration or the expatriate presence in Bahrain or many naturalized Bahraini citizens who not only deserve to be Bahrainis but who Bahrain deserves to have people like.
    Bahrainis are against and should be against the systematic and selective political naturalization of citizens who are brought in to meet illegitimate demographic objectives. Many if not most of these naturalized citizens are uneducated, low-income and low-skilled people who do not meet naturalization requirements and are and will be a burden on a country that already suffers from unemployment, housing shortage, inadequate infrastructure to meet the rising needs of the existent population let alone an imported one.
    Anyway, I think the gist of what Bu Abderrahman’s article is trying to say is about the stance of the Sunni population in Bahrain towards the recent protests and reform in general.
    I think he is answering the following question (sorry in Arabic next)
    لمذامعظم الشيعة مع المعارضة و معظم السنة مع النظام في البحرين؟ سألخص وجهة نظري في نقاط محدودة و محددة وأتمنى ابداء الرأي في الموضوع.
    • جزء كبير ان لم تكن الاغلبية العظمى من السلطة الدينية لاهل السنة و الجماعة في الخليج تابعة الى او معينة من قبل السلطة الحاكمة و تعتبر بمثابة الناطق الرسمي لها. عدم الاستقلالية هذه تفقد السلطة الدينية مصداقيتها و ربما حتى شرعيتها.
    • يتراوح موقف الكثير من رجال الدين السنة في الخليج في شدته ضد المظاهرات و لكن يبقى الانحياز الى السلطة جلياً. ففي البحرين الاغلبية العظمى من رجال الدين السنة مؤيدون و موالين للسلطة. غياب مراجع دينية مستقلة عن السلطة تخلق مشكلة وجدانية لدى السنة في الخليج اللذين يعتبرون شعب محافظ و متدين و الى حاجة كأي طائفة اسلامية او دينية اخرى بالرجوع الى رموز دينية ذات مصداقية و جديرة بالثقة. و لكن كيف يكون هناك ثقة اذا كان الارتباط مع السلطة ارتباط وثيق؟ يصعب على الشخص البسيط المتدين ان يقر بغياب شيئ جوهري كرموز دينية لها مصداقيتها الكاملة فلا يكون بمقداره الا ان يبرر مواقفهم (الدينية و السياسية منها) و يقف معها حتى لو لم تجانب الصواب.
    • طبعاً التعميم بان ليس هناك معارضة سنية في الخليج غير صحيح. الواقع هو انه لا يوجد معارضة دينية سنية معتدلة ذات شعبية واسعة. فأغلب المعارضين السنة اما يساريين وعلمانيين او متشددين و متطرفين من التيار السلفي. لذلك لا يجد السنة المتدنيين المعتدلين الا ان يتبعوا رجال السلطة.
    • بالاضافة الى ذلك العقلية القبلية تسيطر على جزء كبير من سكان الخليج و الولاء المطلق للقبيلة (الحاكمة او غيرها) بغض النظر عن ممراساتها السياسية و الدينية ثقافة لا تزال منتشرة
    • كما ان هناك الايمان عند بعض السنة بالمفهوم الخاطىء لمبدأ ولي الامر مما يجعل طاعة ولي الامر حتى لو كان ظالما من المسلمات الغير قابلة للنقاش (أيها الذين آمنو أطيعو الله وأطيعو الرسول و أولي الأمر منكم
    • المستوى المعيشي للسنة في الخليج مرتفع بالنسبة للسنة في الدول الاخرى و بالنسبة ايضا للشيعة و ربما أدى ذلك الى تخلي السنة عن المطالبة بحقوقهم السياسية مكتفين بوضع اقتصادي مريح نسبيا.
    • الخوف (المبرر او الغير مبرر) من البدائل المستقبلية (في البحرين على سبيل المثال- الخوف من استلام الاغلبية الشيعة الحكم و جلب مبدئ ولي الفقيه او احتمال تكريس عدم المساواة في المواطنة ضد السنة كما تفعل السعودية بالاقلية الشيعة و ايران بالاقلية السنية)
    To read full article go to: http://bit.ly/mOc8T0

    1. Post
  28. Anonny

    @Sky and @Bahraini Bourgeois
    Thank you for your posts. I wish I had the time I used to have to write properly on this forum. Sorry Mahmood I should try harder.

  29. Dan

    Interesting article. Other than saying that, I think it best if I stay OUT of this one. Peace.

  30. exclamation mark

    And yet another question arises… How are we to handle the sectarian messages that are being sent from someone like Abdullatif Al Mahmood.

    Ignore it? I don’t think so… some people do buy “cheap” merchandise and use…

    Reply back? Well we would fall into a sunni-shiite battle arena…

    What is to be suggested?

    1. Robok

      Such messages shouldn’t allowed by law. The US didn’t move forward away from racism until it clearly put some laws in to fight it, letting it fester only is like creating a time bomb that will eventually blow like it did in Bahrain.

      So pretty much we got nothing to do, and arguing with said people about is pointless, since you’re more likely to inhabit other planets than you are to convince a hard-headed idiot.

    2. Bahraini Bourgeois

      I think we should treat the root cause not the symptom of having a good chunk of Bahrain’s population locked up in Stockholm Syndrome and have an appetite for sectarian remarks. The real problem is not why some people are allowed to say sectarian remarks but how come these people are popular? What kind of education and beleif system nurtuers xenophobia?

      1. exclamation mark

        This is not just limited to the education and belief system. But also depends on the culture and atmosphere someone is nurtured in, and who are the opinion leaders they listen to and follow.

        For example, people believing anything written on facebook are different from those who check it out before believing it. Why?

        I think part of the problem is that some do not know what the facts are, or some intentionally ignore it.

        1. Bahraini Bourgeois

          Agreed. That’s probably why you’ll have the same person behaving differently in different locations – rule of law can at least dictate behaviour if not control and change attitudes.

  31. exclamation mark

    Something should be done… These messages are being scattered and distributed all around with no one to stand up and saying that all that is wrong…

  32. Louis

    I must admit that there is a lot of hate toward SOME of the naturalized Bahrainis. More specifically the ones that work in the security forces and hunt the Shia like “rats” – WSJ reporter.

    However, i do not think its fair to consider this hatred as a form of racism. The fact is:

    (A) Bahrainis and the “Naturalized Bahrainis” share the same language, ethnicity, religion, food, and even geography.

    The moral of the story is that you can hate a group of people based on their actions without being a racist.

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