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He’s in it for God, and to secure his place in Heaven.

Adel Al-Moawdah: “We entered the parliament to please our God before pleasing the people. We won’t sell our ever-after for this life.”

He also denies defaming “most” Barhaini business people with this comments reported earlier that they are the “morally corrupt lobby,” he claims his words were skewed and that the media is mounting a campaign against him personally. Hence he doesn’t see a reason to apologise for his remarks. He didn’t do nor say anything wrong.

Adel Al-Moawdah also firmly disbelieves that the closure of Big Brother Arabia will affect business and capital in Bahrain and encourages investment in “clean” projects – which he sanctions of course1.

He initiates the fire, then runs as far away as possible from it, letting others fan it with their hatred until it becomes all consuming. He of course didn’t do anything, just pour some kerosene and lit the match. As in Nancy Ajram’s case, he had nothing to do with the consequences, as he didn’t have anything to do with slandering the whole business community, MBC, the contestants and the 200 workers (now unemployed) at the show.

He has simply pulled himself out of it completely and blames the media for misrepresenting and misquoting him.

Perhaps his final declaration that he’s in parliament on a religious mission sums it up nicely. With this (documented) declaration, he emphasises that his mission and bloc is invariably to get Bahrain to be the next Tarliran. His duty as an MP to find solutions to people’s problems as in employment, health, services, education and eradicating corruption and nepotism is only second to turning this country into a Islamist state closer to his vision of the 7th century, than a modern, vibrant, tolerant country of the 21st.

I sometimes just wish and dream of owning a time-machine. If I had, I would use it exclusively to send these people back to the age they so long to be in. Then we’d see just how long they would last in their Utopia!

[1] Al-Wasat Newspaper Friday 5th March, 2004, page 5

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Off with their heads! Islamists propose Shari’a Law in Bahrain

In today’s Akhbar Al-Khaleej newspaper, on the front page, the Salafi/Wahabi MP Jassim Al-Saidi proposes the application of Shari’a Law in Bahrain and will table a motion to amend the Penal Law as such in parliament.

His argument of course is that it is a clear text in the Holy Quran, cut off the hands of theifs. End of story. He goes farther by quoting the actual text in the Quran, and the Teachings of the Prophet to support his case.

What instigated him is the abundance and the escalating number of crimes in Bahrain. Thievery is rife, rape and killings have escalated dramatically over the last 10 years. Al-Saidi’s resource to the Scripture and his demand to apply the Laws of Allah as prescribed by the Quran and the Teachings of the Prophet will defintely solve these problems.

Nancy Ajram and Big Brother were only the hours de avors. This is the entree.

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Saidi, with tail firmly between his legs, forced to apologize

Cartoon of an islamist threatening the pillars of society

The cartoon above appearing in today’s Al-Wasat Newspaper nicely sums up what the Islamist MPs in particular and the Islamists in society in general are doing to the country. The guy in the middle is the Islamist MP Jassim Al-Saidi, which is clearly indicated because he’s not wearing the “‘Iqal” – (affectionately known by various derogatory names like the “fan-belt” – compare the cartoon with his picture below) and he’s trying to pull down the pillars of society. Hence the Islamists are creating anarchy.

Jassim Al-Saidi, Bahraini Asala MPOne honourable gentlemen in the parliament MP Jassim Al-Saidi has created a storm by trying to restrict religious freedoms, in particular the marches of the Hussaini commemorations (ma’atems) whereby he tabled a motion to restrict these activities to within ma’atems rather than go out in the streets as traditionally done for hundreds of years. He was forced to rescind that motion officially 3 days after he tabled it. What a waste of time.

The parliament held its first session after that event yesterday where 4 Shi’a MPs – Abdulla Al-A’ali, Ali Al-Samahiji, Essa bin Rajab and Mohammed Al-Shaikh Abbas threatened a walk-out and resigning from their seats if Al-Saidi didn’t publicly apologize for his purposely hurting the feelings such a large swathe of Bahraini population.

Parliament had to go into a 30 minute “cooling off” recess and some MPs put pressure on the Speaker to hold a closed session to discuss the text of the apology which Al-Saidi must make publicly. It seems that that session was heated too, but at the end of which Al-Saidi was forced to make the public apology in front of various media outlets from the Council’s chamber.

Tail between the legs? I sure hope so. Let these jerks know that they’re being watched and their diatribe will not be tolerated.

Yesterday’s session in pictures:

parliament fight because of Asala MP Jassim Al-Saidi

parliament fight because of Asala MP Jassim Al-Saidi

parliament fight because of Asala MP Jassim Al-Saidi

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Bahrain, post-Nancy

October 22nd, 2003 is an historic date for Bahrain and in a lot of Bahrainis’ minds they will remember events henceforth as pre-Nancy and post-Nancy. MPs, particularly the Islamists, should also take note of this phenomenon as it most certainly has determined their future within the democratic establishment and society.

So far we have not heard an apology from these MPs who instigated the riots, on the contrary, they – particularly Adel Al-Moawada, got further entrenched in his views with threats of a repeat performance any time a singer gets invited to Bahrain to perform for whatever function (Al-Wasat Newspaper, October 25th, 2003, page 6) he goes on to further distance himself from the riots defending his actions as a child would have after striking the match that burnt the house down. In his mind it is still a clear cut issue: “prevention of vice and promotion of virtue” and it is his God given right to “defend the faith”. Not stopping for a second to contemplate that democracy is an encompassing process that takes into consideration other people’s views, and his job is to uphold and defend our infant democracy.

This demagogue is joined by many of his ilk evidenced by the various Friday sermons, but they, to the modern thinker in any case, represent all that is dangerous to these islands of ours. Zero tolerance for the others views.

What’s next? Shut down all forms of entertainment and sports? Roll back the clock and live by paraffin lamps, dates and in camel-hair tents ruled by an elite class of religious junta? Create a cadre of religious police with sticks to go around enforcing their views of prevention of vice and promotion of virtue? Maybe we should also have another national referendum to change our country’s name to Bahrainistan?

I take pride in Bahrain’s centuries-old heritage as a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural cosmos built on the respect of other people’s views and religious beliefs. I also take pride in Islam as a modern religion where no person is forced into Islam by force, nor get Islam’s views imposed. I take pride in the great strides we have taken towards the road of democracy. I take pride in my ability as a citizen to have a say in the way the government is run. I take pride in my ability to elect my parliamentary representative. I take pride in the various people who have voiced their opinions about this subject in the local papers and internet fora regardless of whether their views coincide with mine. But I mostly take pride in being able to write this article without fear of persecution.

If we as a nation don’t take a firm stand against these extremist views and show these elected representatives that they are indeed being watched, then there is no hope in the future. We also have to take a firm stand against the saboteurs who terrorised innocent people and destroyed the peace and property and not allow the government to treat them with a soft hand, nor accept that they be released by pardon. They should serve their term in the hope that they will realise their error and think twice about responding to such incitement in the future.

In the post-Nancy era, we have to seriously consider the separation of religion and politics as the events and responses of the past few days clearly demonstrated the kind of polarised society we live in. For some people personal freedom and choice is paramount, while to others it is restricted and governed by their own ideology. The only way to guarantee tolerance and personal freedoms is patently obvious. It is this that the parliament should concern themselves with rather than frivolous matters like permitting veiled women to drive or allowing Nancy to perform.

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This is not my Bahrain. This is not my Islam.

Nancy Ajram performing in BahrainIslamist MPs Adel Al-Moawada, Mohammed Khaled Mohammed, Ali Matar, Abdulla Al-A’ali, and Hamad Al-Muhannadi tabled an urgent motion in the Bahraini Parliament to ban the Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram from performing in Bahrain citing her act as provocative, indecent and debaucherous.

The motion was squarely defeated with most members including the chairman describing the motion as frivolous. In a democratic country, this should have been the end of the story. However, because of these MPs’ own agenda, the issue did not rest but transpired by their (passive or active) encouragement, a gang of their followers violently demonstrated at the venue last night resulting in several injuries to innocent people and property, burnt rubber tires, and set fire to a traffic light. They were clashes between these gangs and the public security who in turn used tear gas to try to disperse them.

This is clearly a precursor of the future of Bahrain. That is, if these Islamists don’t get their way democratically, they will resort to inciting simple fools to violence.

The end result? Bahrain is not a place worth investing in nor is it a place to bring your family to enjoy a peaceful time. You and your family are at the mercy of these extremists.

These so called Islamists miss the main point of democracy: “your freedom ends where another person’s freedom begins”.

The concert went ahead despite the violence, albeit with more than half of the audience forced away.

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Nancy oh Nancy, thank you for breathing life into our parliament!

Nancy AjramThe Bahraini parliament yesterday was a whole lot of fun. They actually had the backbone to shoot down the motion to ban a Lebanese singer from performing in Bahrain. But to be fair, they gave the floor to one of the people tabling this motion, but he was slapped down by shutting off his mic just as he was getting going!

What fun. On her part, Nancy Ajram said in an interview in Bahrain while signing the thousands of autographs that “any publicity is good publicity!

Rock on Nancy.. and welcome to Bahrain. I most certainly will go out and buy your CD now regardless of whether I like your music, but every time I play that CD or listen/see you perform, I will remember that it was YOU who set the parliament’s pulse racing and set a precident to let this so called MPs treat the parliament with respect rather than waste its time with worthless debates like these.

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2nd session of our parliament has started with the important motion to ban a singer from performing in Bahrain

Nancy AjramCalls to ban Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram from staging a concert in Bahrain may not be discussed at today’s parliament session, sources told our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej.

The issue has sowed divisions within parliament and one MP said that he would personally watch Ajram’s concert.

The proposal was initially submitted by the Al Asala parliamentary coalition chaired by second deputy chairman Shaikh Adel Al Maawda.

They complained about the singer’s erotic gestures and clothes.

Ajram joins super-star Ragheb Alama to perform in a concert being held tomorrow as part of the second anniversary of Bennigan’s restaurant.

In a statement late last night, Bahrain Family Leisure Company chairman Abdullatif Al Aujan said his company was co-ordinating with the Information Ministry and several MPs over the show.

He said the company, which owns Bennigan’s, honoured Bahrain’s traditions and values and the show would in no way go against the social customs and ethics.

gdn

See? Anything and everything distracts them from what they’re supposed to be doing. If they want to really move the country forward economically, educationally, and yes even morally, we have to separate politics from religion.

But with 19 Islamist members out of the elected 40, I guess their priorities are a tad bit different from what people in the street want.

update: here’s the story from a better newspaper

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