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Bahrain Chamber of Commerce member urges boycott of Danish goods

I do not normally reproduce email threads here, in fact I cannot remember that I have done so before, but I thought that I have to share this particular exchange with a member of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry with you. It is an unfortunate situation which I had hoped that it would be quietly resolved. However the latest challenge included in the respected gentleman’s response forced me to “go public.”

I am awaiting the Chamber’s response to this now and shall reproduce it here if and when I receive it.

In the mean time, I urge you all, especially if you are a Bahraini businessman or woman, to please write to the BCCI expressing your views on this incident. That last thing we need in Bahrain at the moment is getting religion mixed like this in our business life as well.

Subject: FW: boycott Denmark – al mulaifi
From: “A Hakim Al Shammary”
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 19:29:36 +0300
To:

>
>حملة لمقاطعة المنتجات الدنيماركية::
أخي الكريم انظر إلى ما فعله الخنازير لديننا الحنيف و لرسولنا الكريم
سبوه و شتموه ..و هذا تقرير نشر في صحيفة السياسة الكويتية لـ الأستاذ محمد يوسف المليفي
يوضح لك ما الذي حصل لتكن على بينة

(my translation: Respected brother, look at what those pigs did to our good religion and to our Prophet: they swore at him.. and this is a report which was published in the Kuwaiti Al-Siyasah newspaper by Mr. Mohammed Yousif Al-Mulaifi which shows you exactly what happened so that you are informed.)


>
> …. various images encouraging boycotting Danish products and
> …. damning them etc which I shall not reproduce here as I do not agree
> …. with them nor with this boycotting campaign.
>
[arabic]

إذا لنقاطع هؤلاء الخنازير
و يذكر إن جمعية النسيم في منطقة الجهراء- الكويت سحبت من أسواقها جميع المنتجات الدنيماركية بعد مناشدة الأهل لمقاطعة المنتجات الدنيماركية
كما يوجد أيضا حملة كبيرة في المملكة العربية السعودية لمقاطعة المنتجات الدنيماركية
أخواني لو واصلنا مقاطعتنا للدنيمارك حتى الصيف القادم فيخسر اقتصادهم ما يقارب 38 مليار يورو بإذن الله
و بالمقاطعة سوف يبحث الدنيماكيون عن سيرة الرجل الذي يحبه المسلمون
وهذا قد يكون سبب لدخولهم الإسلام…

و هنا أرفق لكم بعض المنتجات الدنيماركية

(my translation: Therefore let us boycott these pigs. And you should note that Al-Naseem Cooperative in Al-Jahraa area in Kuwait has removed all Danish products from its shelves after they were asked to do so by residents, and there is also a large boycott campaign in Saudi Arabia to boycott Danish products.
My brothers, if we boycott Danish products to the summer their economy would lose approximately 38 million BILLION Euros Inshallah (Allah willing) and due to the boycott the Danes will look for that man that Muslims love and this might encourage them to embrace Islam.

And what follows are some of the Danish products.)
>
> ….
>
اتمنى ان تضعوا يدكم بأيدينا
و أن نقف ولو مرة صف واحد كالبنيان المرصوص
و ان نثبت للعالم انه أكرم خلق الله

و تقبلوا احترامي
وليد و وضاح النايف

(my translation: I hope that you put your hands in ours and stand, even for just this once, as one so that we can prove to the world that [the Prophet] is the best that Allah created.
Please accept my respect
Waleed Wadhah Al-Nayef)


> From: Mahmood Al-Yousif [mailto:mahmood_at_nospam_gbps.tv] > Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 8:55 PM
> To: hakim_at_nospam_alamaltravel.com
> Cc: ayfc_at_nospam_fakhro.com; ebrahim_at_nospam_maza.com; nazar_at_nospam_tcgme.com; jehad_at_nospam_bukamal.com; aluser_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh; adel_at_nospam_maskatigroup.com; bahprogp_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh; ahk_at_nospam_ajmkooheji.com; alhawaj_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh; osharif_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh; adel_at_nospam_awalgulf.com.bh; atahoo_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh; samirnas_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh; adel_at_nospam_hajihassan.com; aldaaysi_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh; nkkanoo_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh
> Subject: Re: FW: boycott Denmark – al mulaifi
>
> Abdulhakim, with all due respect, you are not paid, nor were you elected to the Chamber of Commerce board of directors to defend religion, you were elected to look after the interest of businesses and businessmen; therefore, I would appreciate it if in future stances you would kindly separate business from your personal views or your religious beliefs.
>
> What you are doing here, although good intentioned, is improper from a business sense and by your actions, you will increase unemployment in this country and others as well as close businesses.
>
> Please re-evaluate your motives and your job within the board of the Chamber, to which I DID elect you to. I also hope that your colleagues at the board would also heed this advice.
>
> You should all work toward CALMING the situation, rather than exacerbating it.
>
> Regards
> Mahmood Al-Yousif


> A Hakim Al Shammary wrote:
>
> Brother Mahmood,
>
> Thank you very much for your response.
> I get this opportunity, to express my gratitude for those who chose to elect me for the board of the BBCI [sic] > This is to inform you that, I don’t mix business with my personal views or my religious beliefs.
> But, like any other ordinary person, Muslim or Non Muslim , I have to defend my religious beliefs,
> my prophet, my country, my family, my neighbours and my good people like YOU ,…..etc etc etc
>
> Being board members doesn’t mean that, we keep quite against what is done against our basics, and beliefs.
>
> Kindly be informed that, my reaction towards that, was based upon my personal religious beliefs, and not as a board member.
>
> Do you thing that, being a board member, means that I have to adopt another religious beliefs, or act negatively towards it.
>
> Do you thing that, the boards member in the Northern or Western Hemisphere, and the ASEAN ,will accept insults against their religious beliefs ?
>
> Finally, I accept your points of views, hoping that you will do the same.
>
> Best Regards,
> A Hakim Al Shammary


From: Mahmood Al-Yousif [mailto:mahmood_at_nospam_gbps.tv] Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 3:31 PM
To: hakim_at_nospam_alamaltravel.com
Cc: ayfc_at_nospam_fakhro.com; ebrahim_at_nospam_maza.com; nazar_at_nospam_tcgme.com; jehad_at_nospam_bukamal.com; aluser_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh; adel_at_nospam_maskatigroup.com; bahprogp_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh; ahk_at_nospam_ajmkooheji.com; alhawaj_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh; osharif_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh; adel_at_nospam_awalgulf.com.bh; atahoo_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh; samirnas_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh; adel_at_nospam_hajihassan.com; aldaaysi_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh; nkkanoo_at_nospam_batelco.com.bh
Subject: Re: FW: boycott Denmark – al mulaifi

Abdulhakim, thank you for your reply.

I respectfully do not agree with your assessment of the situation. Nor do I need your help or defence of my person or beliefs. I am content with both.

What disturbs me, and as I am sure quite a number of other businessmen, is your incitement to boycotting businesses and products due to your personal beliefs; coming from an elected member of the board of directors of the main organisation formed to defend business and businesspeople in Bahrain. This action that you have adopted will negatively affect businesses as it will directly affect the available employment opportunities of your fellow citizens. It is your primary function within the Chamber to which you were elected to primarily defend against these losses.

I do not care at all what the [board members of their respective chambers of commerce I assume?] ASEAN, American, European, Western and Northern Hemispheres do or how they would handle insults to their religions. That is not my concern, nor should it be yours. I would hazard an educated guess; however, seeing that they are in secular and democratic societies, they would have just shrugged it off and went on taking care of business. After all they are free to express their opinions, guaranteed by their constitutions, as we are in ours. If they were to have been offended, I am sure they would NOT have collectively penalised a whole country for the error of a small group of people. And they most certainly would not have put their own lives and that of their citizens at risk of unemployment for appeasing their own personal beliefs. They would have chosen an intelligent route to demonstrate their displeasure within the law and without effect to their country’s economy.

Although religion does and will always have a higher platform in our lives, there are other organisations which are concerned with its defence and propagation. My contention is that, as businesspeople, we should leave that specialty to its specialists. The Chamber is not in that particular market.

Abdulhakim, if you feel that strongly about defending the religion, more than what you were elected for to the board of directors of the Chamber, and as is evidently clear from your reply, you cannot separate the two issues from each other, I suggest you choose which stream is more important to you and spend your energies developing that stream, in the proper and appropriate venue and organisation.

Let me remind you again that you were elected to look after our business interests, not our spiritual ones.

Best regards
Mahmood Al-Yousif


> A Hakim Al Shammary wrote:
>
> Dear Mahmood,
<> As you mentioned,
>
> After all they are free to express their opinions, guaranteed by their constitutions, as we are in ours.
>
> 1.They are free to express their opinions, Regardless to the BAD reaction to their business ! ! ! Nobody protest.
> 2.Guaranteed by their constitutions, as we are in ours ! ! !
>
> Don’t you think that, we do have the same freedom, and the same guarantee?
>
> So, what was wrong, with somebody like me, to express my opinions, which was guaranteed by our constitution.
>
> Why don’t you allow me to practice what are you preaching ? ! ? ! ?
>
> Do you think that, being a board member, I am exempted ?
>
> Finally,
>
> why , Smart gentleman like you, doesn’t go public with his opinions, since it is guaranteed by the constitution.
> unless you feel that these ideas are against the public opinions.
>
> As mentioned previously, I accept your points of views, hoping that you will do the same.
>
> Best Regards,
> A Hakim E. Al Shammary


Mahmood Al-Yousif wrote on Tue, 07 Feb 2006 09:46:52

Abdulhakim, let’s keep this professional.

I did not attack you personally, so I would appreciate it if you would afford me the same benefit.

You are free to your opinion and welcome to it; my contention however is that your opinion is at variance with what you were elected to do and your current position as an member of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, hence I see now, especially after these remarkable exchanges and further amplification of you position, that you are not the right kind of person to fill a position on the board of an organisation that is created to primarily look after our business interest, and I shall ensure that I shall go public with these exchanges immediately; my holding off from doing so so far was not out of fear nor hesitation as you seem to imply, but simply a professional consideration that differences of opinion should be discussed and mutually agreed solutions sought. This concept seems to escape you too, unfortunately.

I most definitely do not remember in your various electioneering slogans and hoardings anything which stated that you were seeking a position on the board of the BCCI to defend our religion, nor that you will take it upon yourself to hurt, rather than help Bahraini businesses because of PERSONAL beliefs and stances; further, you do not seem to be able to separate religious views from those appertaining to business and its environment.

Based on these facts, and that I am an active and paid up member of the BCCI, I hereby register my deep concern regarding your views and unprofessional attitude, and officially ask for your resignation from the board forthwith. You have gone against the very essence of the presence of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and have fully reneged on your contractual obligations of your voters and the business community at large.

As this conversational exchange has been copied to the full board of the BCCI, I would appreciate an official response from the respected board as to whether its existence is the prorogation and defence of religion, or is its main function growing the economy and ensuring that Bahraini businesses are well represented?

Best regards
Mahmood Al-Yousif


A Hakim Al Shammary wrote on Tue, 7 Feb 2006 10:37:02:

Thanks for your kindness, and wish u all the best, take care.

Best reg.

A Hakim

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ما في الديرة رجال؟

تأسيس لجنة للدفاع عن الرسول يرأسها السعيدي

أعلن مساء أمس في الرفاع الشرقي تأسيس لجنة شعبية، وذلك للتعبير عن سخط الاهالي من الاساءة الى النبي الكريم عبر الصحف الدنماركية ومن موقف حكومتها من صحافتها المحلية، وتم تشكيل اللجنة تحت مسمى «لجنة الرفاع للدفاع عن الرسول الكريم» وتم اختيار النائب جاسم السعيدي رئيسا لها، وناصر السندي أميناً للسر، وطه الشميري منسقاً عاماً لها، وستقوم اللجنة بجمع حملة من التوقيعات من أجل الاستنكار للاساءة والتطاول على الرسول الكريم، ولم تغفل اللجنة دور المرأة في الحملة إذ تم تعيين ام مصعب للاشراف على الجانب النسائي.Al-Wasat

الحين إنتوا ما حصلتو أحد يدافع عن نبينا الكريم إلا الي أساء و يسيء إلى أهل بيته؟ ليش يا ناس؟ ما في الديره رياييل؟

حسبي الله عليكم!

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More Royal than the King

More Royal than the King

Tomorrow is a fantastic day and you know why? Because according to my calculations it will be only one single year left for the Parliamentary elections in Bahrain!

365 days. Can we stand it for another year? Heck yes, it’s fun watching fools make even bigger asses of themselves. Let’s take the current “uproar” against the FTA and ending the economic boycott of Israel, what is it really other than cheap electioneering shots? Especially when a right honourable mouse of a man who has proven his uselessness (the first letter of his name is Hassan Bukhammas by the way he only posted 1 question to ministers – yes only ONE question while he is allowed 36 so far! – and submitted 2 legislative “wishes”) now becomes the Lion of Parliament by standing up and shouting “Death to America and Israel” which of course demonstrates his braveness in the cataract infected eyes of “his” constituents so that they can carry him on their shoulders back into the hallowed chambers of Parliament come the next time around. All because “he stood up to the Zionist enemy.”

Others of course are beating the shit out of each other and trampling whatever is in their paths to get noticed in this very emotive issue, from the illustrious Mohammed Khalid who has labelled the whole government as traitors and the remainder of the honourable MPs aren’t much better in their stances and responses. They’ve made pandering to fools their holy jihad.

The only saving grace for the whole parliament is Abbas Hassan, another unknown to be sure, but he stood up and told them that “MPs were all talk and no fight” and challenged them to pick up weapons and go to Palestine and fight for its freedom if they were men to which our major brain-farter and could well be a joint-winner of the coveted Mtv TWITBTHIFD Society Award (his co-winner can’t be other than Dhahrani) raised his great girth and issued the following brain-fart: “apologise!” To which Abbas Hassan basically told him to stuff it.

So what is this parliament doing? Discarding national interests and long term prosperity of the nation against an emotive subject that neither they nor anyone else can do anything about, especially as the Palestinians themselves have categorically recognised Israel’s right to exist. Who are we then to complain and raise these issues in parliament? Shouldn’t they have tackled the various critical items on their agendas than wasting time with something they have absolutely no control over?

No of course not.. I couldn’t summarise this situation better than how our dear friend JJ has: they’re trying to be more royal than the king.

365 days tomorrow…

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A pig is cleaner than this bearded monster

Parliament is again interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. Legally, the Prime Minister of Iraq has given the Americans his go ahead to attack Faluja and clean it of insurgents.

The Bahraini parliament, particularly the bearded pig above, coupled with Yousif Al-Hermi and Jassim Al-Saidi were insensed when Abdulla Al-Aali asked for the motion to be put for discussion. Ali Al-Samahiji declared that this motion (rightly) would be an interference in a sovereign country’s internal affairs.

What this pig immediately assumed is that it is a sectarian issue and described the shi’a as:

You are killers, unclean (سفله) and the people of Falujah are more honourable than you and your ilk, they are the heroes regardless of what you and your lot see them as

This is a representative of the people? Someone this sick only deserves to be in a cesspool or flushed down a toilet, not in a country’s parliament.

Unfortunately we have a lot of them, most of them salafis and openly supporting this sort of thing, even if it was true.

I would not be at all surprised if they had a party after a suicide bomber blows a shi’a neighbourhood in Bahrain to smithereens.

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3rd session of parliament shaping up very nicely…

MPs seek clamp on phone pornography

By MOHAMMED AL A’ALI

MPs are calling for a new law to combat untraceable pornographic broadcasts between mobile phones.

Girls are reportedly being harassed by youths misusing the Bluetooth technology now available in some mobiles.

Bluetooth can trace any similar receiver phone within 10 metres and transmit to it without dialling up the number.

These means pictures can be broadcast without leaving any trace of who sent them, said parliament’s foreign affairs, defence and national economy committee vice-chairman Abdulla Al Dossari.

He is proposing a new law to combat the misuse of such facilities, which can also operate from personal computers.

Mr Al Dossari is planning to submit the proposal next week to parliament chairman Khalifa Al Dhahrani.

Mr Al Dossari, who is also Independent Bloc spokesman, told the GDN yesterday that the wording of the proposal was being carefully studied by the bloc’s legal adviser and would be hopefully ready by tomorrow.

“I have come up with the idea after receiving several complaints from families saying that their daughters were being harassed by young men who send them pornographic material using Bluetooth,” he said.

“Others have also complained about pictures and clips of their daughters being spread through mobile phones, without any trace of their origin.

“It is hard to know who sends these picture and clip messages, since dialling up the receiver isn’t needed.

“Most cases have been reported to have happened in malls, restaurants and event at Bahrain University.” Mr Al Dossari said that he was not proposing banning Bluetooth, just regulating its use.

“Everyone acknowledges the vital role technology plays in people’s lives today, but it needs to be monitored to ensure people don’t misuse it,” he said.

“Batelco has thankfully helped trace many people who were misusing the Internet, by identifying the location of the transmission, since it is being done through a phone number.”

But he said it was hard to catch those who misuse Bluetooth, since no one knows who is sending the information, or from where.

“Bluetooth is now available amongst half of Bahrain’s population and its use has become so common,” said Mr Al Dossari.

He said he hoped the proposed law would help protect people’s privacy and combat indecency.

“A similar law has been introduced last week in Kuwait and we hope that our government will do the same,” said Mr Al Dossari.

GDN Aug 31st, 2004

Ah what fun… trying to control technology, trying to control the untraceable, and adding a veneer of religiousity to it as well. Very nice. Can we expect anything from these carpetbaggers other than what has happened in the last two sessions?

I for one can’t wait for the next elections.

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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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Veiled women allowed to drive

While road-deaths have increased in Bahrain from 54 in 1995 to 81 in 2002, the number of cars increased from 169,318 in 1995 to 250,978 in 2002 and not a day passes without a serious sometimes fatal road accident, we now have a law allowing veiled women to drive!

That is, women who cover their faces completely with semi-transparent cloth. Some I’m sure will say that the cloth does not restrict vision and it’s like sun-glasses. Yeah sure!

This is the result of our infant Parliament. This is their major achievement in their last session. I’m sure that next they will find other very worthy cause to take up. And we all know that we do NOT have any other immediate problems to resolve like unemployment, a high increase in crime, continuing road congestion, etc. Allowing veiled women to drive is of the highest national priority.

Apart from that, now if you are unfortunate enough to get involved in an accident with a veiled woman driver, you have to wait for one of the seven traffic police-women to come to the sight of the accident to resolve the matter, NOT a normal traffic (male) cop.

Here are some recent links so you can form your own opinions:
– Anger over accident blackspot
– BD 200 million to be spent to slash road deaths
– Indian killed in traffic accident

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…and I thought democracy means constructive criticism?

The Bahraini press is threatening national unity and abusing the democratic system, the Minister of Information was quoted as saying yesterday.

Nabeel Al Hamer was quoted during a meeting with newspaper editors as saying the government will not tolerate those in the press who are trying to “sabotage” the democratic reforms.

“We will not, under any pretext, tolerate those abusing the democracy now available in the kingdom in order to sabotage the democratic achievements,” he told them.

Gulf News | By Mohammed Almezel | 10-06-2003

and this comes from a journalist! The minister was the managing editor of Al-Ayam newspaper for a very long time. It’s heartening to find his views have changed somewhat since he became the minister of information.

So what the hell is happening here then? This “outburst” was due to a couple of articles in the papers that I think constructively criticised the government. And isn’t constructive criticism the basis of democratic life? So what should we do now? Just turn a blind eye to everything that might be deemed “offensive” or against the government?

gimme a break.. MAKE UP YOUR MIND, either be democratic or let’s just go back to where we were before ’99. At least then everyone knew what the rules were and where the red-line was. Democracy as far as I understand it doesn’t have any red-lines. If the law on the other hand did set a red-line that no one is allowed to cross, let the (competent) courts handle that through laws, but don’t just keep shifting the line here and there at a whim.

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