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
>ØÙ…Ù„Ø© Ù„Ù…Ù‚Ø§Ø·Ø¹Ø© Ø§Ù„Ù…Ù†ØªØ¬Ø§Øª Ø§Ù„Ø¯Ù†ÙŠÙ…Ø§Ø±ÙƒÙŠØ©::
Ø£Ø®ÙŠ Ø§Ù„ÙƒØ±ÙŠÙ… Ø§Ù†Ø¸Ø± Ø¥Ù„Ù‰ Ù…Ø§ ÙØ¹Ù„Ù‡ Ø§Ù„Ø®Ù†Ø§Ø²ÙŠØ± Ù„Ø¯ÙŠÙ†Ù†Ø§ Ø§Ù„ØÙ†ÙŠÙ Ùˆ Ù„Ø±Ø³ÙˆÙ„Ù†Ø§ Ø§Ù„ÙƒØ±ÙŠÙ…
Ø³Ø¨ÙˆÙ‡ Ùˆ Ø´ØªÙ…ÙˆÙ‡ ..Ùˆ Ù‡Ø°Ø§ ØªÙ‚Ø±ÙŠØ± Ù†Ø´Ø± ÙÙŠ ØµØÙŠÙØ© Ø§Ù„Ø³ÙŠØ§Ø³Ø© Ø§Ù„ÙƒÙˆÙŠØªÙŠØ© Ù„Ù€ Ø§Ù„Ø£Ø³ØªØ§Ø° Ù…ØÙ…Ø¯ ÙŠÙˆØ³Ù Ø§Ù„Ù…Ù„ÙŠÙÙŠ
ÙŠÙˆØ¶Ø Ù„Ùƒ Ù…Ø§ Ø§Ù„Ø°ÙŠ ØØµÙ„ Ù„ØªÙƒÙ† Ø¹Ù„Ù‰ Ø¨ÙŠÙ†Ø©
(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.
Ø¥Ø°Ø§ Ù„Ù†Ù‚Ø§Ø·Ø¹ Ù‡Ø¤Ù„Ø§Ø¡ Ø§Ù„Ø®Ù†Ø§Ø²ÙŠØ±
Ùˆ ÙŠØ°ÙƒØ± Ø¥Ù† Ø¬Ù…Ø¹ÙŠØ© Ø§Ù„Ù†Ø³ÙŠÙ… ÙÙŠ Ù…Ù†Ø·Ù‚Ø© Ø§Ù„Ø¬Ù‡Ø±Ø§Ø¡- Ø§Ù„ÙƒÙˆÙŠØª Ø³ØØ¨Øª Ù…Ù† Ø£Ø³ÙˆØ§Ù‚Ù‡Ø§ Ø¬Ù…ÙŠØ¹ Ø§Ù„Ù…Ù†ØªØ¬Ø§Øª Ø§Ù„Ø¯Ù†ÙŠÙ…Ø§Ø±ÙƒÙŠØ© Ø¨Ø¹Ø¯ Ù…Ù†Ø§Ø´Ø¯Ø© Ø§Ù„Ø£Ù‡Ù„ Ù„Ù…Ù‚Ø§Ø·Ø¹Ø© Ø§Ù„Ù…Ù†ØªØ¬Ø§Øª Ø§Ù„Ø¯Ù†ÙŠÙ…Ø§Ø±ÙƒÙŠØ©
ÙƒÙ…Ø§ ÙŠÙˆØ¬Ø¯ Ø£ÙŠØ¶Ø§ ØÙ…Ù„Ø© ÙƒØ¨ÙŠØ±Ø© ÙÙŠ Ø§Ù„Ù…Ù…Ù„ÙƒØ© Ø§Ù„Ø¹Ø±Ø¨ÙŠØ© Ø§Ù„Ø³Ø¹ÙˆØ¯ÙŠØ© Ù„Ù…Ù‚Ø§Ø·Ø¹Ø© Ø§Ù„Ù…Ù†ØªØ¬Ø§Øª Ø§Ù„Ø¯Ù†ÙŠÙ…Ø§Ø±ÙƒÙŠØ©
Ø£Ø®ÙˆØ§Ù†ÙŠ Ù„Ùˆ ÙˆØ§ØµÙ„Ù†Ø§ Ù…Ù‚Ø§Ø·Ø¹ØªÙ†Ø§ Ù„Ù„Ø¯Ù†ÙŠÙ…Ø§Ø±Ùƒ ØØªÙ‰ Ø§Ù„ØµÙŠÙ Ø§Ù„Ù‚Ø§Ø¯Ù… ÙÙŠØ®Ø³Ø± Ø§Ù‚ØªØµØ§Ø¯Ù‡Ù… Ù…Ø§ ÙŠÙ‚Ø§Ø±Ø¨ 38 Ù…Ù„ÙŠØ§Ø± ÙŠÙˆØ±Ùˆ Ø¨Ø¥Ø°Ù† Ø§Ù„Ù„Ù‡
Ùˆ Ø¨Ø§Ù„Ù…Ù‚Ø§Ø·Ø¹Ø© Ø³ÙˆÙ ÙŠØ¨ØØ« Ø§Ù„Ø¯Ù†ÙŠÙ…Ø§ÙƒÙŠÙˆÙ† Ø¹Ù† Ø³ÙŠØ±Ø© Ø§Ù„Ø±Ø¬Ù„ Ø§Ù„Ø°ÙŠ ÙŠØØ¨Ù‡ Ø§Ù„Ù…Ø³Ù„Ù…ÙˆÙ†
ÙˆÙ‡Ø°Ø§ Ù‚Ø¯ ÙŠÙƒÙˆÙ† Ø³Ø¨Ø¨ Ù„Ø¯Ø®ÙˆÙ„Ù‡Ù… Ø§Ù„Ø¥Ø³Ù„Ø§Ù……
Ùˆ Ù‡Ù†Ø§ Ø£Ø±ÙÙ‚ Ù„ÙƒÙ… Ø¨Ø¹Ø¶ Ø§Ù„Ù…Ù†ØªØ¬Ø§Øª Ø§Ù„Ø¯Ù†ÙŠÙ…Ø§Ø±ÙƒÙŠØ©
(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
millionBILLION 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.)
Ø§ØªÙ…Ù†Ù‰ Ø§Ù† ØªØ¶Ø¹ÙˆØ§ ÙŠØ¯ÙƒÙ… Ø¨Ø£ÙŠØ¯ÙŠÙ†Ø§
Ùˆ Ø£Ù† Ù†Ù‚Ù ÙˆÙ„Ùˆ Ù…Ø±Ø© ØµÙ ÙˆØ§ØØ¯ ÙƒØ§Ù„Ø¨Ù†ÙŠØ§Ù† Ø§Ù„Ù…Ø±ØµÙˆØµ
Ùˆ Ø§Ù† Ù†Ø«Ø¨Øª Ù„Ù„Ø¹Ø§Ù„Ù… Ø§Ù†Ù‡ Ø£ÙƒØ±Ù… Ø®Ù„Ù‚ Ø§Ù„Ù„Ù‡
Ùˆ ØªÙ‚Ø¨Ù„ÙˆØ§ Ø§ØØªØ±Ø§Ù…ÙŠ
ÙˆÙ„ÙŠØ¯ Ùˆ ÙˆØ¶Ø§Ø Ø§Ù„Ù†Ø§ÙŠÙ
(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.
> 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
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.
> 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 ?
> 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?
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.