Original Articles

Why are Pakistan’s urban (fake) liberals neglecting the Bahrain uprising?

Related articles:

Fake Civil Society of Bahrain

U.S. follows two paths on unrest in Iran and Bahrain – by Mark Landler and David E. Sanger

Editor’s Note: While the Pakistan urban chattering elites were going ga ga over the “Revolution” in Egypt just a week ago, they are conspicuously silent about the brutal crackdown against the protestors in Bahrain.  Is it because the Pro-democracy protestors who are rising up against a brutal monarchy are mainly Shia and their monarchal oppressors are Sunni? Is it because the monarchy is employing anti-Shia expats from Pakistan and other Gulf nations to brutally crack down on the protestors.

This is hardly surprising though.  After all, the Pakistani urban elite chattering class is the same one that welcomed the formalization of the Military-Mullah alliance in Egypt, just as they did in their own country on numerous occassions and against the electoral aspirations of the average Pakistani.  This is the same elite chattering class that vociferously supported the cause of compromised bureaucrats and Jihadi-friendly Judges and marched in solidarity with the Jamaat Islami and the Taliban to further their interests at the cost of the country and its nascent democracy.

For them, the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood is now part of the Constitution making process in Egypt does not cause any concern; neither does the massacre of Shia Muslims in Bahrain.  After all, they rarely bother to investigate the role of the Muslim Brotherhood and its shadowy Islamist supporters (which include Said Ramadan and Mawdodi) who laid down the theocratic foundations that were formalized in the Objectives Resolution.  Nor are they bothered by the continual massacres of Shias in Pakistan; especially in D.I. Khan, Quetta and Parachinar.

This is what eminent human rights activist, Nicholas Kristoff has to say in his Blood Runs through the Streets of Bahrain

“King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa initially pulled the police back, but early on Thursday morning he sent in the riot police, who went in with guns blazing. Bahrain television has claimed that the protesters were armed with swords and threatening security. That’s preposterous. I was on the roundabout earlier that night and saw many thousands of people, including large numbers of women and children, even babies. Many were asleep.

I was not there at the time of the attack, but afterward, at the main hospital (one of at least three to receive casualties), I saw the effects. More than 600 people were treated with injuries, overwhelmingly men but including small numbers of women and children.”

Moving words by an acclaimed human rights activist that have so far been ignored amongst the elite chattering class of Pakistan.  We have included one picture from AP; others pictures and videos are available via simple google searches.

Read on.

Bahrain Blowback

By GRAHAM E. FULLER | GLOBAL VIEWPOINT , New York Times
Published: February 16, 2011

WASHINGTON — Where’s the next place to blow in the Arab revolution? Candidates are many, but there’s one whose geopolitical impact vastly exceeds its diminutive size — the island of Bahrain.

This is a place run by an oppressive and corrupt little regime, long coddled by Washington because the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet is headquartered there. The future of the base is far from secure if the regime falls.

A few hard facts about the island that should give pause for thought:

First, Bahrain is a Shiite island. You won’t see it described that way, but it is — 70 percent of the population, more than the percentage of Shiites in Iraq. And like Iraq under Saddam Hussein, these Arab Shiites have been systematically discriminated against, repressed, and denied meaningful roles by a Sunni tribal government determined to maintain its solid grip on the country. The emergence of real democracy, as in Iraq, will push the country over into the Shiite column — sending shivers down the spines of other Gulf rulers, and especially in Riyadh.

Appearances are deceiving. Go to Bahrain and on the surface you won’t feel the same heavy hand that dominates so many other Arab authoritarian states. The island is liberal in its social freedoms. Expats feel at home — you can get a drink, go to nightclubs, go to the beach, party.

But if you look behind the Western and elite-populated high-rises you’ll encounter the Shiite ghettoes — poor and neglected, with high unemployment, walls smeared with anti-regime graffiti.

A Bahraini protester shows a pictures of a man who was injured by riot police in Manama. Photo: AP

Free market? Sure, except the regime imports politically neutered laborers from passive, apolitical states that need the money: Filipinos, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans and other South Asians who won’t make waves or they’re on the next plane out.

The regime also imports its thugs. The ranks of the police are heavily staffed with expat police who often speak no Arabic, have no attachments to the country and who will beat, jail, torture and shoot Bahraini protestors with impunity.

Like other Shiite populations, clerics figure heavily among the leaders. But many are liberal and open, reflecting the culturally open character of the island. Most Bahraini Shiites would look to Ayatollah Sistani in Iraq rather than to Iran for religious guidance.

Typically, however, just like most other tyrants across the region, the al-Khalifa regime in Bahrain will whip up anti-Shiite, anti-Iranian fears to gain Western backing — and they usually get it.

It’s not just that the majority is Shiite. From a Saudi perspective, the Bahraini Shiites maintain close family and cultural ties with Shiite families across the water in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Shiite minority, probably even more oppressed, is already restive and would be responsive to Shiite political unrest nearby. This is Riyadh’s ultimate nightmare — a further strengthening of Shiite political power in this oil-rich region.

The Sunni minority of Bahrain is in a difficult position. The Sunnis worry about the rise of the Shiite majority that makes up the oppressed class. But liberal Sunnis are also highly discontent with the al-Khalifa regime and seek political reform. Many work with the Shiite leadership to attain secular reforms, but the regime has repressed them as well and fans fear of Shiites to help keep them in line.

There has been relatively little actual blood shed — at least compared to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and other neighboring states — in the decades-long story of Shiite resistance to the authoritarian ruling family. If the al-Khalifa thugs are let loose, that could change quickly. The temperature is rising.

Washington is now faced again with another hard choice — the legacy of shortsighted decisions made over decades: Continue to go with local repressive regimes out of a misguided sense of “American interests”? Hold on to unpopular military bases at all costs — thereby deepening local anger and perhaps giving Iran ultimately a greater voice in events?

Or should it quietly drop support for this repressive regime, allow events to take their course and accept that long-overdue change is coming? How long can we hold on to another ugly status quo? It’s really about how bad the change will get the longer we wait.

Graham E. Fuller, former vice-chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, is adjunct professor of history at Simon Fraser University. His latest book is “A World Without Islam.”

Source

Video: 18/2/2011 Bahrain army opens fire on protesters

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Nighat

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  • Bahrain has two issues: Shia population vs Sunni Rulers
    while another which is not talked about is a small area and comparatively denser population.

  • Anti-Shia bigotry runs deep in Pakistan since Zia ul Batil spread the poison through thousands of State-sponsored madrasses.

  • There is no denial of the factual position of Bahrain as highlighted by Nighat. But she has fallen into sectarian syndrome when she colored it with Shia-Sunni conflict which was not called for. The conflict is there as the majority is Shia and the rulers are Sunni. Period. But, it would be deviating from the general trend dawning in the arab world that is rule of people instead of by oppressive puppet governments. If rule of people succeeds in Bahrain, naturally, it would be a Shiitte based because of their being in majority. But let me tell you loud and clear, the rights are not had overnight and in velvet gloves. The struggle has to go a long way, but at least it has started. It is wrong to say that nothing is being written on Bahrain uprising. This forum already has more than one and with minute details. Bahrain people have to compel to bow down not only the Khalifas but also the interests of America that anchor their fleets and aircraft carriers, also, the inland uplink/downlink stations connected with spy satellites for surveillance of Iran. USA very much apprehends the change in Bahrain would uproot their interests and this country would have Iranian influence, which is quite natural.

  • Is it true that the Bahrain police opened fired early in the morning at people in the Pearl Square (some sleeping perhaps) without any prior warning?

    Can someone confirm or deny this please?

    Thanks.

  • @Mubashar, it is on Yahoo now, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ml_bahrain_protests
    @Khalid, the anti-Shia nature of this conflict is a fact that is also openly discussed in both the NYT articles referred to; what is the big deal if LUBP can acknowledge this too. There are many progressive Sunnis who realize this and are sympathetic to the Bahraini uprising. However, that does not negate the defeaning silence of our elite chatterers on this issue!

  • ‘Army massacring Bahraini protesters’
    Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:4PM
    Share | Email | Print

    Salmaniya hospital in Manama
    The Bahraini military has opened machinegun fire on protesters who were trying to reach hospital, injuring hundreds, in what appears to be an attempted massacre, medics say.

    The Army has prevented ambulances and medics from reaching those wounded amid massive pro-democracy protests in Bahrain, Dr. Ghasam, a resident at Salmaniyeh hospital in Manama, told Press TV on Friday.

    He said that the protesters were marching to hospital in silence to visit those wounded in the previous rallies, when they were ambushed by troops waiting near the hospital.

    “They did not even chant anti-government slogans, they wanted to visit those injured on Thursday,” Dr. Ghasem said.

    He maintained that the massacre was planned in advance.

    “We need help! Our staff is entirely overwhelmed. They are shooting at people’s heads. Not at the legs. People are having their brains blown out,” Dr. Ghasam said.

    He also compared the situation at the hospital to a war zone.

    Bahraini lawmaker Ali al-Aswad, who was at the hospital at the time of incident, also told Press TV that the army has prevented the medical staff from reaching those injured and urged the Bahraini authorities to stop killing their own people.

    According to the Bahraini lawmaker, nearly 700 army troops are stationed near the hospital.

    Following the violence, Bahrain’s crown prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa promised to start a national dialogue, once calm returns.

    The Friday shooting came after a funeral procession held for those killed on Thursday turned into pro-democracy protests with a turnout of tens of thousands, which is unprecedented over the past few weeks.

    Four pro-democracy protesters were killed and 231 others wounded after riot police raided the protest camp in the early hours of Thursday, when most of the demonstrators were sleeping, in an attempt to clear capital’s main square from demonstrators.

    The funeral procession of the victims was held after the Friday Prayers.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/165854.html

  • Pakistani mercenaries shoot Shia protesters in Bahrain using UK ammo to protect the US Fifth Fleet and the puppet kingdom

    18/2/2011 Pakistani and Jordanian mercenaries in Bahrain open fire on Shia protesters

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRVSmigzpos

    Bahrain royal family orders army to turn on the people | Telegraph http://is.gd/sg2C30

    WikiLeaks to release over 100 new Bahrain revelations tonight.

    Briefly watched Al Jazeera today, alluded to ‘some’ discrimination, conveniently ignored anti-Shia discrimination

    y2raza sar765
    @nolanjazeera posted some really horrendous pix on his twitter, a protestor’s head blown by a close shot !

    Worth reading about who R mercenaries in Bahrain: http://tiny.cc/7ex48

    Bahrain puppet king mitigated Shia majority by extending citizenship to as many as 100,000 Sunnis from Yemen, Syria, Jordan & Pakistan

    Just saw some really disturbing images on Press TV. Dr Ghasam’s account is must read: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/165854.html

    y2raza sar765
    i bet u if their is more trouble in Bahrain u will most definitely see a reaction in Pak in form of target killing !

    Not only in Pakistan but also in the neighbouring Wahhabi Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    An FCS activist (currently working in a UK agency) was seen tweeting sectarian jokes in his real name & also using a fake account ZaydHamid

  • Video: Bahrain troops ‘fire on crowds’
    http://links.visibli.com/links/229ffe

    There have been more violent clashes between protesters and the authorities in countries across the Middle East – inspired by successful uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

    In Bahrain, the security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters who’d gathered in the capital Manama.

    The demonstrators are calling for political reform and the removal of the royal family which has ruled the tiny island kingdom for 200 years.

    From Bahrain, the BBC’s World Affairs Correspondent Ian Pannell reports.

    video

    http://links.visibli.com/links/229ffe

  • Bahrain royal family orders army to turn on the people
    Bahrain’s ruling family has defied mounting international criticism by ordering the army to turn on its people for the first time since pro-reform demonstrations erupted five days ago.

    By Adrian Blomfield in Manama 8:32PM GMT 18 Feb 2011
    As protesters attempted to converge on Pearl Roundabout, a landmark in the capital Manama that has become the principal rallying point of the uprising, soldiers stationed in a nearby skyscraper opened fire.

    Since they took to the streets, Bahrain’s protesters have come to expect violence and even death at the hands of the kingdom’s security forces. At least five people were killed before yesterday’s protests.

    But this was on a different scale of magnitude.
    As they drew near, they were met first with tear gas and then with bursts of live ammunition.

    Many fled the first salvoes, scrambling down empty streets as the shots rang out behind them.

    As they ran, terror and disbelief flashed across their faces. One man shouted: “They are killing our people! They are killing our people.”
    Cowering behind a wall, a woman wept, her body shaking in fear.

    But many refused to run, initially at least, determined to defy the violence being visited upon them. Some held their hands in the air and shouted “Peaceful! Peaceful!”.
    The shooting resumed. One man crumpled to the ground, blood pouring from his leg; nearby a second was also felled. A scream went up: “live ammunition!”

    As security forces then began to fire anti-air craft guns over their heads and the air filled with tear gas, the protesters’ will finally broke.

    But even as they fled in headlong panic, a helicopter sprayed gunfire at them and more fell. Paramedics from ambulances that had rushed to the scene darted forward to help the wounded, but they too were shot at. Several were detained and at least one ambulance was impounded.

    Doctors at the nearby Salmaniyah hospital said they had received 32 wounded people, nine of whom were in a critical condition. There were unconfirmed reports of two deaths at Pearl Roundabout, but witnesses said the bodies had been seized by the army.

    Those caught up in the violence were mourners, returning from funerals of three people killed before dawn the previous day when police opened fire on protesters, many of whom were asleep, in a successful bid to regain control of Pearl Roundabout.

    Thousands thronged the body of Ali Ahmad al-Moumen as it was born aloft down the streets of Sitra, a poor Shia village near Manama.

    Despite the violence, many said the death of Moumen and other protesters had only increased their determination to press ahead with the protests.

    “The regime has failed to stop us,” Abdulwahab Hussein, a senior Shia Muslim leader, told the crowd. “Their action shows that they are strong and we are weak.”

    Most of the protesters are members of Bahrain’s long-marginalised Shia majority.

    They say they are not demanding the abdication of Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Sunni king, but they are calling for a constitutional monarchy that would treat the Shia fairly and make them equal subjects in his kingdom.

    But they are demanding the resignation of his uncle Khalifa bin Sulman Al Khalifa, who has served as prime minister for 39 years.

    During his rule, the protesters say, the Shia have been turned into second class citizens, deprived of jobs in the army, police force and government while Sunnis from abroad have been given Bahraini citizenship to alter the kingdom’s demographic balance.

    Government officials in Bahrain have warned that the Shia opposition is controlled by Iran, which seeks to use the kingdom to establish a foothold on the Arabian peninsula.
    Protesters insist that they have no love for Iran and are only seeking justice for themselves.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/bahrain/8334771/Bahrain-royal-family-orders-army-to-turn-on-the-people.html

  • Eyewitness: Carnage in Bahrain as the Military Opens Fire
    Aryn Baker / Manama

    Protesters run from a cloud of tear gas during a clash with Bahraini security forces near the Pearl Roundabout in Manama, Bahrain, on Feb. 18, 2011
    JOHN MOORE / GETTY IMAGES

    As a heavy moon rose above Bahrain’s Pearl Roundabout, the locus of the island nation’s protest this week, the army opened fire on a group of men who had just sat down for evening prayer. The military fired live ammunition from nearby buildings or from tanks — it was hard to tell because of the ensuing melee. Canisters of tear gas rained down.

    The men scattered as they tried to outrun the billowing wave of tear gas. They squatted in the wing of a small mosque nearby, where another reporter and I joined them, seeking refuge. The wails of sirens rent the air. “We were peaceful,” said Hussein Mashkoor, 25, a technical consultant. “Can you see any armed people here? We want a kingdom with a King but where the people have the right to choose their government.”

    The crowd at the mosque gave way as other men rushed a limp body into the mosque. A few minutes later, an old man with the white, tightly wrapped turban of a cleric emerged, his hands covered with blood. “It came out like a fountain, the blood,” said Ahmad Hassan. “I helped as much as I could. Two people are dead.”
    (See TIME’s complete coverage of the Middle East in revolt.)

    Another round of gunfire crackled through the square, and more tear gas enveloped the mosque. The men fled the advancing menace and jumped into strangers’ cars on the nearby highway for protection. Mohammed, 26, a laborer, leaped into a car with a McClatchy reporter and me. He said he’d arrived at 4:30 p.m. for a nonviolent protest. “We were peaceful,” he said. “We had no rocks, no knives. We are Bahrainis. We are scared at the sight of blood.”

    But there was more blood to be shed that night. The protest Friday, Feb. 18, was organized around the ninth anniversary of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa’s declaring Bahrain a constitutional monarchy, the result of a 2001 referendum. In fact, the island state continues to be run along autocratic lines by the Khalifa family. The Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, who is the King’s uncle, has ruled since 1971. (The King took the throne in 1999, succeeding his father.) The country’s rulers are Sunni Muslims, while the majority of native Bahrainis are Shi’ites, who are the most aggrieved about the failure of the Khalifa dynasty to deliver on its promises. Protests, inspired in part by the recent revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, have taken place in Manama, the capital, since Monday, Feb. 14, with the mostly Sunni and substantially non-Bahraini military confronting demonstrators with violence. Friday’s clash appeared to be the bloodiest so far.

    At the nearby Salmaniya hospital was a scene of mayhem. As we arrived, we were grabbed by orderlies and rushed into emergency rooms to see people on gurneys. “Put this in your newspaper,” they said. “Write about how the government is killing our citizens.” Scores of doctors and nurses took us around, showing us the wounded, the burned. Furious and frightened, they had gathered earlier that day at the hospital to protest against the Health Minister, who had refused to allow ambulances to enter the site of an earlier attack on the square. Now they were back to work, taking care of the freshly wounded.
    (See how democracy can work in the Middle East.)

    “This is a battlefield,” says Dr. Umm Haicham, who asked to be named by her honorific rather than her name because she no longer trusts her government. “No one wants to see this. This is an overreaction. The protesters want simple things. They are asking for what the King has already offered.”
    (Comment on this story.)

    Earlier in the day, a group of journalists attempting to enter Bahrain had been detained at the airport. Technically, it is a requirement by the government that journalists apply to the Information Ministry before arriving. However, that restriction has always been waived in the past. Seven hours after my arrival, a Press Ministry official arrived to apologize, explaining that the “situation” made things difficult. He allowed us to pass through immigration and graciously offered us a ride to our hotel.

    It was a public-relations ambush. We realized it as soon as our convoy turned a corner and headed straight into a progovernment protest of honking cars, with flags flying from windows and men and women standing and waving from the sunroofs of their vehicles. Amal Abdul Kareem, whose bright red lipstick matched the flag she waved from her window, said, “We are here supporting our King, our country. We are here hand in hand to show our loyalty.” I asked her what she thought of the antigovernment protests; lifting her crystal-studded Gucci sunglasses, she replied, “They have no clear demands. It is unbelievable. The things that they want will take years, and they want them in two days.”
    (See TIME’s exclusive photos from Bahrain.)

    Embedded among the loyalists, it took us three hours to reach our hotel along a road that is only a few kilometers long. As we reached the end of the parade, Ahmed, a banker, leaned over to tell me over the din of honking horns, “The claims of discrimination [by the demonstrators, who are generally Shi’ites] is made up. It is unfair on the others when the government is blackmailed by other sects. They are taking advantage.” He added, “If there were no freedoms here in Bahrain, I wouldn’t be able to talk to you. It is the same for the protesters. They have the same freedom to express their views.”

    The scene at the hospital told a different story, as the injured were brought in from where they had gathered in the area of the Pearl Roundabout expressing their views. Many of the victims were young men. The women were recovering from inhaling tear gas. A young child who had been burned by a tear-gas canister wailed, attended to by several nurses. Orderlies attended to a man whose leg was shattered into pulp by a bullet. Another victim was rushed into trauma surgery. The hospital was so overrun with patients that men crowded the women’s wing.

    As I spoke to Dr. Haicham, I heard a shout through the hallway: “CPR team! CPR team!” I told her about the progovernment rally I’d seen earlier that day. Her face fell. “They don’t know the truth. They only listen to Bahrain TV. The government says, ‘We are protecting you from the Shi’ites. If they take over, they will kill you.’ ” The doctor, who is half-Sunni and half-Shi’ite, said, “The biggest danger is not [the people] here in the hospital. But if the government succeeds in dividing the Sunni from the Shi’a, that will be the real disaster.”
    (Read about protests in Yemen.)

    Outside the hospital, a large crowd gathered, chanting, “Down with the government” and “Sunni and Shi’a are together. We are all Bahrainis.” Then, as another victim was rushed in, the crowd fell quiet, allowed the injured in, and then resumed chanting with vigor. An orderly then appeared at the sliding glass doors at the entrance and held up a piece of cardboard on which was scrolled the phrase O-Negative. He was immediately surrounded by blood-donor volunteers.

    Among a group of perhaps 100 clad in the black headscarves and gowns of conservative Shi’ite women was Sawsan Mendeel, 24, an engineer. Her group had been calling for the downfall of the Prime Minister, who is deeply loathed by many. “We have seen enough killing,” she said. “Before, we only wanted the Prime Minister out. Now, after all this killing, we want the King gone too. Pray for us.”

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2045328_2045333_2052645,00.html #ixzz1EM2QHC9J

  • EgyptVoiceJan25 Ayman Shurafa
    by AbdulNishapuri
    The Bahraini revolution summed up in one picture #bahrain… .. [image] http://bit.ly/gRaDAi

    Cyril_Alexander Cyril Hanna
    by Rushyo
    #Bahrain official: “If the protests are too hard to handle, #AlKhalifa is threatened, we will ask the #Saudi National Guard to intervene…”

    sahoura سحر
    by AbdulNishapuri
    another piece of propaganda from Wikileaks & Assange RT @wikileaks: Bahrain opposition ‘received training from Hizbollah http://is.gd/2JAFe9

  • Fake Civil Society of Bahrain:

    It was a public-relations ambush. We realized it as soon as our convoy turned a corner and headed straight into a progovernment protest of honking cars, with flags flying from windows and men and women standing and waving from the sunroofs of their vehicles. Amal Abdul Kareem, whose bright red lipstick matched the flag she waved from her window, said, “We are here supporting our King, our country. We are here hand in hand to show our loyalty.” I asked her what she thought of the antigovernment protests; lifting her crystal-studded Gucci sunglasses, she replied, “They have no clear demands. It is unbelievable. The things that they want will take years, and they want them in two days.”

    Embedded among the loyalists, it took us three hours to reach our hotel along a road that is only a few kilometers long. As we reached the end of the parade, Ahmed, a banker, leaned over to tell me over the din of honking horns, “The claims of discrimination [by the demonstrators, who are generally Shi’ites] is made up. It is unfair on the others when the government is blackmailed by other sects. They are taking advantage.” He added, “If there were no freedoms here in Bahrain, I wouldn’t be able to talk to you. It is the same for the protesters. They have the same freedom to express their views.”

    The scene at the hospital told a different story, as the injured were brought in from where they had gathered in the area of the Pearl Roundabout expressing their views. Many of the victims were young men. The women were recovering from inhaling tear gas. A young child who had been burned by a tear-gas canister wailed, attended to by several nurses. Orderlies attended to a man whose leg was shattered into pulp by a bullet. Another victim was rushed into trauma surgery. The hospital was so overrun with patients that men crowded the women’s wing.

    As I spoke to Dr. Haicham, I heard a shout through the hallway: “CPR team! CPR team!” I told her about the progovernment rally I’d seen earlier that day. Her face fell. “They don’t know the truth. They only listen to Bahrain TV. The government says, ‘We are protecting you from the Shi’ites. If they take over, they will kill you.’ ” The doctor, who is half-Sunni and half-Shi’ite, said, “The biggest danger is not [the people] here in the hospital. But if the government succeeds in dividing the Sunni from the Shi’a, that will be the real disaster.”

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2052645,00.html#ixzz1EM8CzKz3

  • ” The doctor, who is half-Sunni and half-Shi’ite, said, “The biggest danger is not [the people] here in the hospital. But if the government succeeds in dividing the Sunni from the Shi’a, that will be the real disaster.”

    I have re-copied pasted the above lines to prove my point. Like I said in the start of my first comment that there is no denial of Khalifas (Sunnis so to say) oppressions on Shiittes in the long history of past, but to shift all the blames on all the Sunnis is not called for at this point in time. Let their struggle succeed together, i.e. opressed Shiittees and Sunnis both. We would have all the time in the world to discuss the differences when Shiitees take over the Bahrain’s helm of affairs. And I do not think Shiitees would take to task poor Bahraini Sunnis that have nothing to do with the nefarious deeds of Khalifas. Love is the answer what is your question.

  • @khalid humayun

    I agree with your observation. The Bahraini government has in the past (not unlike military dictators in Pakistan or Saudi dictators in KSA) used sectarianism as a tool and pretext to further strengthen its grip on power.

  • Friends say goodbye to Abu Takki
    By Al Jazeera Staff in
    Middle East
    on February 18th, 2011.

    In Sitra, one of the Bahraini capital’s largest Shia neighborhoods, today was a time to bury the dead. Four people were killed during Thursday morning’s notoriously brutal security crackdown in central Manama.

    Three of the dead were from Sitra. As prescribed by the local Shia tradition, they are now called martyrs by those who celebrate their sacrifice. Tens of thousands of Bahrainis walked its dusty streets, winding their way through the windy village in a procession of joyful sorrow. Such is the Shia reverence of martyrdom, with mourners proudly weeping.

    The simple coffin, draped in black, sat atop a truck, a simple chariot for a martyr. On it, a black-and-white picture stared back. It was the face of Mahmoud Makki Abu Takki. Half a dozen men hang from the rails of the truck, clinging to its edges, accompanying Mahmoud on his final journey through his home town. The sea of mourners provide the chorus for the ritual.

    They chant against the government, chant for their shahid. They will never forget.

    The men led the way, their cries thundered through the city. Following was a sea of black – the women. They chanted too, but piercing wails from a few females interceded. They carried children and lots of Bahraini flags. “We’re all Bahraini,” they said defiantly.

    Outside the mosque, en route to the cemetery, the wails grew louder. So did the anger. Why would a man, so young like Mahmoud, have to die such a violent death?

    At the cemetery, minutes after the interment is complete, Mahmoud’s father told a crowd that he was happy about his son’s fate. “I have four sons,” he continued, “And I will sacrifice all of them and myself to free Bahrain.”

    Another mourner jumped forward and said, “We’ll all die to make change.”

    Soon there were more than twenty men eager to tell stories of frustration with Bahrain’s Sunni-dominated political sphere. But they did not dwell on the details. It was not a time for politics. Mostly they were defiant in the face of violence and death.

    “We will finish this,” one young man promised.

    The cemetery then emptied for noon prayers. Still, around Mahmoud’s fresh grave, a group of men remained. One, his face clean-shaven, solemn. He tapped the freshly laid stones and prayed silently as if Mahmoud could hear him. Ali Abdul Amir was remembering his friend and the night he died beside him.

    Mahmoud was sleeping at Pearl Roundabout with hundreds of protesters when security forces moved in. It was just 2:30 in the morning. “We heard them,” Ali said. “I ran to tell them to stop. ‘We are peaceful’, I was screaming.” They shot him with pellets. Still, Ali managed to run.

    “They kept shooting, and I even saw the police in the police station shooting at us.” He said they were trapped. “It’s not true that they just came in one end. They surrounded us, and there was no exit.”

    After that, Ali said he ran through the neighborhood trying to find safety. But the security forces attacked homes, ransacking them in search of protesters. It was then that he tried to call Mahmoud. Of all his friends peacefully protesting for reform, Mahmoud was the only one missing. Desperately searching, another protester told Ali that Mahmoud was at the hospital in very bad shape.

    “I didn’t believe it, so I called other hospitals and places hoping he was there,” he recounted. A friend at Salmaniya, Bahrain’s largest hospital, confirmed Mahmoud was indeed there. He was still alive. Ali raced to the hospital, forced to hide amongst laborers walking to work.

    When Ali reached the hospital, he found his friend. Mahmoud was in the morgue. He had been shot in the back. “They just shot him!” His voice began to crack, and he repeated, “They just shot him.”

    At the cemetery, Ali was too sad to be truly angry. There would be a time for that too.

    “We will not stop here in Bahrain until we get what we want, peacefully,” he said as the cemetery started to fill again. “I will hold our flag, and I will scream our message. We don’t want to talk to the government now. We’re sick of their promises, and there are too many dead.”

    Jaffar, a 22-year-old student, chimed in: “In life, you give and take. We’ll give our blood to take freedom”.

    Ali finished the thought, speaking for their deceased friend, “We are peaceful people. We are citizens, demanding our rights. We’re not just asking for them.”

    http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2011/02/18/friends-say-goodbye-abu-takki

  • بحرینی فوج نے دارالحکومت مناما کے مرکزی چوک ’پرل سکوائر‘ میں دوبارہ جمع ہونے کی کوشش کرنے والے مظاہرین پر فائرنگ کی ہے جس کے بعد شہر میں خوف و ہراس اور انتشار کی کیفیت پائی جاتی ہے۔

    یہ افراد جمعرات کو سکیورٹی فورسز کے ہاتھوں ہلاک ہونے والے چار مظاہرین کی نمازِ جنازہ میں شرکت کے لیے اکٹھے ہوئے تھے۔ نمازِ جنازہ سے قبل نمازِ جمعہ کے موقع پر بحرین کے اعلٰی ترین شیعہ رہنما نے سکیورٹی فورسز کی کارروائی کو ’قتل عام‘ قرار دیا اور کہا کہ حکومت نے بات چیت کا دروازہ بند کر دیا ہے۔

    ونڈوز میڈیا یا ریئل پلیئر میں دیکھیں/سنیں
    اس کے علاوہ ملک میں حکومت کے حامی افراد کی جانب سے بھی ریلیوں کی اطلاعات ہیں۔ نامہ نگاروں کے مطابق اس ریلی میں کئی غیر ملکیوں نے بھی شرکت کی جن میں دوسری عرب ریاستوں اور جنوبی ایشیا سے تعلق رکھنے والے سنی مسلمان بھی شامل تھے۔

    مناما میں سکیورٹی فورسز اور مظاہرین کے درمیان اس وقت تصادم ہوا جب مظاہرین نے ملک میں اقتدار پر پچھلے دو سو سال سے قابض سنی خاندان کو اقتدار سے علیحدہ کرنے کے نعرے لگائے۔

    عینی شاہدین کے مطابق فوج نے مظاہرین پر گولی چلائی اور اشک آور گیس استعمال کی۔ اس کے علاوہ ایک موقع پر فوج نے مظاہرین کو سکیورٹی چیک پوسٹوں سے دور رکھنے کے لیے فضا میں طیارہ شکن ہتھیاروں سے فائرنگ بھی کی۔

    مناما میں بی بی سی کی نامہ نگار کیرولین ہالے نے کہا ہے کہ جمعہ کو ہلاک شدہ مظاہرین میں سے ایک کا جنازہ حکومت مخالف مظاہرے کی شکل اختیار کر گیا۔ اس مظاہرے میں شامل افراد نے سلمانیہ ہسپتال کا رخ کرنے کی کوشش کی جہاں ان کے زخمی ساتھی زیرِ علاج ہیں۔

    بحرین کے سڑکوں پر ٹینک بھی گشت کر رہے ہیں

    تاہم ان پر اس وقت گولی چلائی گئی جب وہ پرل سکوائر کے قریب پہنچے۔ ایک عینی شاہد نے الجزیرہ ٹی وی کو بتایا کہ حکام نے گولی چلانے سے پہلے متنبہ نہیں کیا۔ اس کا کہنا تھا کہ ’انہوں نے اچانک ہی فائرنگ شروع کر دی۔ اب اس وقت بیس سے زائد لوگ ہسپتال میں ہیں۔ ایک لڑکا جسے سر میں گولی لگی تھی مر چکا ہے‘۔

    ڈاکٹروں نے بی بی سی کو بتایا ہے کہ ان مظاہروں کے بعد ایک سو بیس افراد ہسپتالوں میں داخل کیے گئے ہیں جن میں سے کچھ آنسو گیس سے متاثر ہوئے، کچھ کی ہڈیاں ٹوٹی ہیں جبکہ ایک شخص کو ٹانگ میں گولی لگی ہے۔

    خیال رہے کہ بحرین کی اکثر آبادی کا تعلق شیعہ فرقے سے ہے لیکن یہاں سنی اقلیت برسرِ اقتدار ہے اور حکومت ان مظاہروں کو فرقہ واریت سے جوڑ رہی ہے

    ۔ یاد رہے کہ بحرین امریکی بحریہ کے پانچویں بیڑے کا اڈہ ہے اور جغرافیائی اعتبار سے سعودی عرب کے پڑوس میں واقع ہے۔

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/world/2011/02/110218_bahrain_libya_yemen_update_zs.shtml

  • Finally some “ray of hope” from Bahrain’s civil society: http://www.tradearabia.com/news/LAW_193750.html

    #FCS

    Bahrain sets up ‘unity alliance’
    Manama: 54 minutes ago

    A new alliance called “Bahrain National Union” was launched on Saturday, comprising citizens from all walks of life who advocate peaceful approach in voicing their demands.

    This came as several civil society organisations held a meeting bringing together trade union leaders, academics, jurists, workers, writers and artists representing Sunni, Shi’ite and other sects in Bahrain.

    A statement called on all parties to put national interest above sectarian differences. Freedom of expression, formation of political societies and trade unions, peaceful demonstrations and other forms of freedom are guaranteed by the Constitution and international conventions, it said.

    Al Khalifa rule is the ever-lasting choice of Bahraini people, the statement said, rejecting calls to change the ruling system by force. It also stressed the need to adopt constructive dialogue, cement national unity and steer clear of sectarianism.

    Earlier in the day, tens of thousands of Bahrainis flocked to Manama in a massive show of support for His Majesty King Hamad and the Bahraini government.

    They included men and women of all ages from across the country, who formed a motorcade draped in Bahraini flags and pictures of the King.

    Others walked holding up flags, banners and images of the country’s leaders as the parade snaked from the Ahmed Al Fateh Mosque (Grand Mosque), Juffair, to the Crowne Plaza and back along the Al Fateh Highway.

    There was a sea of red and white, the colours of Bahrain’s national flag, as people chanted their support for His Majesty, His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander.

    The parade was organised in response to a series of anti-government protests this week and included a number of religious leaders, MPs and municipal councillors.-TradeArabia News Service

  • The Pakistani chattering class is beholden to KSA

    LOL, that’s so true. I wish the Americans would bring “democracy” to Saudi Arabia, the way they bought “democracy” to Iraq.

    To be honest though, people know a bit about the military angle in Egypt, but they don’t know much about the Muslim Brotherhood’s role their. That’s because even Western Mainstream news doesn’t even mention it.

    I also wanted to ask, since I’ve been away from the news for a while, what did Shah Mehmood Qureshi do to make PPP members angry at him? Is he verbally kicking the PPP government in the neck or something?

  • بحرین کے ہمسایہ ملک سعودی عرب کی حکومت کی جانب سے جاری کردہ ایک بیان میں بحرینی عوام سے کہا گیا ہے کہ وہ سمجھداری سے کام لیں اور بحرینی حکومت کی پیشکش قبول کر لیں کیونکہ وہ علاقائی استحکام اور ان کے تحفظ میں سنجیدہ ہے۔

    خیال رہے کہ بحرین ایک ایسا عرب ملک ہے جہاں کی ستّر فیصد آبادی شیعہ ہے جبکہ وہاں گزشتہ دو صدیوں سے سنّی خاندان حکومت کرتا آ رہا ہے۔

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/world/2011/02/110220_bahrain_update_zs.shtml

    سنیچر کو رات گئے پرل سکوائر میں ان مظاہرین کی ایک بہت بڑی تعداد جمع تھی جو دوبارہ اس چوک میں پہنچے تھے۔ ان مظاہرین نے چوک میں اپنے کیمپ اور ایک عارضی ہسپتال قائم کر لیا ہے اور ایسا لگتا ہے کہ وہاں کچھ عرصے تک قیام کا ارادہ رکھتے ہیں۔

    چوک میں موجود ایک خاتون ام ایمن نے خبر رساں ادارے رائٹرز کو بتایا ’ہمیں اب موت کا خوف نہیں۔ فوج کو آنے دو اور ہمیں مارنے دو تاکہ دنیا کو پتہ چلے کہ وہ کس قسم کے وحشی ہیں‘۔

    دو روز قبل بحرینی فوج نے طاقت کا استعمال کر کے اس چوک سے مظاہرین کومنتشر ہونے پر مجبور کر دیا تھا لیکن مظاہرین نے گھروں کو جانے کی بجائے ایک ہسپتال کے باہر ڈیرے ڈال لیےتھے اور اپنا احتجاج جاری رکھا۔

  • Salaam. I know a country where there’s a Shi’a badshah lording over a Sunni-majority population. He is not a good leader and oppresses many. Why don’t you speak up about him? What is more, are we all going to pretend that the PPP itself is anything more than a Shi’a-Secular lobby?

    What is anti-Shi’a bigotry? I’m not a bigot, but our Shi’a brothers should accept that Pakistan cannot be an Islamic state if the ruling system is divided and weak. Tolerance and participation of all is necessary, but the absolute top positions should be off limits to them e.g. President, Chief-of-Staff

    It is truly amazing to see anyone even attempt to defend a position whereby they cast the Pakistani people as wanting a secular liberal society. Given a genuine choice, there is no doubt that an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis would voice their desire for an Islam-based state.

    UK mein taqreeban saari zindagi rehnay ke bawajood, hame be itna to ma’loom hai ke awaam sab se bar ke sirf aur sirf bunyaady huqooq aur insaaf ke intizaar mein hain. Islampasand to taqreeban sab hain (masha’Allah) magr baaz zamindar ko quwwat, sharaab aur paisa ka nasha kuch zaada hi pasand hai. Amrika ki ghulami mein hamesha tak rehna sirf aik beghairat siyaasatdaan tabqah ki khwaish ho sakti hai. Shari’ nizaam laana to waajib hai.

    Secularism murdabad! Pakistan Zindabad! Islam Paindabad!

  • Jailed Bahraini Shia protesters pardoned
    Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:30AM
    Share | Email | Print

    Bahrain’s king has pardoned a number of protesters who had been arrested for having a role in pro-democracy demonstrations in the tiny Persian Gulf state.

    King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa in a statement on Monday ordered political prisoners freed and stopped trial proceedings against them, the state-run BNA news agency reported.

    The decision came in response to numerous calls for the release of political prisoners and is viewed as the Bahraini monarch’s latest bid to ignite talks to end a standoff with the opposition.

    This is while thousands of Bahraini pro-democracy protesters are preparing for a massive demonstration in the capital Manama on Tuesday, having camped out in the city’s Pearl Square, the epicenter of the popular drive for change, the previous night.

    Demonstrators maintain that they will hold their ground until their demands for freedom and a say in the government are met.

    Meanwhile, a senior opposition figure, who has been sentenced in absentia, has announced his intention to return to Bahrain from London on Tuesday.

    Hassan Mashaima, the exiled leader of the opposition Haq movement, announced his intention on Monday.

    At least seven people have so far lost their lives and hundreds of others have sustained injuries in the days of violent government crackdown on Bahraini pro-democracy protesters.

    MP/TG/HRF

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/166483.html

    Bahrain opposition: No dialogue
    Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:16AM
    Share | Email | Print

    A Bahraini pro-democracy protester holds a sign that reads in Arabic, “The nation wants to bring down the regime.”

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/166414.html

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