Newspaper Articles

The fabrication of Bahrain’s Shiite-Sunni divide – by Shirin Sadeghi

Related articles: The Shia genocide in Bahrain shows Islam’s replacement by Wahhabism – by Omar Khattab

Sectarianism and racism: The dishonest narratives on Bahrain – by Hasnain Magsi

LUBP Archive on Bahrain

Saudi Arabia’s army enters Bahrain to crush pro-democracy protesters

One afternoon last year, as I was driving through Adliya in the northeastern corner of the island of Bahrain, I was surprised to find a man begging on the side of the street.

Adliya is a nice part of Bahrain — a Western part. Not far from the street I was on was the British Club and a shiny host of high-rise apartments, of the sort ex-pats of all stripes live in. I had never seen a beggar in Bahrain, and I certainly wouldn’t have expected one to find his way to Adliya.

Driving up a bit further, I noticed he wasn’t alone. In the grassy median between the two sides of the boulevard, he had set up a small red tent and surrounded it with a few white cardboard signs with imperfect English written all over them.

“My famly homeless.”

“Bahreini gouvermant don’t give house to Bahreini.”

He was a clever man for setting up this one-family protest. Drivers on this boulevard could see his children who should have been in school on this weekday. His wife was carrying a baby as she stood in the tent’s doorway. Boxes of household items, and even a few appliances were scattered around their tent, on the grassy median.

He wasn’t even the very poor kind of Shiite I had seen from time to time when, during their annual December 16th protests of Bahrain National Day, some of them would make their way into the ex-pat parts of the island, near the fancy malls, and light a bonfire in the major highway. I once saw a bathtub ablaze in the middle of Manama highway.

I stopped to take a few pictures with my cell phone camera, but was honked at by the other drivers — no one else seemed to be bothered by this tragedy in front of our eyes. I drove by and then made a U-turn to go back and see again. I U-turned 3 times before I had to go to my appointment.

Colonialism, Not Sectarianism

For decades, international news has refused to shine a light on the realities of Bahrain’s primary domestic conflict: colonialism. Instead, headline after headline portrays Bahrain’s problems as a sectarian divide. It’s the Shiites versus the Sunnis in every news item — Saudia Arabia versus Iran.

But that is simply not what is happening on the ground in Bahrain, a geostrategically important island nation right in the middle of the Persian Gulf where the largest base for the US Navy exists, outside of the U.S. itself.

Bahrain, like so many other countries in the region and in the world, is just another victim of British mapmaking, American business interests and the seedy intersection of these forces. For centuries, the British have supported the Al Khalifa Sunni tribe — a family originating in the Saudi peninsula — as rulers of Bahrain, inserting themselves into any possibility of the Al Khalifa family aligning itself with Iran, or with the interests of the Bahraini people over and above the interests of business and power.

Because of the close relationship between the Bahraini people and Iran, the encouragement of sectarian divisions has been a primary tool for sustaining a power structure that is favorable to Western corporate and strategic interests.

Little hints in daily Bahraini life belie the essential failure of this approach and the deep resentments it has germinated, however. Just attend a soccer match in Bahrain between Bahrain and Iran and you’ll find a noticeable imbalance of cheers and support for the Iranian side. The native population is full of Ajam (ethnic Iranians of Shiite and Sunni faiths who still speak Farsi or a creole of Farsi and Arabic in their homes), Howala (people who migrated to Iran, then returned to Bahrain — many of whom are ethnically Iranian, as well, and therefore also speak Farsi or a Farsi creole), and Baharna (Arab Shiites who naturally have an affinity for Shiite Iran).

The Al Khalifa family’s Saudi roots are never forgotten in a region of the world where tribal ancestry has religious significance. The fact that the Al-Khalifas have now openly used Saudi troops against the Bahraini protesters proves that they, too, have not forgotten.

For generations, the Al-Khalifa government has made it a priority to prevent large segments of the Bahraini population from having a say in their government and their military, proving that the Al-Khalifa colonial implant has been serving its purpose to a tee. Native Bahrainis of Iranian ancestry or who are Shiite are prohibited from serving in the government — with the exception of a few benign ministries — and from serving in the military and security forces. They also face discrimination in education and employment opportunities — all this in a country where they are in fact the majority.

Further, it is well known that large numbers of Pakistani Sunnis of Baluchi descent are imported into the country, automatically given citizenship and installed in the military and security forces. They are given cushy jobs and houses to live in — always bypassing the queue of native Bahrainis who wait decades to be given houses by the government. Sunnis from other countries, as well, have priority in Bahrain. Syrian imports, in particular, are on the rise.

They, too, get priority over Bahrainis who patiently and desperately waited decades for housing and employment opportunities that they must line up for, only to see foreigners being handed them upon arrival.

The policies against Shiites take ludicrous turns that many a Bahraini can tell you about. My grandmother was once refused a transit visa to Bahrain — no doubt because she is Iranian. More than one friend has either been refused a visit visa or had exceptional delays to being granted one, because the name on their passport was mistakenly taken to mean that they are Shiite. On separate occasions, two Sunni Pakistani friends had to explain their religious background to immigration authorities just to get visit visas — their names seemed typically Shiite, but they happened to be Sunni.

Amongst the Bahraini population, these issues are particularly troubling because despite what you may hear in the media, Bahrainis of both religious backgrounds intermarry quite normally. Even the deeper distinctions of a family’s ancestry do not prevent young Bahrainis in particular from intermarrying, especially in the middle and upper middle economic classes.

As American bullets fire from the weapons of foreign security forces appropriated by foreign rulers onto Bahraini bodies, the grim reality of 21st-century colonial vestiges and imperialist policies could hardly be clearer. As the bulk of the island struggles with discrimination for being Shiite or Sunni or both, Bahrain’s entire southern tip is a U.S. military base where frightened young Alabamans and Iowans pace through the streets to eat at Chili’s or grab a burger from Fuddruckers. They too, are pawns in a game that has no benefits for ordinary people.

The so-called sectarian divide of Bahrain is a manipulative simplification of a far greater divide: that of the colonially-installed government that has no connection with or compassion for the people of Bahrain. The Saudis are there to preserve Anglo-American power — as they do in Saudi Arabia. They are Sunni. The people they rule over are primarily Shiite.

These are the kinds of tensions the British specialized in and the Americans are taking advantage of in so many parts of the world. It’s an insidious approach to world affairs. Coupled with nonstop mainstream media portrayals of sectarian divides amongst the population, it has been a successful model for damaging the locals, their reputation, and their chances of getting the help they actually need.

It leaves entire families homeless, using nothing but their power of protest and their determination, to get their voices heard.

Follow Shirin Sadeghi on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ShirinSadeghi

Source: Huffington Post

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1367435/Middle-East-unrest-Sunni-Shiite-conflict-threatens-tear-Muslim-world-apart.html

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About the author

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48 Comments

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  • Some interesting comments from the Huffington Post website (above article):

    Freenation 1 hour ago (6:32 PM)
    261 Fans
    only thing which USA msn is fixated on is how to show Iran a bad guy…they don’t care how many people are getting killed or imprisoned­, shame on these corporate hacks…,
    Permalink | Share it

    HUFFPOST SUPER USER
    Atif Ahmed Choudhury 2 hours ago (6:08 PM)
    834 Fans
    Bahraini security troops are massacring their own citizens and Saudi is a guilty party. Iran has done nothing wrong but the Saudi royal family has once again proven itself as the paranoid opportunis­tic snakes that they are. The conscience of the world will not forget this.
    Permalink | Share it
    anthonyve 1 hour ago (6:36 PM)
    128 Fans
    Iran is actively promoting dissent all over the Middle East, so it is not correct to say Iran has done nothing wrong.
    Iran plans to be the dominant power in the region and if it achieves that goal then not only the west but Middle East citizens will have reason to be more afraid than they are today.
    Permalink | Share it
    obviousman88 38 minutes ago (7:07 PM)
    34 Fans
    Iran is IN the Middle East. What is wrong with Iran aspiring to be the dominant power in the region beside the fact that it would undermine US strategic interests and influence?

    ——

    Deparis 3 hours ago (4:33 PM)
    122 Fans
    Hopefully the brave people of Bahrain will bring down Al-Khalifa and his kingdom and shape the course of their future themselves or at least force their butcher “King” to implement some political reform ushering in democratic values.
    Permalink | Share it

    HUFFPOST SUPER USER
    Martin Houde 3 hours ago (4:17 PM)
    78 Fans
    Divide and conquer. Always the British (and others, the Brits were actually less rough on this than other colonial empires like the French, the Belgians, the Spanish…­the fact that French is alive and thriving in Quebec is a testament to that) recipe, mastered and refined. Put in power a minority and support it, so that popular anguish is against that minority and not directly you. That also brings you the loyalty of the ruling minority as they are afraid of being left alone against the masses. Of course, the minority also likes its position, so that when you leave, they’ll do anything to stay up.

    When the Brits did it, it was the fashion of the days. But Americans sure took advantage. The French still indirectly act like that as well in Africa. The Soviets did it.

    Thanks Ms. Sadeghi for bringing these facts to light. I did not know them very well.

  • بحرین کے وزیرِ صحت نے جو خود شیعہ مسلمان ہیں حکومت کی جانب سے مظاہرین کے خلاف طاقت کےاستعمال پر استعفیٰ دے دیا ہے۔ بی بی سی کی نامہ نگار کیرولائن ہاؤلی نے مناما سے خبر دی ہے بحرین میں تمام کے تمام شیعہ جج حضرات بھی مستعفی ہو گئے ہیں۔

    بحرین کی آبادی آٹھ لاکھ ہے اور یہاں امریکہ کا پانچواں بحری بیڑہ ہے۔ بہرین خلیج کے ممالک میں وہ پہلا ملک ہے جس پر عرب دنیا میں شروع ہونے والے احتجاج کا براہِ راست اثر پڑا ہے۔

    اس سے قبل ڈاکٹرز نے بی بی سی کو بتایا ہے کہ سکیورٹی فورسز کسی بھی شخص کو ہسپتال میں جانے یا نکلنے کی اجازت نہیں دے رہی تھیں اور انھیں دھمکایا جا رہا تھا۔ اطلاعات کے مطابق زخمی ہونے والے افراد کا علاج گھروں اور مساجد میں کیا جا رہا ہے۔

    بحرین میں عرب ممالک کی فوج آنے کے بعد منگل کو ہونے والے احتجاجی مظاہروں میں دو افراد ہلاک اور کئی زخمی ہو گئے تھے۔ اسی دوران بحرین کے بادشاہ نے ملک میں ایمرجنسی نافذ کر دی تھی جو فوری طور پر نافذ العمل ہوگی اور تین ماہ تک جاری رہے گی۔

    بحرین کی حکومت نے سعودی عرب سے آنے والی فوج کو امن و امان بحال کرنے کے فرائض سونپ دیے ہیں۔ تاہم یہ ابھی واضح نہیں کہ آیا دیگر ممالک کی افواج بھی مظاہرین کے خلاف کارروائی میں شریک ہیں یا نہیں۔

    بحرین کی اکثریتی شیعہ مسلمانوں کی آبادی کا کہنا ہے کہ سنی حکمران ان کے ساتھ امتیاز برتتے ہیں اور انھیں معاشی بدحالی کا سامنا ہے۔ وہ یہ بھی کہتے ہیں کہ ملازمتوں میں سنی مسلمانوں کے لیے نرم گوشہ استعمال کیا جاتا ہے۔

    چھبیس فروری کو بادشاہ نے کابینہ میں رد و بدل کرتے ہوئے چار وزراء کو جن میں دو شاہی خاندان کے ارکان تھے ہٹا دیا تھا لیکن انھوں نے وزیرِ اعظم شیخ خلیفہ ابنِ سلمان الخلیفہ کو برطرف نہیں کیا تھا جو گزشتہ چالیس برس سے اس عہدے پر فائز ہیں۔

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/world/2011/03/110316_bahrain_killings_rza.shtml

  • The Sunni-Shite divide and sectarian biases are being fanned in Pakistan to explain away our role in aiding the repression that is taking place. It helps to justify our continued export of manpower to a repressive regime. Thats it.

  • Bahrain Brings Back the Sectarianism
    Posted By Marc Lynch
    Wednesday, March 16, 2011 – 8:12 PM Share

    While the American and international debate over Libya continues, the situation in Bahrain has just taken a sharp turn for the worse. A brutal crackdown on the protestors followed the controversial entry of security forces from Saudi Arabia and three other GCC states. Media access has been curtailed, with journalists finding it difficult to gain entry to the Kingdom (I was supposed to be in Bahrain right now myself, but elected not to try after several journalists let me know that they were being denied entry and several Embassies in Doha warned me off). The road to political compromise and meaningful reform — which appeared to have been within reach only a few days ago — now appears to be blocked, which places the long-term viability of the Bahraini regime in serious question.

    The response of the Bahraini regime has implications far beyond the borders of the tiny island Kingdom — not only because along with Libya it has turned the hopeful Arab uprisings into something uglier, but because it is unleashing a regionwide resurgence of sectarian Sunni-Shi’a animosity. Regional actors have enthusiastically bought in to the sectarian framing, with Saudi Arabia fanning the flames of sectarian hostility in defense of the Bahraini regime and leading Shia figures rising to the defense of the protestors. The tenor of Sunni-Shi’a relations across the region is suddenly worse than at any time since the frightening days following the spread of the viral video of Sadrists celebrating the execution of Saddam Hussein.

    The sectarian framing in Bahrain is a deliberate regime strategy, not an obvious “reality.” The Bahraini protest movement, which emerged out of years of online and offline activism and campaigns, explicitly rejected sectarianism and sought to emphasize instead calls for democratic reform and national unity. While a majority of the protestors were Shi’a, like the population of the Kingdom itself, they insisted firmly that they represented the discontent of both Sunnis and Shi’ites, and framed the events as part of the Arab uprisings seen from Tunisia to Libya. Their slogans were about democracy and human rights, not Shi’a particularism, and there is virtually no evidence to support the oft-repeated claim that their efforts were inspired or led by Iran.

    The Bahraini regime responded not only with violent force, but also by encouraging a nasty sectarianism in order to divide the popular movement and to build domestic and regional support for a crackdown. Anti-Shi’a vituperation spread through the Bahraini public arena, including both broadcast media and increasingly divided social media networks. This sectarian framing also spread through the Arab media, particularly Saudi outlets. The sectarian frame resonated with the narratives laid in the dark days of the mid-2000s, when scenes of Iraqi civil war and Hezbollah’s rise in Lebanon filled Arab television screens, pro-U.S. Arab leaders spread fears of a “Shi’a Crescent”, and the Saudis encouraged anti-Shi’ism in order to build support for confronting Iranian influence.

    Now, the struggle for democracy and human rights in Bahrain seems to have been fully consumed by this cynical sectarian framing, and the regional Saudi-Iranian cold war which had been largely left behind by the Arab uprisings has suddenly returned to center stage. The sending of Saudi and GCC security forces to Bahrain follows on similar political campaigns, while the regime’s positions and sectarian framing have been backed across the Gulf media — including al-Jazeera Arabic, which has barely covered Bahrain even as it has focused heavily on Libya, Egypt, and Yemen. Meanwhile, leading Shi’a political figures across the region, from Hassan Nasrallah to Ali Sistani, are rushing to the defense of the protestors. Both have the effect of reinforcing the sectarian frame and distracting from the calls for democratic change.

    The United States may see the preservation of the Bahraini regime as essential to its strategic position, given its concerns about the Fifth Fleet and about losing a key part of its decades-long strategy of containing Iranian power. But what the Bahraini regime is doing to maintain power may badly hurt America’s position as well. The harsh repression, immediately and publicly following the visit of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, suggests either American complicity or impotence. The refusal of serious reform probably makes the survival of the regime less rather than more likely. And finally, the sectarian framing of Bahrain has the potential to rebound upon other Arab states with significant Shi’a populations, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It may also drive Iraq’s leaders into a more assertively Shi’a and pro-Iranian stance, as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his rivals seek to win popularity with Iraqi Shi’a who identify with their Bahraini counterparts. If the Obama administration hopes to define a new vision for the region, it needs to leave behind such outdated concepts and lines of division. Bahrain, sadly, with the help of its regional allies, has brought them back into fashion.

    http://lynch.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/03/16/bahrain_brings_back_the_sectarianism

  • Qaradawi reduces Bahrainis uprising to Shia rebellion against Sunnis

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    What is the difference between anti-Shia Tariq Ali, anti-Shia Qaradawi and anti-Shia King Abdullah?
    11 minutes ago Favorite Reply Delete

    edwebb Ed Webb
    by AbdulNishapuri
    Do #Qaradawi and #GCC governments realize that as they frame #Bahrain protests in sectarian terms they are singing from the neocon hymnbook?
    3 hours ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @GhamidiView Sir, will you please explain your position on the following anti-Shia speech by Qaradawi? http://bit.ly/fW4lTA #Bahrain
    13 minutes ago

    IbnSiqilli C. Anzalone
    by AbdulNishapuri
    VIDEO: Al-Qaradawi: Bahrain uprising “sectarian,” Not broad based; Pits “all” Shi’is vs. “all” Sunnis (false): http://bit.ly/fW4lTA (#lulu)
    2 hours ago

    engagingiran Nathan Gonzalez
    by AbdulNishapuri
    Anti-Shia Egyptian scholar Yusouf al-Qaradawi says uprising in #Bahrain is sectarian, does not represent the people: http://bit.ly/gQ2eTM
    1 hour ago

    AngryArabNews The Angry Arab
    by AbdulNishapuri
    Qaradawi: The statement by tele-Islamist, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, on Bahrain is not surprising. He seems to support p… http://bit.ly/hptOKU

    Qaradawi Khutba – 18-3-2011

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @GhamidiView Qaradawi supports suicide bombing as “martyrdom in the name of God” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/3875119.stm

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    I have serious questions about the rationale of a scholar who commends Imran Khan, Tariq Ali and Qaradawi. uftada-ter jo mujh se mera…

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Qaradawi lies: “It’s the revolution of all Shiites against all their Sunni compatriot.” Ibrahim Sharif, democracy activist, is not a Sunni?

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @GhamidiView @TarekFatah @MaulaBuksh Qaradawi’s sectarian rants on #Bahrain http://bit.ly/dKw5PJ

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @NadimJBaba @SultanAlQassemi Fuck you Qaradawi = Osama bin Laden = Zakir Naik = Farhat Hashmi = Syed Qutb = Maududi = Taqi Usmani

    NadimJBaba Nadim Baba
    by AbdulNishapuri@
    @SultanAlQassemi Qaradawi “in Bahrain a sect assisted by foreign sides wanted to impose its will” referring to protestors. no sense of irony

    Alidost Alidost
    @qaradawi assuming you are a cleric believes in Akhira, can’t you at least ask #Bahrain & #Saudi to restrain and not kill?!
    14 hours ago Favorite Undo Retweet Reply

    Alidost Alidost
    @qaradawi so how big was your bonus for your comments about #Bahrain?
    14 hours ago

    Alidost Alidost
    It’s like saying “civil rights movement is all for blacks not for all Americans, so it’s not legit” #Qaradawi ‘s comment on #Bahrain #stupid
    15 hours ago

    Alidost Alidost
    #Qaradawi completely ignored that innocents were killed, he calls it “sectarian” as if it’s okay to shoot and kill ppl #Bahrain #hypocrite
    15 hours ago

    gfry Gilles Frydman
    @acarvin Andy, did you see Qaradawi speech? Where he says that in Bahrain it is all sectarian? Very disturbing. http://bit.ly/dJIvUH

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Qaradawi is modern version of Ibn Taymiyyah and Muhammad Ibn Abd-al-Wahhab. Al-Qaeda = Wahhabi = Neo-Deobandi = Extremely Sectarian

    NadeemfParacha Nadeem F. Paracha
    Arab ameer-oil-mominees, Israeli zionists and mad Islamists: The real axis of evil.
    10 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    NadeemfParacha Nadeem F. Paracha
    If tyrannical Arab ameer-oil-momineens fall so would Zionism. One evil cannot survive without the other.
    12 minutes ago

    NadeemfParacha Nadeem F. Paracha
    All tyranical Arab ameer-oil-momineens should fall!

  • The Saudi intervention in Bahrain will fuel sectarianism, not stifle it
    In Bahrain as elsewhere the uprising began in a spirit of hopeful nationalism. But now religious divides are being exploited

    Madeleine Bunting
    guardian.co.uk

    Sunday 20 March 2011

    A man in jeans and a jumper is standing in the road, waving his arms in brave defiance as bullets crackle around him. A few seconds later, he crumples and is loaded, bleeding, into a car to be taken to hospital. It’s a few minutes of footage from the streets of Manama in Bahrain and the kind of incident that has become familiar in the last few months of Arab uprisings. But pause a moment, because this image of extraordinary, reckless bravery can become iconic in different ways to its many web audiences. Do we understand all of them?

    Westerners see a political activist; some Sunni Muslims see a Shia troublemaker; and Shias across the Muslim world see a martyr. There is no more powerful a mobilising idea in Shia Islam than the martyr. For nearly one and a half thousand years, Shias have revered Ali, the prophet’s son-in-law, who was assassinated, and the prophet’s grandson, Hussein, who was killed in battle at Karbala; betrayal has become a passionate narrative of identity.

    What has filled western observers with optimism is that the spirit of the Arab protesters in recent months has been so unequivocally non-sectarian. Egyptian Muslims and Christians side by side on the streets, Bahraini Shias and Sunnis insisting they were Bahrainis first and foremost, jointly demanding political reform. But as the revolutions grow older, the highly fluid politics shifts, secular national identities can fragment and religious identities gather force; can the latter be contained? Everyone is haunted by Iraq; after the fall of Saddam, Iraqis celebrated “as Iraqis and as Muslims”, but what ensued was the deadliest sectarian conflict the region has ever seen. How does peaceful nationalism fail to hold its ground?

    The question is emerging in Egypt, the country at the centre of the Arab spring. The recent burning of a church and the rough handling of a demonstration of Coptic Christians in Cairo has set nerves on edge. Christians are anxious about newly confident Islamist groups; their leaders urged them to vote no to constitutional amendments in the referendum at the weekend, while Islamist leaders were urging a yes vote.

    But it is, above all, in Bahrain that a popular political reform movement is increasingly being framed in sectarian terms, and as a result takes on entirely different dimensions with repercussions across the region. Bahrain’s significance is out of all proportion to its tiny size. An island at the centre of western oil dependency and US military capability – as home of the US Fifth Fleet – Bahrain is bang on the faultline of Islam’s deepest and most embittered of divisions between Sunnis and Shias. It is a division that the west has often failed to understand, and it has frequently miscalculated how it is being used and for what purposes – as was very evident in the Iraq war. Could it be doing so again?

    A majority of the Bahrain population is Shia and they are governed by a Sunni monarchy with a long history of discrimination. There are very few Shias in the army and police, they suffer disproportionate unemployment and lack access to housing. For years there has been periodic unrest. In recent weeks, as the violent repression by the Sunni monarchy in Bahrain has intensified, the Shias have been radicalised, moving beyond the demand for constitutional reform to one of regime change, and that has cost them their Sunni allies. But the factor that has transformed a delicate situation into an explosive one was the intervention of the Saudi and Gulf Co-operation Council’s troops last week in support of the Bahraini king.

    The Saudis are using the threat of sectarianism as cover, insisting that urgent action was necessary to prevent what they are, in fact, fuelling. Senior figures in Saudi justified their action in Bahrain as necessary to prevent Shia fitna (chaos), points out the Middle East analyst Mai Yanami. Provoking the fear of Shias meets domestic requirements; it inhibits the cautious Saudi version of the Arab spring – a nervous internet petition movement asking for reforms had been gathering strength.

    With violent unrest in Yemen on its southern border and in Bahrain, Saudi government figures are edgy, pouring money into food subsidies and pay rises; they warn that democracy risks “60 years of bloodshed”. It’s an old trick for repressive regimes to exploit fear that change could unleash unmanageable forces, but for a region that has just witnessed the sectarian violence of Iraq, it doesn’t sound like an empty threat.

    Highlighting sectarianism serves Saudi well with another constituency – its American allies. There have been plenty of thinly veiled references to Iranian links with their co-religionists in Bahrain; presumably, allegations of “foreign interference” in Bahrain have been poured into American ears to keep them on side. Saudi’s treatment of its own nearly 2 million Shia minority is infamous. Children are taught that Shias are apostates; to some Wahhabi clerics, Shias are worse than infidels.

    Religious identities have always crossed the arbitrary, colonial-imposed borders in the Arab world – ideas and people have followed the Shia pilgrimage routes to sites such as Mashhad near the Iranian-Afghan border, and to Najaf and Karbala in Iraq – building strong links and family networks. The Gulf is what Toby Mathiesen, of the School of Oriental and African Studies, calls a transnational space. The internet reinforces this; just as it helped spread the Arab political uprisings, so it can reinforce religious identities. In the last few days there have been demonstrations against Saudi intervention in Bahrain in Shia communities in Iraq, Lebanon, Iran and the crucial Saudi eastern province of Qatif, where most of its Shia live – and where Saudi oil is also concentrated.

    For the US, this amounts to a massive headache that makes even Libya look straightforward. Its invasion of Iraq in 2003 inadvertently boosted the reach and influence of Shia Iran in the region; for the first time in centuries the Shias have gained power and there has been much talk of a Shia revival, points out Rosemary Hollis, professor of Middle Eastern studies at City University. This has made Sunnis throughout the Middle East increasingly anxious. Instability in the Gulf risks higher oil prices, and that risks global recession. But the repressive response can only work in the short term, while it makes nonsense of America’s narrative of human rights and democracy. Increasingly, the danger is that America – and thus Britain – are on the wrong side, alongside regimes that can no longer secure their interests, and whose brutality blows apart western claims to the moral high ground.

    One final point. Britain’s intimate relations with the Bahrain royal family now look embarrassing. The island was one of the last outposts of the empire, and close relations have been sustained through military co-operation, commercial links and royal visits. Britain exports weapons and military advisers and imports Bahraini offspring to Sandhurst. The king of Bahrain was on the invitation list for Prince William’s wedding and rapid diplomatic manoeuvrings are being deployed to avoid the event being hijacked by pro-democracy demonstrations; reportedly the king has now declined. That still leaves the issue of the Saudi king turning up at Westminster Abbey. Every wedding has its share of necessary but unwelcome guests, but the presence of Middle Eastern despots risks exposing the seediness of British foreign policy.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/20/bahrain-saudi-intervention-religious-divide?CMP=twt_gu

  • Saudi Arabian intervention in Bahrain driven by visceral Sunni fear of Shias
    Despite an official stance that the Saudis were there to restore order, the real aim was to crush the rebels

    William Butler
    The Observer

    Sunday 20 March 2011

    Shia mourners in Bahrain carry the coffin of a victim of the violence on the outskirts of Manama on Friday. Photograph: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images
    Saudi Arabia and the UAE between them sit on tens of billions of dollars worth of state-of-the-art military equipment. They have both backed calls for UN-sponsored “no-fly zones” over Libya.

    Even if they are now willing to risk their expensive toys against the relatively meagre threat from Colonel Gaddafi’s air defences, they will play a junior role to western forces.

    It will be the second military intervention by the Gulf states in a few days, but the first was on a far more primitive level: teargas grenades fired at point-blank range into the faces of unarmed demonstrators; punishment beatings for injured protesters in their hospital beds; violence and intimidation against the wives and children of opposition activists in their village homes.

    Hypocrisy is one word for the motives behind the deployment of the “Peninsula Shield” forces in Bahrain last week. Cowardice is another.

    When I watched Saudi soldiers rolling over the causeway linking the two kingdoms on Monday, they were giving victory signs to local TV cameras. Bahrain TV showed archive footage of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and King Hamad of Bahrain performing a traditional Bedouin war dance together.

    Despite the official stance that the Saudis and UAE troops had arrived to guard essential infrastructure and restore order on the streets, there was little doubt as to the real purpose: to put down, by whatever means necessary, a growing rebellion by the kingdom’s majority, but deprived, Shia citizens.

    The day before, unarmed demonstrators had effectively beaten the security forces in Manama. A move to clear a protesters’ camp on the fringes of the main gathering at Pearl roundabout had led to an influx of protesters to the city, determined to defend their turf. The police withdrew when they ran out of teargas canisters.

    The sight of the police – many of whom are hired guns from Pakistan, Syria and other parts of the Sunni world – running from Shia demonstrators reawoke the fears of Gulf governments that the “party of Ali” was on the rise again.

    It is impossible to exaggerate the level of paranoia that exists in the minds of Sunni Arabs about the threat from Shia Islam and its homeland – Iran. Even the most well-educated and progressive of Gulf Arabs believe that Bahrain’s uprising is being organised by Tehran and that the protesters are fifth columnists for a regime of ayatollahs.

    In Saudi Arabia the paranoia is all-embracing. With a sizeable Shia population, mainly in the key oil-producing east, any assertion of Shia rights is exaggerated into an insurrection.

    So the Saudis watched in panic as the opposition in Bahrain grew more audacious. Last Sunday I saw protesters make their most ambitious move yet; blockading the financial district a couple of kilometres from Pearl, bringing downtown Manama to a halt. Banks, five-star hotels and corporate headquarters found themselves behind the makeshift barricades and exports of refined oil products dried to a trickle.

    The protesters’ demands have grown since seven were killed on St Valentine’s Day when police first tried to clear Pearl roundabout. “National dialogue” was offered by the Crown Prince, Sheikh Salman, but by then grieving Shia protesters had moved on. Many now want the end of the al-Khalifa monarchy, and the establishment of a republic. Even the most moderate now refuse dialogue without concessions first, the most important of which is the removal of the hated prime minister, Sheikh Khalifa.

    Any centre ground has been wiped away by the military intervention. Sunnis are emboldened by the arrival of “big brother” to impose a military solution, while increasingly large numbers of protesters wear the white burial shroud of Shia Islam, indicating their willingness to die on the spot.

    Into this cauldron are thrown Saudi and Emirate troops – the “thin beige line” as some westerners call them. Judging by their first few days, their orders seem clear: brutalise and intimidate protesters and their families. It’s hard to interpret in any other way a “peacekeeping” force that uses helicopter-mounted machine guns against a medical centre. The protesters have responded in a mainly non-violent way.

    Perhaps the first sign of real Iranian involvement will come when protesters look across the Gulf for materiel to fight off the government and foreign forces. If an Iranian “relief” shipment were confronted by Saudi naval forces, for example, it could spark open conflict between Shia and Sunni.

    With Libya in the west and Bahrain in the east, the Arab world faces the awful spectre of war on two fronts.

    William Butler (not his real name) is a writer who has lived and worked in the Gulf for many years

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/20/bahrain-saudi-arabia-rebellion

  • The ancient loathing between Sunnis and Shi’ites is threatening to tear apart the Muslim world

    By JOHN R BRADLEY

    Last updated at 1:43 PM on 19th March 2011

    Comments (60)

    Religious tension: About 70 per cent of Bahrain is Shi’ite, though the Sunnis rule the nation
    The bitter, bloody feud between the two branches of Islam, the Sunnis and the Shi’ites, has gone on for centuries and now this vicious sectarian strife is exploding again in Bahrain, threatening to cause an even greater conflict in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    The implications of the worsening hostility for the world are nightmarish, for the entire region could soon be gripped by turmoil, bloodshed and economic meltdown. What was naively seen a few weeks ago as a fight between freedom and autocracy could descend into an epic clash between two Muslim ideologies, the savagery made all the worse by their long history of enmity.

    The roots of the hostility between Sunni and Shia lie not in profound theological differences, but in the political intrigues that took place in the Muslim world in the 7th Century. When the Prophet Mohamed died in AD 632, the question of the succession to his leadership was dominated by family rivalries and disputes.

    Essentially, there were four candidates to succeed as ‘caliph’, or leader, and one group in particular, which went on to form the Shi’ites, strongly favoured the claims of Ali, the grandson of Mohamed. Even the name, Shi’ite, derives from ‘party of Ali’. But three times in succession, Ali was passed over as each of the other candidates was chosen before him.

    The opposition to Ali deepened the sense of anger among his supporters. Eventually, in this climate of tribal factionalism, Ali became the fourth caliph, though the indignation of his followers was provoked when he was then brutally assassinated.

    The tribal feuding in the post-Mohamed era reached its climax at the Battle of Karbala in AD 680. This is really the key moment in the creation of the Shi’ite movement, the point at which the fissure was permanently established.

    At the battle, Ali’s grandson, Hussein, was killed and, in the aftermath of his death, he came to be regarded by the Shi’ites as a martyr. The split between the Shi’ites and the opposing faction which took on the name Sunni, or ‘tradition’, has existed ever since that battle, causing endless sectarian trouble across the Middle East and the Arab world.The division soon acquired the trappings of theology. In turn, this has worsened the bigotry and hatred.

    For example, fundamentalist Sunnis regard the Shi’ites as heretical because they say the worship of Ali and Hussein contradicts the Muslim belief that Mohamed was the last Prophet. However, most Shi’ites would dispute this, arguing that they revere Ali and Hussein, but do not worship them like they do Mohamed.

    The Sunni belief in the heresy of the Shi’ites leads to repellent prejudice in Saudi Arabia, which has an overwhelmingly Sunni population and where the Shi’ites are widely loathed. Sunnis, for example, often say that you should never accept any food from a Shi’ite because he will spit in it before he hands it over.
    Although the two sects live alongside one another, it isn’t an easy coexistence. Shi’ites face outright discrimination.

    Partly this hostility stems from the fact that Saudi Sunnis are mainly Wahabbis, a cult which adopts the most literal and narrow brand of Islamic theology. Indeed, according to the most extreme Wahabbi mentality, the act of killing a Shi’ite infidel will improve a Sunni zealot’s chance of entering heaven.

    In reverse, the Shi’ites do not regard Sunnis as infidels or heretics and do not feel they have anything spiritually to gain by killing them.

    Merciless: In Iraq, the country’s Shi’ite majority were persecuted ruthlessly under the rule of Saddam Hussein and his Sunni-dominated Baath Party

    This explains why nearly all suicide-bomb attacks against Muslims have been perpetrated by Sunnis (Al Qaeda is a Sunni group).

    The consequences of this split have been devastating. For although only 10 to 15 per cent of the Muslim world are Shi’ites, they are concentrated in strategically vital areas.

    A round 85 per cent of the Iranian population is Shi’ite. Similarly, 70 per cent of Bahrain is Shi’ite, though the Sunnis rule the nation. In Yemen, around half the population are Shi’ite. In Saudi Arabia, where Sunnis make up 85 per cent of the population, the Shi’ites are the majority in the eastern province where most of the oilfields are.

    This is a recipe for worsening conflict. We could now be witnessing a repeat of the storm that swept through the world after the Iranian revolution of 1979, when the Shi’ites overthrew the Shah of Persia, and Ayatollah Khomeini urged the overthrow of Sunni dictatorships and monarchies throughout the region.

    There is a chilling echo of that today as the Iranian regime vociferously backs the Shi’ite rebels in Bahrain and encourages upheaval in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia.

    In response, the Sunni rulers of Saudi Arabia are determined to crush all sparks of Shi’ite rebellion in Bahrain, which is why they have sent in troops. We may be in the first stages of a major conflagration between the Saudi Wahabbi bigots and the Iranian Shi’ite zealots.
    But within country borders, too, bloody conflict between the sects is hardly less serious.

    In Iraq, the country’s Shi’ite majority were persecuted ruthlessly under the rule of Saddam Hussein and his Sunni-dominated Baath Party. Shi’ites are thought to constitute between 50 and 70 per cent of Iraq’s 31 million people. Since the fall of Saddam, Shi’ite-led fundamentalist parties have dominated the political scene and the country has been riven by violent sectarian divisions.

    In Pakistan, there are similarly violent problems, even though Shi’ites make up only between five and 20 per cent of the population of 170 million. Recent decades have seen frequent attacks on the minority Shi’ites, and bloody retaliation. Up to 5,000 from both sides are thought to have been killed.

    Analysts point to two main causes: the spread of hardline Sunni Islam from Saudi Arabia, and the return of Sunni jihadis — extremists who believe they are fighting a holy war — from Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. The latter, fired up on jihadi fervour and armed to the teeth, are fighting what they perceive as Western influence.

    Support: Kuwaiti Shiites protest in support of Shiite-led Bahraini anti-government protesters in Kuwait City yesterday

    Even in Iran, the only Islamic country that is officially Shi’ite, there is a long-simmering, violent Sunni insurgency against the Shi’ite regime in the south-east of the country.

    This antagonism between the two groups does not exist everywhere in the Muslim world. In much of North Africa, the lines between the two creeds are blurred, with none of the bigotry that scars the Middle East. In overwhelmingly Sunni Egypt, for example, the population happily coexist with their minority Shi’ites. The only tragedy is that this attitude does not prevail more widely.

    Our Foreign Office is predictably making the right soothing noises about lowering the temperature of conflict. But in our imperial past, we played a regrettable role in encouraging tensions in the Middle East.

    Different nations same beliefs: Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr hold Bahraini and Iraqi flags during a demonstration to support the anti-government protesters in Bahrain

    Bahrain is the classic example. In the 1860s, the British brokered a deal with the Al-Khalifa royal family, who still rule Bahrain to this day, and installed them as rulers. Bahrain effectively remained a Sunni-dominated British protectorate until independence in 1971, and the army now shooting protesters on the streets of Manama is partly trained, funded and armed by Britain.

    The ruling family in Saudi Arabia conquered a vast area of the Arabian Peninsula in the 1920s with the enthusiastic diplomatic and financial support of the British. Saudi Arabia’s first king, Ibn Saud, who was on the British payroll and whose top advisers were British, founded the extremist Wahabbi kingdom in 1932 with full British blessing.

    Divide and rule was a pragmatic device of empire and Britain was adept at cultivating the Sunnis at the expense of Shi’ites.

    Now it looks like we and the rest of the Western world could be paying a terrible price for our past policies.
    John R. Bradley is the author of Saudi Arabia Exposed and Inside Egypt.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1367435/Middle-East-unrest-Sunni-Shiite-conflict-threatens-tear-Muslim-world-apart.html#ixzz1HBLIjldS

  • Yemen and ongoing persecution of the Shia
    Shia children killed in Yemen
    In Afghanistan the forces of the Taliban and Al Qaeda massacred many Shia Muslims and the same happened in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Sunni Islamists clearly have little respect for their co-religionists and some Sunni Islamic organizations claim that Shia Muslims are heretics and this hatred can be seen in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and other nations where you have Sunni-Shia tensions.

    http://www.faithfreedom.org/articles/persecution-by-islam/yemen-and-ongoing-persecution-of-the-shia/

  • Shia is not your enemy, Mr Tarek Fatah.

    Please don’t reduce the Bahraini people’s struggle for rights and democracy to Racism. Don’t stereotype all Shias into one category to construct petty strawmanning. Don’t let your Shia-Phobia take over the better of you! We assume you are much more tolerant and reasonable than what you have written below.

    An unedited conversation from Twitter (read from down-up):

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    What’s with Canada’s Shia Muslims from EastAfrica. They’ve become enslaved to the Iranian $ Bahrain Mullahs & hostile to Indo-Pakistanis

    @Bonga14 said
    @TarekFatah @hnkhan @angryarabiya who are you to categorize ppl like books! Get it through your head Shi’aism is a sect of Islam regardless of which country, time or era – Iran just happen’s to be Shi’a. Iran was a Sunni state for more than 500 years did hear you guys complain about that. Read history.

    alimjiwa Alim Jiwa
    @a_picazo clearly according to Tarek Fatah, the only good Muslim in this world is Tarek Fatah! Everyone else is a “jihadi”

    a_picazo Alheli Picazo
    No joke: @TarekFatah ‘exposes’ Y Harper ejected student frm rally! (Scroll ↓ April 5 update) wp.me/p1dyFZ-2B #elxn41 #cdnpoli #p2ca #lpc

    a_picazo Alheli Picazo
    Islamophobe @TarekFatah still yammering http://bit.ly/g8Dd9T full story http://bit.ly/e7XkBz #elxn41 #cdnpoli #p2ca #lpc cc @TorontoStar

    http://youstayclassy.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/you-stay-classy-national-post-newstalk1010-tarek-fatah/

    http://youstayclassy.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/you-stay-classy-tarek-fatah/

    a_picazo Alheli Picazo
    Cue the @TarekFatah & @EzraLevant pants-soiling – Washington To Host US-Islamic Annual World Forum For First Time rttnews.com/Content/Genera…

    riazbehra riaz
    @
    @a_picazo @TarekFatah of past had a passion for justice and was capable of multiple critiques.I miss that Tarek. http://bit.ly/ekqVMb

    greatgodfrey greatgodfrey
    @
    @a_picazo @TarekFatah @nenshi About Tarek, I have lost must respect for him in the past few months!

    dontcarewuthink Mirza
    @
    @TarekFatah You are jumping to assumptions and are actually quite rude. I’m only 18. They say w/ age comes wisdom… obv. not in your case
    7 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @Bolshevik Did I ‘daa’nt’ you? Sorry. Just pissed off with Pakis who believe they are Nadir Shah’s left testicle & Bin Qasim’s Arab anus.

    dontcarewuthink Mirza
    @
    @TarekFatah How am I ok with Ayatollahs killing Iranians? And how can u assume I hate Jews… what the?! you’ve got me totally wrong buddha

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @dontcarewuthink (contd) You seem to be suffering from a serious bout of inferiority complex that forces you to be a lapdog for Hamas or Hez
    7 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @pakdawgie Your sensitivities r pretty selective. you hv no issue with Pak’s 60-year occption of B’tan, but are ok with Arabs lynching Paks

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @pakdawgie How do u no all Baluch side with ‘despot’? And why shld it matter whether it is Khameniei or Khalifa? Why do u back the Iranians?

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    #Bahrain to deport 90 Lebanese Shias for alleged ties to #Hezbollah and #Iran

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @pakdawgie Are you from Bahrain? If not, what is yr interest about a place that treats you like garbage.

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @dontcarewuthink (contd) but get worked up on Israel’s attack on Palestinians? What sort of a mindset allows u to look the other way (contd)

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @TheseLongWars Sorry, I have no info about what you seek, but faking Arab or Persian identities can be injurious to one’s mental health.

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @dontcarewuthink Only a visceral hatred of the Jew can explain why a Pakistani wud be ok with Ayatollahs killing 100,000 Iranians (contd)

    pakdawgie Naveed
    @
    .@TarekFatah Still waiting for you to propose constructive solutions – isn’t that what needed in the world these days?

    dontcarewuthink Mirza
    @
    @TarekFatah What do you mean Mirza is a unique Palestinian name? I am Pakistani.
    24 Mar Favorite Retweet Reply

    dontcarewuthink Mirza
    @
    @TarekFatah No I love my fellow Pakistanis. Any khoon is khoon. Thing is, the whole thing has been hyped up- including the Bahraini protests

    pakdawgie Naveed
    @
    @TarekFatah So status quo (pre-strife) in Bahrain is what you advocate?
    24 Mar Favorite Retweet Reply

    pakdawgie Naveed
    @
    @TarekFatah Thanks for setting me straight – can u enlighten us on what you think is a good solution there? Or do you only criticize?

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @pakdawgie Of course you are not from Bahrain. Your interest in that country is purely sectarian, not humanitarian, so stop the charade.

    pakdawgie Naveed
    @
    @TarekFatah I’m not from Bahrain but am embarassed at my countrymen’s roles in the despotic regime

    pakdawgie Naveed
    @
    @TarekFatah I’m really interested in what you think should happen in Bahrain I are you for/against representative gov’t?

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    #Bahrain to deport 90 Lebanese Shias for alleged ties to #Hezbollah and #Iran

    Winghunter Winghunter
    @
    @KashifShahzada TarekFatah is saying ‘Be willing to forego the satisfaction of the radical pose for the satisfaction of radical ends’, idiot

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @Bolshevik That is yr defense of lynching? Has it come down to the indignity Pakistanis will find a justification for their own humiliation?

    Bolshevik Urooj Zia
    @
    @TarekFatah Serious qs: Weren’t they lynching Pakistani mercenaries for hire who had been sent from here to kill protesters?

    sanasaleem Sana Saleem
    @
    @TarekFatah Baffled at your response and use of terms such as ‘lapdog’ etc.don’t know what part of the piece made you conclude that.

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @dontcarewuthink @sanasaleem No, it isn’t Faisal Kapadia, but some shameless, lapdog Pakistani happy he is spit upon by an Arab or Iranian

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @sanasaleem I am not referring to you, but to those who find Honour in the insults that are heaped on them by any Iranian or Arab or Turk.

    kissmyroti Roti Fan
    TarekFatah makes me very angry with his clear discrimination against Shias. Newsflash: Not every Shia is a slave to Iran. Get a clue!

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @TarekFatah I abhor anti-Semetism and theocracies just as much as I abhor Shia phobia. Strawmanning arguments is a petty tactic.
    54 minutes ago Favorite Reply Delete

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    Just had to block two more Jew hatred; one Pakistani the other Arab, both blaming Israel for current woes in Middle East. Unbelievablly dumb
    1 hour ago Favorite Retweet Reply

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri @libertas114 I was waiting for Jew-baiting to flow from the gutter. Took a few hours, but out poured the hate. Never fails.
    1 hour ago

    libertas114 libertas
    by AbdulNishapuri@
    @TarekFatah @AbdulNishapuri what hv u got agains the Shias? #bahrain is united. its not about shias and sunni, it is about Bahrainis freedom
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah I wish you are as loud and clear against Israeli apartheid / racism against its own Arab citizens? @libertas114
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah Today you have shown enough of your ShiaPhobia. Save the rest for another day? #Bahrain #Racism
    1 hour ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @libertas114 @abdulnishapuri Bahraini’ freedom? U gotto 2 b kidding. Yr freedom is only for Arabs, not Dark-skinned Asians. Racism nvr works
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah But you have seen thousands of Shias being massacred by some practical (not theoretical) #ShiaPhobes in Pakistan. Haven’t you?
    1 hour ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri Yes, I’ve seen the tens of thousands of Pakistani Shias march against Ahmedinejad & Khamenei. Yeah , that’ll be the day!
    1 hour ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri Bahraini people? I doubt you consider the 2 Bangladeshis to be as Bahraini as u being Pakistsni
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah You assume Shias = Iranians = Khomeini lovers. You are WRONG. You stereotype and assume a lot.
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah There you go again. Shia = Iran = Murder by association. Then you claim you are not ShiaPhobe?
    1 hour ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri Problem with shias like u hv worshiped Khomeni to the extent, his murderous blood-soaked regime has blinded u. Million died
    1 hour ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri @razarumi The difference is I I know who I am; an Indian born in Pakistan, not a Persian leftover by an invader nor an Arab
    1 hour ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri @optimisticaly @libertas114 Why shd I? I am a Pakistani Canadian. I don’t get my orders from the King or the Mad Ahmedinejad
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    LOL. True. Let’s remain focused on #Bahrain @Optimisticaly @TarekFatah @libertas114
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Bahrain’s king agrees with @TarekFatah Iranian sectarian plot foiled in #Bahrain with the help of Saudi Arabia and GCC http://bit.ly/fa14kK
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah You are assuming too much, Tarek. Pause and reflect. Respect Bahraini people, respect democracy, get out of ShiaPhobia
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah Sectarian is exactly the word used by Saudi and Bahraini dictators to crush the people’s movement for rights & democracy
    1 hour ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri I can’t get my head around the fact a sectarian like you is a PPP activist seeking reform. Lord hv mercy if Iran is yr ideal
    1 hour ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri Personal!!! I wdn’t touch Ahmedinejad’s apologists with a 10-foot pole. Pity, the twit has so many slaves in #Pakistan
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @TarekFatah Instead of being personal, you should refrain from reducing the Bahraini people’s struggle for democracy to “Racism”.
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    Saudi are damn slow in their job. Kill all Rafidis/ Iranians RT @VoiceOfBahrain Your usual lies! when did your reach 100 deaths in #Bahrain?
    2 hours ago

    Total deaths in Bahrain R significant for a country of only 600,000 people;100 deaths in #Bahrain = 30,000 in #Pakistan http://tiny.cc/j98b7

    Specimen of @faisalkapadia source on #Bahrain RT @khattak99 @craigcatt so it is, u are shia. evidnt wen u take ur uncl Yazid’s name wid love

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    It’s revealing to see Qaradawi and @TarekFatah united to denounce the people’s movement for democracy in #Bahrain http://bit.ly/gQ2eTM
    22 minutes ago Favorite Reply Delete

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    What kind of services are we rendering to the peoples’ movement in #Bahrain by playing the #Saudi sectarian and Arab-Ajam (racism) card?
    25 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    Nishapuri, Rumi, Tarek all Arab/Persian names or identities. Let’s start the charity at home : ) @Razarumi @TarekFatah
    27 minutes ago

    Razarumi Raza Rumi
    @
    @TarekFatah Fully agree.Arab/Persian ancestry is a bogey.We have clear #SouthAsian roots which nd 2 B acknowledged @AbdulNishapuri #identity
    31 minutes ago

    BahrainRights Bahrain Human Rights
    #Bahrain telecoms company founded by opposition leader has licence withdrawn thenational.ae/business/telec… #bahrain #feb14 #lulu via @Bh_activist
    31 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Thank you Gen Kayani for releasing this man to kill racist Shias in Pakistan http://criticalppp.com/archives/35205
    31 minutes ago

    BahrainRights Bahrain Human Rights
    Good first-hand footage from Aljazeera English. Report on Alhujairi’s death by #bahrain govt youtube.com/watch?v=x8U3SD… via @OnlineBahrain
    32 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Thank u Gen Kayani for sending these handsome Pakistanis to save #Bahrain’s Khalifa from racist Shias http://criticalppp.com/archives/42628
    33 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Pakistani Soldiers and Bahraini Mogambo – by Danial Lakhnavi #Urdu #Bahrain http://criticalppp.com/archives/42668
    37 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Why is US backing force in Libya but not Bahrain, Yemen? – by Andrew North http://criticalppp.com/archives/43026
    41 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    US embassy cables: Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists raise funds in Saudi Arabia http://criticalppp.com/archives/32089
    42 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    How Saudi Arabia has corrupted Yemen to spread Wahabism http://criticalppp.com/archives/6915
    43 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Killing of Shias in Pakistan: FIR should be registered against Saudi embassy and the ISI http://criticalppp.com/archives/19317
    43 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @khattak99 @faisalkapadia Shia-phobia of Saudi Arabia and the genocide of Shia Muslims http://criticalppp.com/archives/32473
    47 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @khattak99 @TarekFatah @faisalkapadia Shia genocide in Bahrain shows Islam’s replacement by Wahhabism http://criticalppp.com/archives/40692
    48 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    Thanks to @khattak99 for proving my point about #ShiaPhobia Shia = Iranian = Jew = Bad name = Hang him @TarekFatah @faisalkapadia
    49 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Was the people’s movement in Tunisia or Egypt a Sunni movement? Why are we recycling the Saudi #ShiaPhobia discourse in Pakistan? #Bahrain
    52 minutes ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri @razarumi @faisalkapadia Its what u do with names Do we ‘buy’ into this fake heritage or reality we r all Hindu converts.
    57 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @TarekFatah @khattak99 @faisalkapadia Racism? Baloch nationalists reject #Pakistani #mercenaries in #Bahrain http://bit.ly/fXUvig
    59 minutes ago

    Razarumi Raza Rumi
    MUST WATCH: Rights groups condemn Bahrain violence http://youtu.be/x8U3SDDrhJM v @Saudiwoman
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @faisalkapadia better write a post on our saviours in Aabpara who mentor Sipah-e-Sahaba and Taliban @TarekFatah @khattak99
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah @khattak99 @faisalkapadia Any Jew who does not recognize anti-Semitism = Any Muslim who does not recognize ShiaPhobia
    1 hour ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri @khattak99 @faisalkapadia Any Muslim who cares more for his sect deserves to b the blind who couldn’t see Darfur Genocide.
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    How can any one claiming to fight anti-Semitism be so blind to #ShiaPhobia in #Bahrain, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia?
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah did you notice that @khattak99 is one source of @faisalkapadia Read his time-line to see the #ShiaPhobe with your own eyes
    1 hour ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    RT @faisalkapadia: @AbdulNishapuri My sources are #Bahrainis who are screaming the other side of the story without anyone listening
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    Arab/Persian names r fine? RT @TarekFatah I have nothing but contempt for Pakistanis faking Arab/ Persian ancestry @razarumi @faisalkapadia
    1 hour ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri @razarumi @faisalkapadia Please understand I have nothing but contempt for Pakistanis faking Arab or Persian ancestry.
    1 hour ago

    wikileaks WikiLeaks
    Open Letter to the US government from the people of Bahrain http://wlcentral.org/node/1505

    AbdulNishapuri
    I am surprised at the audacity / dishonesty of those who are importing the #Saudi Sunni-Shia discourse to describe the movement for democracy in #Bahrain

    craigcatt گورا بلی کریگ Craig
    by AbdulNishapuri
    @faisalkapadia I’ve asked around, allegation of fatwa was denied, & shame on Pak nationals who are mercs of barbaric Alkhalifa tyranny
    2 hours ago Favorite Undo Retweet Reply

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    Absolutely RT @craigcatt I respect dawn.com but that piece [by @faisalkapadia ] was jang league and if not please provide sources #Bahrain

    AbdulNishapuri
    Racism? Baloch nationalists reject #Pakistani #mercenaries, support democracy movement in #Bahrain http://bit.ly/fXUvig

    AbdulNishapuri
    The institution dat is killing Balochs in Pakistan & Bahrainis in #Bahrain has tasked proxies 2 misrepresent #Bahrainis movement 4 democracy

    amnesty AmnestyInternational
    by AbdulNishapuri@
    @justice4bh We issued a report on violations in #Bahrain last week. Read more here: http://ow.ly/4j8Wv
    9 hours ago Favorite Undo Retweet Reply

    JamesJohnsonOHR James Johnson
    by AbdulNishapuri
    RT @KellyAnneSmith RT “@allawati: Amnesty International report on #Bahrain protests calls security forces “brutal” bit.ly/ihsS0b ”
    1 hour ago

    alphaleah Leah McElrath
    by AbdulNishapuri@
    @weddady Thoughts re how I can help a tweep in #Bahrain who is receiving death threats? (A physician) I’ve written to @amnesty to ask same.
    5 hours ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Advertisement: Ex-soldiers are needed to to fight racism and sectarianism in #Bahrain http://criticalppp.com/archives/42347
    18 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    From mercenary troops to mercenary reporters? @faisalkapadia @Razarumi @ShabbirShah @khattak99
    21 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah Tarek, Are Saudi troops (Arabs) killing Bahrainis (Arabs) because of their race? @Razarumi @faisalkapadia
    24 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    No further comments RT @faisalkapadia will never respect a movement which is murdering my countrymen @Razarumi @ShabbirShah #Bahrain
    23 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @faisalkapadia Next time please don’t misrepresent facts; respect #Bahrain movement for democracy @Razarumi @ShabbirShah
    28 minutes ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri @Razarumi @faisalkapadia There r Pakistanis who if pissed on by an Arab wld say “its drizzling”. If an Iranian spit on them?
    29 minutes ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    So tired of Pakistanis faking either a Persian or Arab ancestry by denying their Indianess. Wearing last names to ensure they are not Pakis
    31 minutes ago

    faisalkapadia FK
    a soldier has no origin he follows orders just because he is frm Pakistan the community should not suffer! @Razarumi @TarekFatah

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    Thanks for correcting. Pakistani troops in #Bahrain not mercenaries RT @faisalkapadia @Razarumi @ShabbirShah
    35 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah you ignored the Lahore mercenaries link that I sent you, How honest! @Razarumi @faisalkapadia
    38 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    LUBP Archive on Baloch Nationalism: http://criticalppp.com/archives/tag/baloch-nationalism

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri @Razarumi @faisalkapadia Blind or not, You do know about the Baloch? Those dark-skinned guys no one in Pakistan wants 2 know
    40 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Of course you are not a ShiaPhobe RT@TarekFatah You should go and join the Bahraini shias.
    40 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    That’s why they term peoples’ movement in #Bahrain as Sunni-Shia feud RT @TarekFatah Pakistanis r so obsessed with religion @ShirinSadeghi
    41 minutes ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri You should go and join the Bahraini shias. Once they detect your Pakistani ancestry, they’ll educate you about your worth
    42 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah Baloch mercenaries? R you blind? http://criticalppp.com/archives/42628 @Razarumi @faisalkapadia
    44 minutes ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri @ShirinSadeghi Pakistanis are so obsessed with religion, they haven’t got a clue abt racism, when they face it or use it.
    44 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @faisalkapadia how innocent, only a few Pakistanis in #Bahrain army and police. @Razarumi @ShabbirShah
    45 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    From Dawn, 20 March, 1,000 Pakistanis recruited for Bahrain forces http://tiny.cc/9rzvz Sunni-Shia feud? Racism? my foot!
    48 minutes ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @Razarumi @AbdulNishapuri @faisalkapadia Pak mercenaries? Baloch have been there since 1638. U folks need to taste Arab racism, not dinars.
    46 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah Your use of the word Racism to describe the people’s movement in #Bahrain doesn’t help @NickKristof @ShirinSadeghi
    46 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah Any evidence of Pakistani “labourers” killed? Did you actually watch the videos I sent?
    55 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    ShiaPhobia? @TarekFatah This is the source in your recommended @faisalkapadia article https://www.facebook.com/N0thingButTheTruth?ref=ts
    56 minutes ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri @NickKristof @ShirinSadeghi You accuse me of using White Supremicist language from South Africa and then say “what cliches”?
    48 minutes ago

    Razarumi Raza Rumi
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri Pakistani mercenaries hve angered the protestors but all Paks wkng in#Bahrain r nt the same @ShabbirShah @faisalkapadia
    49 minutes ago

    ShabbirShah Shabbir
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri @faisalkapadia @Razarumi @NickKristof Again clever diversion from the blog. Who says that no problem in Bahrain but oil rich?
    53 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @Razarumi Pray tell why are Pakistanis in #Bahrain being targeted by the way? Who R they? @ShabbirShah @faisalkapadia
    54 minutes ago

    Razarumi Raza Rumi
    @
    @ShabbirShah regardless of the oil debate, Pakistanis have bn targetted in #Bahrain & we shud B concerned @faisalkapadia @AbdulNishapuri
    55 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah What cliches? I sent you articles by @NickKristof @ShirinSadeghi
    53 minutes ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri Don’t lecture me with cliches picked up from the street. Why wold a dead Pakistani count less to u than a shia Arab Bahraini
    56 minutes ago

    ShabbirShah Shabbir
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri @faisalkapadia @Razarumi LOL We have some great liberals who googles and writes blogs.Prove me the oil rich fact abt Bahrain
    58 minutes ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Racism? the language of ruling party in #Bahrain sounds a lot like the language of white South Africans @NickKristof http://tiny.cc/6wiq3
    59 minutes ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri Do u believe I suffer from ShiaPhobia? That is such petty nonsense. There are Pakistanis being beaten up in Bahrain; wakeup!
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Revolution in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, but Shia-Sunni feud in #Bahrain? Racism in #Bahrain? Does #ShiaPhobia make us blind?
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @faisalkapadia @ShabbirShah @Razarumi Is This Apartheid in Bahrain? by @NickKristof http://tiny.cc/6wiq3
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @faisalkapadia @ShabbirShah @Razarumi Yes, it is WRONG, skewed, one sided misrepresentation!
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @TarekFatah Why are you using a language which was used by White supremacist leaders of South Africa against Black protesters?
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @faisalkapadia @Razarumi @TarekFatah Photo Identity of Pakistani labourers in #Bahrain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaH6W7VCpIU
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @faisalkapadia @Razarumi @TarekFatah Pakistani labourers in #Bahrain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9W_-0uGN1E
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah Are you sure they were labourers? http://criticalppp.com/archives/42628
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Bahrain Brings Back the Sectarianism – By Marc Lynch http://lynch.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/03/16/bahrain_brings_back_the_sectarianism
    1 hour ago

    BahrainRights Bahrain Human Rights
    #Bahrain is very small so the deaths are significant for a country where Bahrainis are only 600,000.” http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/wests-outrage-is-tempered-by-alliances-20110321-1c3pv.html
    1 hour ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    Hate Crimes against #Pakistanis in #Bahrain as Arabs beat up wounded labourers: A bloody ‘revolution’ in Bahrain… http://fb.me/NKtrCukX
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @TarekFatah an excellent op-ed by @ShirinSadeghi ; also some in comments section: http://criticalppp.com/archives/42877
    1 hour ago

    ShabbirShah Shabbir
    @Razarumi @faisalkapadia Salmania Medical Complex was never besieged by the protestors as 99% of its staff supports protesters.
    1 hour ago

    ShabbirShah Shabbir
    @
    @Razarumi @faisalkapadia doesn’t even know the BH demographics. By describing Bahrain as oil rich country he proved his complete ignorance.
    1 hour ago

    Razarumi Raza Rumi
    RT @TarekFatah: @AbdulNishapuri Abdul, y r u silent on ths atrocity by Arabs in Bahrain against Pakistanis? … http://bit.ly/feE1oM
    1 hour ago

    TarekFatah Tarek Fatah
    @
    @AbdulNishapuri Abdul, why r u silent on this atrocity by Arabs in Bahrain against Pakistanis? Just shia pov not gd http://fb.me/TFVa0pEd
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Most of Pakistan’s urban writers and bloggers are hostage to a #Wahhabi mindset. #Bahrain http://criticalppp.com/archives/40221
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Shame on Dawn for publishing the crappiest blog on #Bahrain. Reducing the Bahraini people’s struggle to Sunni-Shia feud? @faisalkapadia
    1 hour ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    An example of propaganda & misrepresentation of facts. Pakistan’s #FCS bloggers R doomed @faisalkapadia http://bit.ly/fPHomS on #bahrain
    1 hour ago

    mosharrafzaidi Mosharraf Zaidi
    very good blog post by @faisalkapadia on the threat against Pakistanis in Bahrain – http://bit.ly/fPHomS

    Razarumi Raza Rumi
    Please read @faisalkapadia: http://bit.ly/fPHomS on #bahrain and how #Pakistan needs to do more for its citizens
    1 hour ago

  • Is This Apartheid in Bahrain?
    By NICHOLAS KRISTOF

    NY Times

    http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/is-this-apartheid-in-bahrain/

    A few scattered thoughts about Bahrain, on a day on which huge protests are unfolding.

    Members of the ruling family, the Khalifas, are rightly proud of what they’ve built here. Bahrain is modern, moderate and well-educated, and by Gulf standards it has more of the forms of democracy than some others. But here’s my question to King Hamad: Why is it any more appropriate for a minority Sunni population to rule over majority Shia than it was in South Africa for a minority white population to rule over a majority black population? What exactly is the difference?

    Indeed, the language of the ruling party sounds a lot to me like the language of white South Africans — or even like the language of white southerners in Jim Crow America, or the language of militant Israeli settlers in the West Bank. There’s a fear of the rabble, a distrust of full democracy, a sense of entitlement. Apartheid isn’t exactly the right metaphor, because there isn’t formal separation (although neighborhoods are often either Sunni or Shia), and people routinely have very close friends of the other sect. But how can a system when 70 percent of the population is not eligible for the army be considered fair? How can a system in which the leading cabinet positions are filled by one family be considered fair?

    The government talks about “unity” and complains that the opposition is encouraging sectarianism. Please! An American friend was on the roundabout Thursday morning when police attacked. They caught him but when they saw he was American they were friendly and said they were hunting Shia only. My friend said the experience left him feeling icy, as if they were hunting rats. And several people I talked to who were there said that the police used anti-Shia epithets and curses as they were beating prisoners. If the government wants to ease sectarianism, it might start by bringing Shia into the police and armed forces and fire anybody caught making derogatory comments about Shiites.

    The two sides are very, very far apart right now, and it’s hard to imagine them hammering out a compromise that both can agree on. The opposition would accept King Hamad continuing as king – perhaps more like a Moroccan or Jordanian king than a British one, but still much less powerful than today – but the Khalifa family would have to give up the way it dominates Bahrain. Right now, government is pretty much a family affair, and that would have to end. I worry that the result will be more strikes and protests and a stalemate, and then harder-line elements in the family will again use force. The big worry in the roundabout isn’t so much that the army goes in again, but that the government sends in thugs (perhaps Wahabis from Saudi Arabia, by opening the causeway to them) to provoke fighting and intimidate the protesters. That’s similar to what I saw Mubarak do in Cairo, and it was terrifying.

    Two things bother me about the protests. One is that the participants are overwhelmingly Shia. I’ve met a few Sunni on the roundabout, but very, very few – and that makes it less authentic and broad-based an opposition movement than it should be. There are lots of disgruntled Sunni, but they don’t go out on the streets, either because they don’t feel comfortable in a Shia-dominated movement or because their families work in the army or police (as many poor Sunnis do) and would get in severe trouble for doing so. Nonetheless, the protest organizers could try harder to reach out to the Sunni community, and a first step would be to stop the “Death to al-Khalifa” chants and similar slogans. The other day I saw a sign reading “Imagine Bahrain without the al-Khalifas.” That kind of thing is utterly inappropriate. The opposition has to do what Nelson Mandela did so brilliantly in South Africa – make clear that majority rule will not lead to persecution of the minority. Every time the democracy movement scrawls “Death to Al-Khalifa” on a sign, it erodes its own legitimacy before the world.

    So what do you think? I’m a newcomer to Bahrain (this is only my second visit), so tell me what I got wrong, what I misunderstand and what’s going to happen. How is this going to end?

  • Bahrain’s King mobilizes his wealthy supporters to manufacture artificial sectarianism and racism

    But on Monday night, in the wealthy neighborhood of Juffeir, tens of thousands of pro-government demonstrators poured into Al Fateh Grand Mosque to express their support for the embattled king.

    ¶ The pro-government crowd borrowed some of the opposition’s slogans, including “no Sunni, no Shia, only Bahraini.” But that was where the call for unity started and ended.

    ¶ This was an affluent crowd, far different than the mostly low-income Shiites who have taken to the streets to demand a constitutional monarchy, an elected government and a representative parliament. The air was scented with perfume and people drove expensive cars. In a visceral demonstration of the distance between Sunni and Shiite, the crowd cheered a police helicopter that swooped low, a symbol of the heavy-handed tactics that have been used to intimidate the Shiites.

    ¶ “We love King Hamad and we hate chaos,” said Hannan Al Abdallah, 22, as she joined the pro-government rally. “This is our country and we’re looking after it.”

    ¶ Ali Al Yaffi, 29, drove to the pro-government demonstration with friends in his shiny white S.U.V. He was angry and distrustful. “The democracy they have been asking for is already here,” he said. “But the Shias, they have their ayatollahs, and whatever they say they will run and do it. If they tell them to burn a house, they will. I think they have a clear intention to disrupt this country.”

    ¶ On that point there is agreement: the Shiite opposition does want to disrupt, but with peaceful protests aimed at achieving its demands. The public here has learned the lessons of Egypt’s popular uprising and the power of peaceful opposition.

    ¶ “I feel freedom like I never felt it in my life, but I’m also a little worried,” said Hussein Al Haddad, 32, as he marched with the Shiite protesters on Tuesday. “What is going to happen next?”

    ¶ Last Monday, Shiites tried to hold a “day of rage,” modeled on the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt that forced out autocratic presidents. The police gave no ground, firing on crowds with tear gas and rubber bullets and leaving one man dead, shot in the back. The next day, at the funeral, another man was killed the same way.

    ¶ The protesters marched into Pearl Square, the symbolic center of the city, and set up camp. In the early morning hours, the police raided the camp, killing three men. Then on Friday, a group of unarmed protesters tried to march into the square. The Army opened fire, and one young man, Abdul Redha Mohammed Hassan, was left with a bullet in his head. He died on Monday and was buried on Tuesday.

    ¶ The Army’s attack on unarmed civilians shocked even the government’s supporters and the military was withdrawn. The demonstrators poured back in, setting up a camp and a speaker’s podium and making clear they would not leave until their demands were met. The first demand, now, is the dissolution of the government and an agreement to create a constitutional monarchy.

    ¶ “They are the ones who made the demands grow bigger,” said Mohammed Al Shakhouri, 51, as he watched a procession of thousands follow the coffin of Mr. Hassan to the cemetery for burial.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/world/middleeast/23bahrain.html

  • BAHRAINI SHIA PARTY DENIES LINKS TO YEMENI HOUTHIS
    Passed to the Telegraph by WikiLeaks 9:02PM GMT 18 Feb 2011
    Ref ID: 09MANAMA543
    Date: 9/9/2009 7:41
    Origin: Embassy Manama
    Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
    Destination:
    Header: VZCZCXRO1216RR RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDIRDE RUEHMK #0543 2520741ZNY CCCCC ZZHR 090741Z SEP 09FM AMEMBASSY MANAMATO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8908INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVERUEHYN/AMEMBASSY SANAA 0738RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENTRHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
    Tags: PGOV,KISL,YM,BA
    C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA 000543 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/09/2019 TAGS: PGOV, KISL, YM, BA SUBJECT: BAHRAINI SHIA PARTY DENIES LINKS TO YEMENI HOUTHIS REF: A. BRYAN-HENZEL E-MAIL B. AUGUST 25 Classified By: Ambassador Adam Ereli for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
    1.(C) Summary: Bahrain’s mainstream Shia Wifaq party denied claims that it was supporting Yemeni Houthis. End summary.
    2.(SBU) A Salafist member of Bahrain’s parliament, known for anti-Shia incitement, recently made public claims that Bahrain’s mainstream Shia opposition party Wifaq had met with and “supports” Yemen’s Houthis. The Salafist, MP Jassim Saeedi, has a history of sensationalist charges against Bahraini Shia.
    3.(C) Wifaq MP Jassim Hussain told DCM that Wifaq officials had met in late August with a Yemeni parliamentary delegation that included at least one Yemeni Zaidi MP, but asserted Wifaq would not consider contacts with Houthi rebels. Wifaq’s foreign affairs specialist Saeed Al Majid, in a separate conversation with Poloff, denounced Saeedi as a liar who was seeking to incite his Sunni base with tales of Shia conspiracies. Al Majid added that Wifaq maintains contacts with “legitimate political parties” and governments around the world but did not view relations with the Houthis as likely to serve the interests of Wifaq or Bahrain. ERELI

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wikileaks-files/bahrain-wikileaks-cables/8334599/BAHRAINI-SHIA-PARTY-DENIES-LINKS-TO-YEMENI-HOUTHIS.html

  • Comment by Rusty Walker in another thread:

    Rusty Walker says:
    February 24, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/40692/comment-page-1#comment-87161

    I have been horrified at the Bahrain military murders of innocent protestors. I am also appalled at the lack of comprehensive coverage of Bahrain on American TV on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, ABC, et. al. I am astonished that no channels appear to have covered the bloodshed with the appropriate urgency. I have had to tune into al Jazeera TV, and watch videos on LUBP to find the truth on the ground. Where is the international outrage at the Bahrain murders of peaceful protesters? The President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton are not speaking out decisively the bloodshed; Instead we hear theoretical musings of what it means for the U.S.- the most powerful nation in the world does not need to be discussing what this means for oil and alliances. We should be fed up with platitude by now, and now is not the time to be speculating about Bahrain Shia/Iranian connections, when the entire Arab world watches, as we do, the killing of innocents in the streets. The time is for the US to stand up and pronounce solidarity for the rights of citizens globally that are standing up to their oppressors. We consistently give lip service to liberties, and our love of freedoms, here is or chance to support change of oppressive regimes.

    While other states do have the right to self-determination, and it won’t always go our way, I believe where there are opportunities such as this of grassroots protestors seeking their own self-determination, we should express definitive support for peaceful demonstrations, and combined outrage at the violence. If you are wondering at my own usually dispassionate voice sounding uncharacteristically enraged, I invite you to watch the LUBP video for yourself. One minute youthful, peaceful marchers, ahead a military blockade, then the rattattat of firearms, then a crowd horrified with many youth now dead and bleeding in the street. I ask you, have you heard of this on American TV? And, where is the feckless UN outrage?

    This isn’t about Sunni vs Shia as much as it is about good versus evil.

  • George Galloway on Bahrain

    This is not Shia vs Sunni, this is a movement for democracy and human rights.

    Other TV channels are all of a sudden short of cameras in Bahrain.

  • Some background information about Qaradawi who dismisses the Bahrainian uprising against the King as Sunni-Shia feud

    As recent as February (2010), the same Sheik Qaradawi published a call to Muslim Canadians through the Arabic language monthly magazine in Calgary Al-Ummah to convert non-Muslims to Islam, reminding them that such an effort was not a bed of roses. The magazine carried a message from the newly formed “League of Al Qaradawi disciples,” in the Qatari capital Doha. In the message to his followers, the league says:

    “The sheikh [Qaradawi] advised his brothers and followers to set up a “Dawa” campaign [to convert non-Muslims to Islam]. He added that the path of “Dawa” is not strewn with flowers and perfumes, but sometimes with corpses and blood.”

    Well, tomorrow evening Tariq Ramadan will get a chance to explain his association with the Muslim Brotherhood, sheik Qaradawi and whether he is willing to distance himself from the doctrine of armed jihad that his grandfather and the MAC honour in Canada. Perhaps he may even want to explain the notion of “blood and corpses” that Qaradawi invokes.

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/9696

  • WikiLeaks cables show no evidence of Iran’s hand in Bahrain unrest
    US sources dismissive of Bahraini allegation, and as early as 2008 noted tensions between its Shia majority and Sunni rulers

    Ian Black, Middle East editor
    guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 15 February 2011 14.45 GMT

    Article history

    WikiLeaks cables show US diplomats’ awareness of simmering unrest between Shia majority underclass and Sunni minority rulers in Bahrain, and predicted ‘it takes only one mistake to provoke a potentially disastrous escalation’. Photograph: Hasan Jamali/AP
    The United States has repeatedly dismissed claims by the Bahraini government that Shia Muslim unrest in the Gulf island state is backed by Iran.

    US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks show that the accusation made by the Manama government – which is facing street protests demanding political reforms from an opposition inspired by the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings – is not backed by hard evidence.

    “Each time this claim is raised, we ask the GOB (government of Bahrain) to share its evidence,” the US embassy reported in a secret dispatch in August 2008. “To date, we have seen no convincing evidence of Iranian weapons or government money here since at least the mid-1990s … If the GOB had convincing evidence of more recent Iranian subversion, it would quickly share it with us.”

    Bahrain, home to the US fifth fleet, is unique in the Gulf in having a Shia majority – 60-70% of the 500,000 strong population – ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty. The government has been concerned in recent years that any conflict with Iran would generate sympathy from the Shia population, the cables show.

    “Regional tensions may be adding to longstanding domestic tensions as well, contributing to the stridency of sectarian voices in Bahrain,” US diplomats reported. “The majority of Bahraini citizens are part of the Shia underclass, and their grievances, expressed both in legal political activity and in street skirmishes between youths and police, are at the center of all domestic politics here.”

    Earlier in 2008 the embassy described an atmosphere of simmering unrest: “Small but violent bands of Shia underclass youth, frustrated with persistent discrimination and what they perceive as too gradual a pace of reform, clash with police nearly every week. The Sunni minority, which rules the country and controls all security forces, has generally acted with restraint, but it takes only one mistake to provoke a potentially disastrous escalation.”

    US officials also dismissed Bahraini allegations that the Iranian regime controls al-Haq, an extra-parliamentary Shia opposition movement involved in the current protests. Yet again, there was no “convincing evidence” for this. King Hamad told US diplomats that Bahrainis were receiving training from Hezbollah in Lebanon, “but admitted he had no definitive proof”. Nor, despite US embassy requests, was there “convincing evidence” to back up speculation that the Syrian government was complicit in fostering subversion.

    Overall, however, the US view of the kingdom and its leader was positive.

    “King Hamad understands that Bahrain cannot prosper if he rules by repression,” the US ambassador reported in December 2009. “Two election cycles have seen the integration of the Shia opposition into the political process. While a Shia rejectionist fringe continues to boycott the process, their influence remains limited as the mainstream Wifaq party has shown an ability to work with the government to achieve results for its constituents.

    “Discrimination against Shia persists, however, and the government has sought to deflect criticism by engaging with Wifaq and focusing more public spending on housing and social welfare projects. So long as Wifaq remains convinced of the benefits of political participation, the long-term outlook for Bahrain’s stability is good.”

    In a separate briefing for the visiting US director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, the US ambassador reported: “King Hamad is personable and engaging. He rules as something of a ‘corporate king’, giving direction and letting his top people manage the government. He has overseen the development of strong institutions with the restoration of parliament, the formation of a legal political opposition, and a dynamic press. He is gradually shifting power from his uncle, prime minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, who remains the head of the government, to his son, the crown prince. Crown Prince Salman received his high school education at the DOD school in Bahrain and earned a BA from American University in 1985. He is very western in his approach and is closely identified with the reformist camp within the ruling family – particularly with respect to economic and labour reforms designed to combat corruption and modernize Bahrain’s economic base. King Hamad is committed to fighting corruption and prefers doing business with American firms because they are transparent. US companies have won major contracts in the past two years, including: Gulf Air’s purchase of 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, a $5 billion joint-venture with Occidental Petroleum to revitalize the Awali field, and well over $300 million in foreign military sales.”

    Bahrain’s intelligence co-operation with the US was described as “excellent”.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/15/wikileaks-no-evidence-iran-bahrain

  • Give a dog the bad name and hang him.

    Shia = Iranian = Hang them

    ……

    FEBRUARY 18, 2011
    Wikileaks: Bahrain crown prince: “Iran conspires with Qatar, Hezbollah & Hamas to split the Arabs …”

    C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA
    SUBJECT: BAHRAIN AS “IRAN’S FOURTEENTH PROVINCE”
    … After an Iranian official spoke of supposed Iranian claims to Bahrain, Egypt’s President visited Manama in a demonstration of Arab solidarity….. The gaffe attributed to Nateq-Nuri provided Bahrain and other moderate Arab governments with an opportunity to put the Iranians on the PR defensive, and to shame Qatar for bringing Iran into Arab counsels. Inside Bahrain, the GOB is also using this episode to amplify its ongoing campaign (reftel) against allegedly disloyal radicals among Bahrain’s Shia.
    ¶6. (C) In private, Bahrain’s leaders do not seem very concerned about the prospect of annexation to Iran. For example, during a meeting February 17 with Codel Pingree, Crown Prince Salman ticked off a long list of Iranian offenses against regional stability (including support for Hizballah and Hamas, nuclear ambitions, and “conspiring” with Qatar to split the Arabs.

    http://friday-lunch-club.blogspot.com/2011/02/wikileaks-bahrain-crown-prince-iran.html

  • Term all Shias = Iran = Hezbollah, and delegtimize their political movement for rights. Saudi game, assisted by Shia-phobes as diverse as Qaradawi and Tarek Fatah

    WikiLeaks: Bahrain opposition ‘received training from Hizbollah’
    Bahrain opposition groups received training from Iran-backed Hizbollah in Lebanon, according to the country’s ruler.

    King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa made the claims in a meeting with General David Petraeus in 2008 Photo: AFP/GETTY

    By Christopher Hope, Whitehall Editor 9:30PM GMT 18 Feb 2011

    King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa warned senior US military figures that opposition groups in Bahrain were receiving training from Hizbollah in Lebanon.
    He also told senior American military figures that Syria was “complicit” in the training by providing the Bahrainis with false passports.
    The claims were reported in a leaked embassy cable sent by US diplomats in Bahrain to Washington.
    The communiqué was leaked to the WikiLeaks website and handed to The Daily Telegraph.
    King Hamad made the claim in a 90 minute meeting on 30 July 2008 with General David Petraeus who at the time was commander of the allied forces in Iraq.

    A US cable sent on 13 August 2008 said: “King Hamad related the report that Bahrainis were receiving training from Hizbollah in Lebanon, but admitted he had no definitive proof.
    “He also speculated that the Syrian government was complicit, and ‘must be’ helping these Bahrainis travel without passport verification as tourists.” The cable added: “Post has heard versions of this theory from Bahraini officials in the past, but despite our requests the GOB [Government of Bahrain] has been unable to provide convincing evidence.”
    Hizbollah, which is considered a terrorist organisation by Washington, is a Shia Muslim militant group and political party based in Lebanon, although it is financially backed by Iran and Syria.
    Later in the meeting, King Hamad told Gen Petraeus that Bahrain, a key US ally, had been urged by Iran to support its efforts, and those of “Iraqi insurgents, Hamas, Hizballah, Taliban and Syria to drive American forces from the Gulf”.
    King Hamad asked Gen Petraeus: “With friends like these, who needs enemies?”
    In another communiqué, Iran was blamed by the minority ruling Sunnis for encouraging discontent among the majority Shia population.
    The cable sent in February 2008 from the US embassy in Manama said: “Some Bahraini Sunnis, in and out of Government, suggest to foreigners (and may even believe themselves) that Iran is behind Shia discontent here.” However, the US officials played down this view: “In [diplomatic] post’s view, there is not convincing evidence of Iranian involvement here since at least the mid-1990s.
    “Shia discontent stems chiefly from their lower standard of living, unofficial exclusion from sensitive government positions, and Sunni domination of parliament.” The cables also disclose Bahraini unease when an Iranian official spoke publicly of the country as “Iran’s fourteenth province” in February 2009.
    A cable, sent on 17 February 2009, said Bahrain was “using this episode to amplify its ongoing campaign (reftel) against allegedly disloyal radicals among Bahrain’s Shia”.
    However the cable added: “In private, Bahrain’s leaders do not seem very concerned about the prospect of annexation to Iran.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8333686/WikiLeaks-Bahrain-opposition-received-training-from-Hizbollah.html

  • Shia phobia in the Wahhabi Sheikhdoms

    Nov 28, 2010

    Wikileaks docs: Saudis, Bahrain calls on US to stop Iran by “whatever means”

    Here’s a paragraph from one cable dealing with Saudi feelings regarding Iran:

    Al-Jubeir recalled the King’s frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program. “He told you to cut off the head of the snake,” he recalled to the Charge’, adding that working with the US to roll back Iranian influence in Iraq is a strategic priority for the King and his government.

    And here’s another cable:

    King Hamad pointed to Iran as the source of much of the trouble in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He argued forcefully for taking action to terminate their nuclear program, by whatever means necessary. “That program must be stopped,” he said. “The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/28/world/20101128-cables-viewer.html#report/iran-09MANAMA642

    King Hamad of Bahrain tells Gen. David H. Petraeus that the United States must rein in Iran’s nuclear program by whatever means necessary. “That program must be stopped,” the king says. “The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it.

    http://blogs.jpost.com/content/wikileaks-docs-saudis-bahrain-calls-us-stop-iran-whatever-means

  • Arab News, the official hub of anti-Semitism, agrees with Tarek Fatah’s charges of Racism against Bahrain’s racist Shias:

    ……….

    Editorial: Helping Bahrain

    GCC can’t afford to remain indifferent when one of its members descends into chaos

    Iran has described the GCC troops who have gone to Bahrain as “foreign” and their presence there as “interference.” What hypocrisy! It is Iran that has been interfering in Bahrain, Iran that is the foreign power. As for its concerns for the protesters, they would be touching were it not for the brutal way in which it deals with its own protesters. It hangs them. No one is going to take any lessons from President Ahmadinejad on the subject of dealing with dissent.

    Bahrain is not part of Iran, whatever Tehran may think or claim — as it regularly does. It is an Arab state and part of the GCC which exists, among other things, as a mutual defense organization. If any one member feels threatened, externally or internally, it has the right in international law to call for help from the others. That is what Bahrain has done. For Iran to talk of foreign interference is a calculated insult to all Arabs and flies in the face of reality.

    The crisis in Bahrain was on the brink of developing into a civil war. The uprising there had mutated from demands for reform into a brooding brutal religious divide — a potential Northern Ireland in the Gulf. The headlong rush toward social implosion could be seen in the downright racist demands of the protesters that anyone given Bahraini citizenship be stripped of it and deported. It was seen too in the growing attacks on the Indian and Pakistani communities, particularly Pakistanis, with one murdered, and many others set upon and stabbed. Again, unmistakable race hate.

    The GGC had not merely a right to intervene, it had a duty. If the Bahraini authorities felt they could not prevent further bloodshed and a descent into chaos, which they evidently could not, then there was an absolute obligation — moral as well as legal — on the part of the other five GCC states to go to its aid. To sit back and do nothing, in the way that so many countries have stood back over Libya, would have been a cowardly abrogation of responsibility.

    It would, moreover, have risked opening the door to interference by unquestionably foreign forces in the island kingdom — either by Iran or the Americans. The former would be an indisputable invasion of Arab lands that would probably result in regional war. The latter would be just as disastrous. It would almost certainly prompt an Iranian response, either by counter intervention or by a blockade of the Straits of Hormuz. On the wider scale, it would create an explosion of anti-American rage across the world which would play into militants’ hands.

    The arrival of GCC forces in Bahrain ensures none of this happens. It does not bring an end to dialogue between the authorities there and the opposition. The process of dialogue can and must continue, because if not there will be continued discontent, a continued state of emergency and everyone in Bahrain will suffer. The banks, the financial service companies and all the other institutions that have made Bahrain the region’s financial center and given it the prosperity it now enjoys will flee and, having once fled, will not return.

    What the presence of those forces means is that dialogue can now take place in a calm and sane atmosphere.

    http://arabnews.com/opinion/editorial/article318297.ece

  • Racism against Pakistanis?

    Shame on Express Tribune for publishing this (while using Shia-Phobe facebook pages or official GCC newspapers as their sources):

    Harrowing tale of Pakistani policemen lynched in Bahrain
    By Salman Siddiqui
    Published: March 21, 2011

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/135749/the-revolutions-underbelly-harrowing-tale-of-pakistani-policemen-lynched-in-bahrain-front-page/

    Shame on Dawn for publishing this:

    A bloody ‘revolution’ in Bahrain
    BY FAISAL KAPADIA ON 03 22ND, 2011

    http://blog.dawn.com/2011/03/22/a-bloody-revolution-in-bahrain/

    While not publishing this:

    Recruitment of Bahrain National Guards in Lahore to kill Shia protesters in Bahrain

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/42628

    Or this:

    Breaking News: Pakistan army exports new mercenaries to kill Bahraini protesters

    http://criticalppp.com/archives/42347

    Or this:

    Photo Id of Pakistani “labourers” in Bahrain

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaH6W7VCpIU

    Or this:

    Services of Pakistani labourers in Bahrain

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilWMwL8m6u0&skipcontrinter=1

  • This conversation at Dawn blog is so revealing about the so called Bahraini Protesters’ Racism against Pakistanis:

    http://blog.dawn.com/2011/03/22/a-bloody-revolution-in-bahrain/

    Zeenat says:
    March 22, 2011 at 12:30
    Why are the Pakistanis being targeted? I mean, for what reasons? What have the Pakistanis done to get such a treatment from Bahrainis?? I can expect Pakistan bad treatment from any rival state, like India or Israel, but why Bahrain?? Reason?

    Reply
    L Subramanyan says:
    March 22, 2011 at 14:21
    Zeenat,
    I dont think the average Indian has any dislike for the average Pakistani. Simply because two governments fight does not mean people have to.I am an Indian and far from dislike, when I travel overseas, I look forward to meeting Pakistanis, who have a large heart and are a sociable lot. In Bharain, all South Asians get a bad treatment and it is possible that Pakistanis could be worse off. Putting a religious tinge on to this is missing the point

    Abbas says:
    March 22, 2011 at 12:58
    Mr. Kapadia should have gone into the reasons for the issues being faced by the Pakistani community in Bahrain. He should have highlighted the role of Pakistanis in the Bahrain Security Forces and more specifically the role they discharged during the earlier revolt in the 1990′s, the sectarian composition of the immigrant community who have been granted citiizenship in Bahrain, the unemployment rate, etc.

    Reply
    pearl says:
    March 22, 2011 at 13:57
    Asalamualikum Zeenat..

    u asked why pakistani ..coz in bahrain police forces pakistani are working and so called bahrani (shia )are against ..not sunni bahrani …they are with pakistani, expats

    and in bahrain majority are pakistani an thats what this shia are angry as their mission was not accomplished.
    i hope its clear

    Reply
    sashi says:
    March 22, 2011 at 13:53
    Zeenat,

    I read somewhere that the rulers are Sunni while the majority of citizens are Shias. One of the strategies adopted by Bahrain to alter this demographic balance is to grant citizenship to immigrants of Sunni descent thereby attempting to bolster the overall Sunni population, much like the Han Chinese are relocated in Tibet Autonomous Region to increase Han population at the cost of natives. The biggest beneficiaries of this citizenship drive have been Pakistanis, hence the animosity of natives towards Pakistanis.

    Reply
    M Ali Khan says:
    March 22, 2011 at 13:45
    Pakistanis make up most of the Bahrain police force despite not even being Bahraini nationals. They are more or less hired mercenaries serving the interests of the Khalifa family rather than the Bahraini people. The Bahraini police has been very brutal in dealing with these protesters, and given the fact that most of them are usually Pakistani and Indian, it is no surprise that Bahraini people have started to attack them.

    Nasir says:
    March 22, 2011 at 15:01
    Why is there a deafening silence on BBC, CNN, and even Aljazeera with regards to the situation in Bahrain? If the voices raised, they were raised in case of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen but nobody bothers about the foreign intervention of Bahraini land and its people by Saudia. Is this justice ? Pakistanis were being used as a state machinery in their security forces against the rebelling Shai majority of Bahrain. Why is this role not being questioned ? Is it no bias ? Is there any justification for Saudi intervention ? Will it foment sectarianism or suppress sectarianism ? Saudis are only trying to save their own government by diverting attention and playing a sectarian card. The right of majority must be respected rather than exploited.

    ALi Khan says:
    March 22, 2011 at 17:23
    I live in Al khobar, the Saudi Arabian city that is connected to Bahrain via a 25 km bridge. We used to visit Bahrain very often because of its friendly atmosphere and for shopping. Now we cannot simply go on in a Saudi number plate car and that too with a Pakistani passport :S Too dangerous considering the Bahrainis hate Pakistani because they are too much in number and are attached with the ruling monarchy as many serve in the police.

    We always though Bahrainis were nice, tolerate people, but i guess they have gone berserk!

    Reply
    Nasir says:
    March 22, 2011 at 18:15
    I think its a reaction to Saudia, Isn’t it ? When you attack demonstrations , what do you expect ? Its a shame the way unjust people are exploiting the free will of Bahrainis. People from other countries need to listen to the voice of Bahrainis the way they have listened to Egyptians and Tunisians.

    Shahjee says:
    March 22, 2011 at 17:43
    Justice demands that nobody should harm any innocent who has gone to a foreign country to win bread and butter for his family. However situation in Bahrain is complex. Here We have a minority community (sunnis) ruling over majority shia population.
    If Shia minority in Pak occupy all power sectors and govt. and then bring in Bahraini shia’s in Police to beat majority sunni population asking for their rights, am sure they will become an obvious target and subject of hate crimes probably blown in explosions.
    Govt. of Pak must either bring all Pakistanies in Bahrain security forces back or ask Bahrain king to not to use our poor community to suppress local population. Unlike US who support dictators for its interest, we Pakistanies should support democracy every where just as we do in Pakistan.

    Endnote: Saudi and GCC army (Arabs) are killing Bahraini demonstrators (Arabs). Is it racism or Shia-Phobia?

  • Racism by Bahraini protesters? This conversation at Express Tribune is worth reading:

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/135749/the-revolutions-underbelly-harrowing-tale-of-pakistani-policemen-lynched-in-bahrain-front-page/

    hamza bin ali al ali
    Mar 21, 2011 – 8:00AM
    Reply
    Question after reading this is why unlike other GCC police forces is Bahrains full of other nationalities ,does it sound discriminating, imagine England with a Pakistani police force i think the whole force would get murdered.
    I like Pakistanis cause my mother is one but we need to not get involved in othe rpeoples battles, maybe these officers are being sent into a no win situation and being used as pawns , its odd that no arab police have died yet.
    The first question though in reality is if someone kills your brother do you give him a rose? of course not so who transgressed against who first. who killed who first. if you kill peaceful protesters I am sorry but these ill be the end results tit for tat.THOSE WHO MAKE PEACEFUL CHANGE IMPOSSIBLE MAKE A VIOLENT ONE INEVITABLE. This is the process now taking place.

    TightDhoti
    Mar 21, 2011 – 7:25AM
    Reply
    In such a situation the Bahria Foundation and the Fauji Foundation have recruited a 1000 Pakistanis to be trained and sent over to Bahrain. Is that a wise policy given that tempers are flared? How are the protesters going to view the news of a 1000 new Pakistani’s arriving to shore up the security forces? Even if the Pakistanis settled in Bahrain have been there for decades, they are still Pakistani citizens. What is the government of Pakistan doing about either repatriating them or offering security apart from assurances that the Bahrain government provides? After all its the remittances sent back by overseas Pakistani’s that is keeping the current account deficit in check. Unquestionable support for a regime facing a revolt by the majority of its population puts us on the wrong side of the history. Sending more Pakistanis and knowingly placing them in harms way is nothing short of a crime.
    *Ali says his father sent his mother back to Gujranwala a few days ago. They have yet to tell her that her son died in such a horrific manner If the mother is not aware of her sons death or the nature of his death, isnt it abit unwise to publish the details in national newspaper?

    andrea
    Mar 21, 2011 – 8:36AM
    Reply
    Sad that brave Pakistani youth have to pay for the sins of decadent Arab rulers and their backward people. Like cowards, the Arabs send the proud Pakistanis out to maintain law and order while they hide in their homes. How typical! Frankly the Arabs are not ready for democracy and have no concept of social institutions so I don’t suspect that these nations will improve any time. Despite their oil money, they have bankrupt societies which will be back at the bottom of the heap as soon as their oil revenues dry up.

    Tariq
    Mar 21, 2011 – 8:59AM
    Reply
    Pakistanis for sale. Well they are killing the natives for the dictators, what do they expect. They kill other Pakistanis in Pakistan and now are exporting their killing skills to the Gulf. Karma is real

    Hyder Ali
    Mar 21, 2011 – 9:32AM
    Reply
    The fact is that Pakistanis have a very poor reputation in the region as mercenaries for US and the corrupt Persian Gulf oil sheikhdoms. These Arab uprisings are local matters and Pakistanis would be better served to take care of the mess at home. The Pakistani military is engaged in a much worse suppression of minorities at home in the service of US imperialism. A very grim future awaits Pakistan unless it moves away from the US/Zionist agenda for the region.

    Eeman
    Mar 21, 2011 – 10:15AM
    Reply
    Let’s be straight: He was a police officer regardless of whether he was Pakistani or Bahraini. In spite the fact that expatriates — specifically from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, are not only treated like animals Arab countries, but also subjected to inferior treatments one should restrain himself from getting recruited in sensitive departments like law-enforcements.

    M Ali Khan
    Mar 21, 2011 – 3:22PM
    Reply
    @Rashid Khan:
    Bahrain’s population is 70% Shia but the ruling regime has been the minority Sunnis, most of them from the ruling Al-Khalifa family that own everything in Bahrain and give NOTHING to its people. They flood the police ranks with hired mercenaries from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh etc to control the Shia population who demand their rights and democracy. The Bahraini regime rigs each election by giving Saudis voting rights to counter the popular sentiment of Bahraini people (both Shia and Sunni) who want change and better public representation so that the Al-Khalifa’s remain in power.
    The way the Bahraini police has handled the crisis is staggering! They have been brutal in dealing with protestors making the crimes of Mubarak and Gaddafi seem pale in comparison. The police is filled with Pakistanis etc, so its no surprise that Indians and Pakistanis have been targeted by angry Bahrainis for being killers for hire!

  • If the Tunisia and Egypt revolution was not a Sunni revolution, why is the Bahrain revolution being reduced to Sunni Shia sectarianism?

    If Arabs of Saudi are killing Arabs are Bahrain, how is that racism? It is a clear case of Shia hatred, a hall mark of the house of Abdul Wahhab and Saud.

    What a shame to see Shaikh Qaradawi and Tarik Fatah Jhangvi united in their hatred for the revolution in Bahrain!

  • BROKEN PROMISES IN BAHRAIN – UN EXPERTS QUESTION GOVERNMENT’S HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITMENTS
    22 March 2011
    GENEVA – “From security to the freedoms of peaceful assembly and expression, the Government of Bahrain has ignored key human rights commitments made a month ago,” a group of UN independent experts* warned today. “These promises have been broken, and the authorities have embarked on a path of multiple human rights violations amidst a dramatic deterioration of peace and security in the country.”

    “In light of the discrepancies between reality and expectations, the Government’s commitments are in question,” the experts said recalling two official statements in response to condemnations by the UN human rights chief and experts in relation to the crackdown against peaceful protestors: ‘The Government of Bahrain’s immediate priority is to keep peace and security’ and ‘The people are now able to demonstrate freely on the Pearl Roundabout and can continue to do so.’

    The Special Rapporteur on arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, condemned the persistent use, on an even more intensive scale than one month ago, of the brutal tactics to quash non-violent protests. “This is happening despite the Government’s promises and in clear violation of the right to life and international principles on the use of force,” he stressed. “Public order cannot be sustained by attacking peaceful crowds and unarmed civilians with shotguns, rubber bullets, clubs, tear gas and knives.”

    Since February 2011, the Government has promised to have an open dialogue with opposition members, noted the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, “but how is it possible to have any genuine exchange of views when people have guns directed at them?”

    “By crushing the voices of peaceful protesters with brute force, rather than addressing their legitimate concerns, the Government is only aggravating the situation,” he said, a position also supported by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya.

    In the past week, human rights organizations and the media have documented increased incidents of serious human rights violations in the capital, Manama. The Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan Méndez, demanded an immediate stop to the violations and described “the appalling killing and ill-treatment of protestors, including those in hospitals, and the targeting of medical personnel and journalists” as “completely unacceptable.” He called on the Government to take immediate action to start an investigation and prosecution of those responsible, in line with Bahrain’s international obligations.

    “The reports of takeovers of hospitals and medical centres by security forces, blocking access to life-saving medical treatment, and the targeting of medical workers is deeply distressing,” affirmed the Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Anand Grover. “The Government of Bahrain must respect the right to health by not interfering with the provision of medical treatment or denying or limiting access to health facilities.”

    On his part, the Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, El Hadji Malick Sow, called on the authorities “to immediately release all those detained in relation to their peaceful activities in the context of the protests.”

    The independent experts recalled that, while the imposition of a state of emergency permits temporary derogation of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, it must not be used as a means to prevent the exercise of this right. The task of the new mandate established by the Human Rights Council on the freedoms of peaceful assembly and association will be to report on violations of these fundamental rights and make recommendations on means to ensure their protection. “The full support of the international community will be needed to carryout this important function,” said the experts.

    The experts will continue to scrutinize the situation.

    (*) Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, ChristofHeyns; Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan Méndez; Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya ; Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention El HadjiMalick Sow; Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue; Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, Anand Grover.

    For earlier statements by UN human rights experts, see:

    Bahrain / Libya: UN experts urge authorities to guarantee right to protest without fear of being injured or killed:
    http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=10737&LangID=E

    Governments must pay more attention to people’s voices – UN experts: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=10703&LangID=E

    Human Rights Council resolution 15/21 establishing a new mandate on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association:
    http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A/HRC/RES/15/21

    OHCHR Country Page – Bahrain: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/MENARegion/Pages/BHIndex.aspx

    For more information and media requests, please contact Momoko Nomura (Tel: +41 22 917 9304 / email: mnomura.@ohchr.org).

    http://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/(httpNewsByYear_en)/599D1F7A06631F21C125785B00595182?OpenDocument

  • http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/21/1000-pakistanis-recruited-for-bahrain-forces.html

    1,000 Pakistanis recruited for Bahrain forces By Syed Irfan Raza | From the Newspaper March 21, 2011 (2 days ago)

    ISLAMABAD, March 20: More than 1,000 Pakistanis have been recruited to serve in the Bahrain National Guards, learnt on Sunday.

    The recruitment has been made through the military-run Bahria Foundation and Fauji Foundation, which train the selected personnel before sending them to Bahrain.

    Sources said that although the recruitment process had started much before the eruption of the current unrest in Bahrain, authorities have been continuing the process. The two organisations have been asked to complete the training process as early as possible.

    They said that interviews and tests of thousands of candidates had been conducted by a team comprising Bahraini officials and an American instructor and the recruits are likely to leave the country in a month or so.

    Bahria Foundation`s Managing Director Admiral Mehmood A. Khan said the recruitment had nothing to do with the ongoing unrest in Bahrain.

    “We have been asked to recruit 850 people and 150 to 200 others will be inducted through Fauji Foundation,” he said.

    “We have facilitated the recruitment with a view to providing employment to Pakistanis,” he added.

  • Uncle Toms

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    I am appalled at the cowardice and dishonesty of Uncle Toms (coopted Shias, Christians, Baloch, Pushtun etc) who keep mum on the atrocities against their own people

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Instead of being apologetic to those who attack us coz of our ethnic or faith identity, we must boldly confront and insult the attackers.
    2 hours ago

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    Worst form of violence starts from stereotyping and assumptions. Saudis’ hatred for Shias is no less than Hitler’s hatred for Jews. #Bahrain
    2 hours ago Favorite Reply Delete

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @
    @Owl051 Term all Shias = Iran = Hezbollah, and delegtimize their political movement in #Bahrain. Saudi game, assisted by #Shiaphobes

    nunuxoxo miss nunuwa
    by AbdulNishapuri@
    @AbdulNishapuri they don’t care for foreign blood spilt, heck they don’t care for their own people’s blood, Khalifa n their supporters are soulless

  • ‎’Bahrainis stand united, regime divided’

    Despite a foreign invasion and attempts to incite sectarian divisions, Bahraini people continue to stand united against a regime that caters only to a select few members of the society.

    In an interview with Press TV, Sheikh Ali Salman from the Al-Wifaq Society elaborates on the Bahraini uprising as being an internal issue better resolved among the people and their government and not through the involvement of foreign intruders that try to incite divisions between Sunnis and Shias.

    Press TV: The images we’re broadcasting, the tearing down of Pearl Square, do you think this will dishearten the protesters?

    Salman: The people in Bahrain will continue their demand for peace. And it’s not going to happen to let all the people go home without a resolution, what they demand.

    Press TV: You’re from the Al-Wifaq party, how strong is the opposition? How strongly unified is the opposition in Bahrain? Is there a certified leadership in Bahrain that can lead this uprising, or revolution, in a certain direction?

    Salman: When you speak about strong, the people didn’t have any weapons in their hands. They only have the flag of their country and demands to reform to a democratic country. This is most of the Bahraini people’s demand. This regime does not reflect what the Bahrainis feel; it is only the regime for the Al-Khalifa families and a very small part of the Bahraini people. This kind of regime doesn’t have the eligibility to continue, it must have a different institution to be a different opportunity for the country.

    Press TV: If you take a look at Libya, people there have taken up arms and weapons, something that many analysts have described as a civil war. What are the chances of a civil war happening Bahrain? How likely is it to happen?

    Salman: We are working hard to be a peaceful revolution, or intifada. We call our people at different times, continually, to be a peaceful protest. And not put yourself in fighting, in any way, with the police or army. We believe in a peaceful movement and we will continue to do that to reach our demands.

    We are the people, we don’t like the regime to continue like this, and we will do what we want to do but we won’t share with the [regime]. We will continue with our demands…The army will try to capture the [city], but the people will refuse that. For this situation, I think the regime will not be able to continue because of the outside history of the development of the region.

    Press TV: We have reports, I want you to confirm and verify those for us, that several opposition figures have been detained and they’ve been sent to Saudi Arabia.

    Salman: I don’t have any confirmation for that and I don’t believe it will happen because the regime wouldn’t do this. The prisons of Bahrain have a lot of prisoners there, and there are a large number of people who went there this last week. Five or six revolutionary figures…were captured.

    Press TV: Let’s now talk about the opposition. What plans does the opposition have for the future developments in Bahrain?

    Salman: The opposition is asking people to continue the efforts of the war, and you can see anywhere in Bahrain people are continually [standing] where they are in the roundabouts, and their houses demanding the end the regime. Today, at four to five o’clock, there was an order to destroy the [Pearl Square] roundabout – and it’s still there on every house in Bahrain.

    Press TV: The people are demanding political reforms and a constitutional monarchy. Bahraini authorities have detained many opposition figures. With a military crackdown on the people and the detention of several opposition figures, how likely is it that there will be a negotiation between the opposition and the government?

    Salman: The negotiations are not under a tank in the streets. If you want a negotiation, let the Saudi people return to their house, the army return to their base, give the people freedom of speech, and investigate what happened up until now. The military has a bad role in the fight. We need a political solution, a democratic way to not just do anything.

    Press TV: We know that Saudi troops and troops from the United Arab Emirates have been deployed to Bahrain. What are they doing right now, what are their positions right now in the city?

    Salman: I can’t believe that these troops are in the city right now. But I cannot confirm where they are. Just, they came to Bahrain in this situation, they’ve come to deal with the people in Bahrain and I refuse the occupation of them in my country because most of the people disagreeing with the troops. There is no agreement to a peaceful demonstration from any outside soldier.

    Press TV: Well, of course, with Saudi Arabia and what it has done by deploying troops to Bahrain, it has literally invaded Bahrain, what does this mean to regional security?

    Salman: Unfortunately, it’s a wrong decision that makes other problems in Bahrain more complicated. And it’s now ruined the region, and maybe it’s an international problem. It’s a very bad thing. We want our problems to be solved by Bahrain, a Bahraini problem not an international problem.

    Press TV: What consequences will this military interference by Saudi Arabia have for the region itself, the fact that the country has invaded another country without any authorization?

    Salman: This is a bad thing. I ask the international community who is working with this kind of government to discuss the problem and to ask the Saudis to return home.

    Press TV: Why do you think the United States has remained silent on Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Bahrain?

    Salman: The United States’ potential is between two things: the first thing is the advantage of the relationship with the GCC council; and the other hand, there is a demand for democracy in the norm of the western style where, in this situation, tries to make fear…

    Press TV: The fact that the West is inciting sectarian hatred and divide between the Sunnis and Shias, how do you see the Sunni and Shias in Bahrain? We’re seeing from the pictures and images that they are standing united, shoulder to shoulder with each other.

    Salman: In Bahrain there are no problems between the Sunnis and Shias. This is a [tactic] they try to use. This is not for the advantage of the Sunnis or Shias. This is a political part where they try to stop the demand of people to reach a goal…This is a [tactic] they’ve used before to try to divide the people like the Christians and Muslims. They try to divide the north and south. In Bahrain, there are Sunnis and Shias, but there is no problem between the Sunnis and Shias; there is a problem between the regime where they have more than half of the cabinet, and they treat the people not as citizens but something under humanity.

    Press TV: How much is the Al-Khalifa family ready to make political reforms?

    Salman: This is the time where it must be political reform. And if you don’t do it today, you don’t know that after a while the people [will react]. We cannot continue to [treat the government like the past] after what’s happened in Egypt. The Arab world, they are now demanding and achieving in Morocco, Jordan, Libya, and already in Tunisia and Egypt. The Gulf States are not exempt from that. It must develop to reach a point where the people can elect a government where they are represented, not [to cater] to those men who don’t reflect on their situation and development.

    Press TV: Do you think the Al-Khalifa family will stay in power or will it end up having a fate like Mubarak and Ben Ali?

    Salman: If the people and government do reform and make an agreement between the people, it gives a power to the institution, not the power to the ministers and half the cabinet…[this will not be accepted by the opposition]. We will not accept that kind of regime. You cannot put us in prison. The people will not accept it. We will not share with them this system.

    Press TV: Suppose the Al-Khalifa family steps down and leaves, how do you see the political structures of Bahrain for a transition of power?

    Salman: We all demand a civil state where the state belongs under the law, and an election from time to time. A prime minister cannot be in power more than eight years. It’s this kind of a system and national election, accepted by Western democracies, and open to everybody….

    Press TV: Is there anyone ready to lead the country after the Al-Khalifa family leaves?

    Salman: We ask for a real institution monarchy where the Al-Khalifa family will be obtained but the Prime Minister must be from the people. And this system where everyone can lead and share, and have an elected government under military reform from the parliament.

    Press TV: Can you tell us what role the armed forces play in Bahrain? After Mubarak in Egypt, the army took control.

    Salman: The army in Bahrain has killed his people. This army up until now is the enemy of his people. Unfortunately, they seized the hospital in Bahrain. Last night, they took the injured people to beat and torture them, and housed them in another place…

    Press TV: How different is Bahrain compared to Tunisia and Egypt and other Arab countries in terms of the form and concept of the uprising?

    Salman: Every country has a different situation but the main thing is the same in Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Yemen, and Libya…that there’s a real problem with the dictatorship and the people want them to give up and to rule democratically. This is the main problem.

    Press TV: Now, of course, the situation is indeed deteriorating in Bahrain, once again can you tell us more about the opposition? What kind of role can the opposition play in Bahrain?

    Salman: The opposition will try to listen to the peaceful protests give people reforms, gather the people, and govern them to accept reform.

  • The Stupidity of Sectarianism

    In His Name, the Most High
    Recently, I have noticed that there has been an increase in the sectarianization of the situation of Bahrain – more so than normal – and an uncanny silence from those waving big flags for Bahrain on the attrocities being committed by the American, British, French and so forces against the innocents in Libya (no not Ghaddafi’s people, rather the innocent CIVILIANS who are being murdered by the bombardment that goes flagrently against the spirit of the UN sanctioned so-called No-Fly Zone (do I hear echos of Iraq and 1991? but that’s another discussion for another day)I have also noticed that people are watching the western media and getting all up in arms about Bahrain and it’s sectarian strife (to quote some reports from the BBC, CNN, AlJazeera, AhlulBayt TV (ABTV) and others.

    Really people need to get one thing very clear. BBC, CNN, AlJazeera, ABTV, etc all have been pushing this psychotic idea of a sectarian conflict. There is not a sectarian problem – there is no Sectarian War – rather it is a war of oppressors against oppressed plain and simple.

    They want to make the real opposition in Bahrain as a purely “shia” opposition, which is not the case and indeed the only people pushing for sectarian talk viz-a-vis Bahrain are those who provide tacit support (or have a vested interest in) the Khalifa Regime and it’s American Overlord. Either that or they are politically so ignorant that really should stay away from these issues.

    In Bahrain – for example – there are people of all sectarian persuations who are being harmed murdered, discriminated against and so on, the only people who are considered as humans (for want of a better description) are those who have sold their souls to the Aal Khalifa (the Khalifa Family/Tribe) or those from within the tribe, or those to whome the tribe is subservient (such as those from Aal Saud (the Family of Saud – and off course then there’s the British and Americans who have been directly instrumental in fighting any opposition – democratic opposition – within Bahrain and indeed across the entire world – including in their own countries!

    The sectarian element of the situation in Bahrain is being inflamed by the Saudi Regime (which is *NOT* in anyway connected to Islam – though it tries hard to appear an “Islamic” – it is *NOT a Sunni entity*) – only a complete imbecile and ignorant fool will suggest that the Saudi Family in anyway is connected to Islam be it Sunnah or Shia – they only worship the “god” that is “Ben Franklin” and only when he has “100” emblazoned near his name – they have no time for Islam – they have been known to have alliances with the Zionits who murder Palestinians – men, women and children, daily – the Saudis have a closer alliance with the Zionists than with anything even remotely connected to Islam – that is why many of us have insisted that the same way our beloved Palestine is occupied so too is Hijaz – Occupied Palestine and Occupied Hijaz.

    Notice how, when in Egypt, Tunsia, Libya, etc it’s considered “Democracy” – but in Bahrain / Saudi / Kuwait / Qatar /etc it is considered “sectarian strife” – this is what they want, however, the aspirations of the Bahraini people – BOTH SUNNAH AND SHIA – are to get freedom and dignity – and it’s *not* a sectarian scenario.

    Only a complete fool will accept or promote that it is – a fool or one allied (knowingly or unknowingly through stupidity and ignorance) with the powers of Global Arrogance – for whatever reason.

    A person who suggests that the situation in Bahrain (and Saudi and so on) is a sectarian battle, and is a war in some way of “Shia” people against “Sunni” is serving the interests of the Western oligarchs and ensuring they stay in power – such people are also betraying the protesters on the ground – who have insisted time and time again “NO SHIA NO SUNNI”

    If someone now says to me that “but Shabbir so many shias are dying in the Bahraini situation” – then with respect my dear, it’s a shia majority country – so what perhaps you think that the people who are protesting and being killed by the government are not going to have even a single shia person in them? The argument is void and pathetic.

    It’s like a person saying that “well in Palestine only Sunnis are dying it’s not a “Shia” problem” – as some of the hypocrites waving the flag for Bahrain have said in the past (perhaps not in so many words but in words to the effect of) – well with respect Palestine has a majority Sunni population, and so like I’ve explained more Sunni people will be victims – this is logical and any sane person can see that an argument based on this rationalle is both retarded and devisive.

    Sectarianism serves only those who occupy, invade and suppress. Sectarianism doesn’t serve the people of any land, it doesn’t serve to forward democracy or any system of fair governance that a people choose collectively as inhabitants of a particular geographically bound location.

    Sectarianism *only* serves the agenda of the oppressor, the occupier and the tyrant – it was used by the British and French via the Sykes-Picot accord to segregate and create artificial boundaries between what we call Bilad ash-Shaam and elsewhere – it was used to ferment strife and creation sectarian (nationalistic) feelings in Africans which led to wars and so on.

    The idea of sectarianism furthers the agenda of those who wish to segregate and ghettoize a people from another people – who which to discriminate – and indeed a sectarian person by definition is essentially no different to a racist – except that the discrimination is based on a sect based meter as opposed to race – but the discrimination and it’s negative effects are identical.

    Islam taught us that there is no difference between an Arab and a non-Arab, all people are like the teeth of a comb – they are the same with the only differentiator being a persons connection and awareness of Allah – since that awareness of Allah cannot be quantified it is not something anyone can discriminate against another for and it cannot be claimed as a mark of superiority by another.

    These are things we would understand if only we reflected.

    Imam Khamenei(HA) said recently something very similar in his speeches on the day of Nawrouz and following Nawrouz, that the enemies of humanity wish to ferment a shia-sunni war – what shia sunni war – the shia and sunnah are brethren one to the other – and those who seek to sow discord are amongst the most dangerous enemies of Islam and Muslims and indeed are amongst those who are employed by and subservent to the powers of Global Arrogance and Global Zionism.

    We must as human beings be wiser and reflect more, and not allow these differences tear us apart. We are all humans, and we all want an end to tyranny and injustice – and mark my words – the day that the Zionist Entity is moved to the rooms of museums and justice established in Palestine – you will see all of these despots be removed – and insha Allah that day will come soon – sooner and faster than anyone expects – when the sun comes out from behind the clouds and the brightness of the light of the pure and true Islam of Muhammad(S), blinds and destroys those who seek to and have saught to harm the Muslims and humanity as a whole.

    With Salaams and Dua’s

    Shabbir R Hassanally

  • TO BAHRAINIS: YOUR BLOOD WILL DEFEAT TYRANTS

    The secretary General spoke elaborately about Bahrain and described its people as peaceful and does not threaten any regime. “The people there have legitimate demands and the regime’s response was to kill them. The regime could have absorbed this without the need to open fire. It called for dialogue under fire, but the people in Bahrain continued their peaceful and patriotic movement away from any sectarian background. They sent them armies and created this paradox: When Libyans were being killed and bombed by tanks, the Arab League kept silent; it did not send an army to defend Libyan cities, however in Bahrain, they sent in armies to defend a regime that was basically not threatened with being toppled. The opposition in Bahrain is peaceful; but they (security forces) raided hospitals and attacked the injured and they demolished the homes of some opposition figures. This is an Israeli method. Brutality is the nature of tyrants and sacrifice is the nature of oppressed whose blood is now beleaguered by sectarianism. We praise Sunni Muslim scholars and Sunni Muslim movements in Lebanon and the Arab world for their positions, and I seize this moment to salute Turkish PM Recep Tayyib Erdogan for his stance on Bahrain’s events.”

    Sayyed Nasrallah asked “some who have been silent vis-à-vis events in Bahrain” why do they keep silent? “Why is the movement condemned and the injured accused? Just because they are Shiites? If most of the opposition in Bahrain are Shiites, does this outlaw them and make them subject to fatwas? We’ve always been with the Palestinian people, but the sect of the Palestinian people was never an issue for us. Nobody asked about the confession and sect of the Tunisian and Egyptian peoples; we have an obligation to stand by the downtrodden. Iran stood by the people of Palestine, Tunis, Egypt, and Libya; was this based on secular considerations? I find it very weird to hear some people calling on Egyptians to take to the streets, Libyans to kill Gaddafi, but when Bahrain is involved, their ink dries out, and their voices dampen. What is the difference between the Al-Khalifa regime and the regimes of (Hosni) Mubarak and Gaddafi? To Bahrainis I say: Do not feel down by some sectarian fatwas because there are lots of Sunnis who support you. Defend your rights; you have a wise and brave leadership so listen to it. Your blood and wounds will defeats the tyrants and what you’re going through today is worth dying for, even if achieving your goals takes long.”

    His eminence addressed the rulers of Libya, Yemen and Bahrain saying: “How do you visualize the future? No matter how stubborn you are, your fate is defeat, so respond to your people’s demands before it’s too late. There is lack of confidence between the opposition and the regime. Where is Arab mediation? The countries that sent in their armies should have sent their foreign ministers to initiate a real mediation.”

    All of this (March 14) uproar will not affect the resistance. We will not be provoked because the plot to sew Sunni-Shiite sedition is still standing.

  • Misunderstanding Bahrain’s Shia protesters
    Predominately Shia protesters are calling for political reform not alignment with Iran, researchers argue.
    Genieve Abdo and Jasim Husain Ali Last Modified: 03 Apr 2011 10:59
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    The Shia in Bahrain have recently been distancing themselves from Iran whilst attention is diverted to Libya [REUTERS]
    Listening to the rhetoric coming out of Tehran, one might assume that Bahrain’s Shia opposition is relying on help from its co-religionists next door. But, in fact, the opposite is true: the Shia opposition wants nothing more than for Tehran to stay out of the sectarian dispute unfolding in the tiny kingdom.

    The major demand of the mainstream opposition is to turn the country into a constitutional monarchy, much like those in Europe. Other selected goals include: an elected government; a free press; an unrestricted civil society; and an end to discriminatory practises against religions other than the Sunni minority, such as unequal employment practises, unfair distribution of wealth, and the elimination of all forms of administrative and financial malpractice.

    As the world’s attention has focused on Libya, Bahrain’s mainstream opposition has made every attempt to distance itself from Tehran’s rulers.

    Sheikh Ali, secretary general of Al-Wefaq, the main Shia opposition group, publicly announced in March that his organisation had no desire to implement Iranian-style Vilayat-e Faqih, the concept of supreme clerical rule.

    Yet, even given these facts, the grand promises from Tehran – which now include sending young Iranian boys to Bahrain to protest, if not fight, alongside the opposition – show that Iran continues to manipulate the crisis in its favour by trying to persuade the world that the Shia in Bahrain are one with those in Iran.

    In reality, Bahrain stands as one of the most politically-aware states in the region. Demands for reform did not emerge only a few weeks ago when the unrest started, but date back to the years before the kingdom’s independence from Britain in 1971.

    In the view of many Shia, the arrival of Saudi troops weeks ago is merely a ploy by Bahrain’s rulers to quell calls by the opposition for a Western-style democracy in favour of the status quo. For the Saudis, a crackdown on the Shia protesters in Bahrain sends a message to their own restive Shia citizens in the eastern part of the country who also demand democratic rule.

    The Saudi military presence has produced two negative results: First, Saudi Arabia is pressing Bahrain’s rulers to use violence against its own people in order for the Saudis to minimise any potential Iranian intervention and to intimidate its own Shia citizens. Second, Iran is now using the Saudi invasion to threaten Bahrain’s government and pretend to be protecting its Shia brethren next door in a neighbouring state.

    The sad truth is that there is now a significant escalation of tension in the Gulf which has not been seen in years. The stakes are high for Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, but certainly not for Iran at present.

    Consequently, expect Iran to exploit the situation in the days and weeks ahead, attempting to exert the maximum pressure on Bahrain’s government while stopping just short of provoking an armed confrontation with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states.

    And tougher steps by Bahraini officials toward Iran cannot be ruled out in the days to come. Future moves could include the censure of Iran by the GCC comprising of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.

    What can be done? Rightly or wrongly, many political activists in Bahrain look to the United States to help promote democracy in their country. But what is most troubling is that high-ranking US officials and retired military generals seem to think that because the violence in Libya is worse, the Bahraini opposition should be left to fend for itself.

    Recently, retired General Wesley Clark argued that the situations in Libya and Bahrain “are not comparable”. This might be true, but the United States has far more to lose in Bahrain if Iran is able to use the crisis to gain more influence in the country.

    Many Shia believe the United States has decided that some Arab dictatorships are worth saving, and fearing a Bahraini Shia alliance with Iran, Washington actually gave the Saudis the green light to send in troops. If this indeed was one reason for the Saudi invasion, Washington should know that Iran’s actions and words are based upon its own interests, not those of the opposition in Bahrain.

    Certainly, it is in Washington’s interest to see stability take hold in Bahrain, if only because Manama is home to the United States’ Fifth Fleet.

    The crisis will only end if Saudi Arabia and Iran stay out of the internal crisis, Bahrain’s rulers are pressured to make compromises with the opposition, and the United States makes known that it will not tolerate a proxy war in which Iran stands to gain more than any other player.

    Dr Jasim Husain Ali is member of the parliament of Bahrain and the Wefaq, the leading Shia opposition group. Geneive Abdo is the director of the Iran programme for The Century Foundation and the National Security Network, two Washington-based think tanks.

    The views expressed in this article are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/03/201132982742988712.html

  • Bahrain workers fired for supporting protests

    http://english.aljazeera.net//news/middleeast/2011/04/2011460205145476.html

    Bahrain workers fired for supporting protests
    Opposition group says hundreds of mostly Shia workers have been laid off for going on strike in March.
    Last Modified: 06 Apr 2011 05:15
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    Clashes during Bahrain’s anti-government protests have left at least 13 demonstrators dead [Reuters]
    Bahraini firms have fired hundreds of mostly Shia Muslim workers who went on strike to support pro-democracy protesters, the opposition group Wefaq has said.

    Officials at Batelco, Gulf Air, Bahrain Airport Services and APM Terminals Bahrain said they had laid off more than 200 workers due to absence during a strike in March.

    “It’s illegal in Bahrain and anywhere else in the world to just strike. You have to give two weeks’ notice to your employer,” one executive who did not wish to be named told Reuters news agency on Tuesday.

    Bahrain’s unions called a general strike on March 13 to support the Shia protesters against the Sunni-led government. The strike was called off on March 22.

    It followed security forces cracking down on protesters removing them from the Pearl Roundabout, a square in the capital, Manama, that they had occupied for weeks as the epicentre of the anti-government demonstrations.

    Wefaq, which is Bahrain’s main Shia opposition group, said it estimated that more than 1,000 workers had been laid off and that most were Shia.

    More lay-offs are expected at Bahrain Petroleum (Bapco) which has fired the head of its workers’ union. Workers fear that hundreds could be sacked at the company after parliament launched an investigation headed by a Sunni hardline deputy.

    Sackings denounced

    In Geneva, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) denounced the mass sackings and “other repressive measures” in Bahrain.

    The United Nations agency said it would organise a high-level mission to the Gulf state as soon as possible to talk to the government and to worker and employer organisations.

    Some analysts said large-scale dismissals of workers could be politically risky by speeding up the disintegration of Bahraini society into Shia and Sunni enclaves.

    “They’re basically punishing people to the degree that they can, and I think in the long term this is a very risky strategy for them to take,” Gala Riani of IHS Global Insight risk analysts said.

    Clashes between protesters and security forces have killed at least 13 demonstrators and four police since protests broke out in February.

    Bloggers, activists and protesters have been arrested as as part of a crackdown on dissident, with more than 300 detained and dozens missing.

    The government suspended the only opposition newspaper, Al Wasat, on Sunday, accusing it of falsifying news about the unrest, and replaced the editor.

    It resumed printing on Monday, the same day the government arrested and expelled two journalists, both Iraqis. A government spokesperson said Al Wasat had broken press laws.

  • on an unrelated note, cafe pyala were somewhat unfair to Tarek Fatah:

    TAREK FATAH
    A military coup in Pakistan?
    TAREK FATAH
    From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail
    Published Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009 6:22PM EST
    Last updated Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009 2:00AM EST
    38 comments
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    A military coup is unfolding in Pakistan, but, this time, there is no rumbling of tanks on the streets of Islamabad. Instead, it seems the military is using a new strategy for regime change in Pakistan, one that will have adverse consequences for Western troops deployed in Afghanistan.

    A year after rogue elements of Pakistan’s intelligence services disrupted Indian-Pakistani peace talks by staging the Mumbai massacre, the democratically elected government of President Asif Zardari is facing a putsch from within its ranks, engineered by the men who run Pakistan’s infamous military-industrial complex.

    Without democracy in Pakistan, forget victory in Afghanistan
    Routing the Islamists benefits Pakistan – and Canada
    She died as her father did: bravely
    The men who wish to replace Mr. Zardari represent the religious right-wing backers of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, adding a new obstacle in Barack Obama’s war effort in Afghanistan. A change of guard in Pakistan will also place Canadian troops at a higher risk of attack from a Taliban that will get unimpeded access to safe havens across the international border.

    In the West’s war against terrorism, Mr. Zardari is probably the only politician in Pakistan who has the guts to identify the cancer of jihadi extremism and order the Pakistani army to root it out. With reluctance, the army has complied, but only half-heartedly. With him gone, it’s almost a certainty that Canada and the United States, as well as Afghanistan and India, will once more face the deception and fraud that became the hallmark of Pervez Musharraf’s military regime.

    For years, the Pakistani army received billions of dollars in direct American aid while it backed the Taliban and staged faked armed encounters to deceive the Pentagon.

    The army views the government’s efforts at peace with both Afghanistan and India not only with suspicion but also with alarm. Peace with India would undermine the very raison d’être of Pakistan’s massive military.

    The army’s patience with Mr. Zardari ran out in October, when the U.S. Congress passed the Kerry-Lugar bill that promised billions in aid to Pakistan, but with a crucial caveat: The money would go through the channels of the civilian administration and if the military interfered with the democratic process or bullied the politicians and the judiciary, the Americans would halt all aid to the military.

    The generals were in an uproar. Having lived their entire lives with a sense of entitlement that rivalled medieval caliphs and emperors, the men in uniform started a campaign to dislodge Mr. Zardari and his ambassador in Washington, Husain Haqqani – the authors, they said, of their misfortune.

    Addicted to the billions in U.S. aid that have made them among the wealthiest in their impoverished country, Pakistan’s generals are in a Catch-22. If they overthrow the government, they risk losing the manna from America. If they do nothing, they lose their veto over government policymaking, domestic as well as foreign.

    Stung by this loss of power, the generals have asked the pro-Taliban media to whip up an anti-U.S. and anti-India frenzy in the country, claiming that Mr. Zardari has sold out to the Americans and the Indians.

    Mr. Zardari also is being depicted as the epitome of corruption and thus unworthy of governing Pakistan. Working from within the government, military intelligence was able to coax a junior minister to release a list of thousands of supposedly corrupt politicians and public officials in the country. Leading them was Mr. Zardari himself – notwithstanding the fact that before he was elected president, he had been imprisoned for more than a decade by the military without a single conviction.

    What irks the generals is not just that they are now answerable to a civilian but that Mr. Zardari belongs to an ethnic group that is shunned by the country’s ruling Punjabi elite. Mr. Zardari is a Sindhi.

    The hysteria among Pakistan’s upper-class elites demanding a military dictatorship is best reflected in an article written by a retired military officer in the right-wing newspaper The News: “Military rule should … return. … The problem with democratic governments is that they remain under pressure to go with what the majority of the citizens want, not what is best for them. … People of several South American countries that have returned to civilian rule after a long time are now beginning to feel they were better off under dictatorships.”

    If Mr. Obama wishes to succeed in bringing the Afghan war to an end, he had better make sure Mr. Zardari’s elected civilian administration is allowed to govern until the end of its term. A coup in Islamabad will mean failure in Kabul.

    Tarek Fatah is a former activist in Pakistan and founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress. He is author of Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/a-military-coup-in-pakistan/article1393331/

    —————
    —————

    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2009

    Clueless in Canada

    Someone just pointed me in the direction of the worst article by a Non-Resident Pakistani (NRP) in the Western press. What is it about NRPs? I mean, if you’re going to immigrate, must you pretend to still be clued in to what’s going on back home? And what is the deal with the Western press, which is willing to accept all kinds of libelous statements from NRPs – which they would never from Westerners about their own countries – presumably simply because of the authors’ “credibility”, defined only by their ethnicity.

    We have seen this in the past, with Tariq Ali claiming in a piece in the Guardian that Murtaza Bhutto was shot point blank in 1996 – when no such forensic evidence has ever been presented – simply taking, one assumes, daughter Fatima Bhutto’s word for it. We saw it with the claims of that charlatan Ahmed Chelabi, who seemingly singlehandedly convinced the neo-con administration of George Bush and the public through op-ed pieces in the New York Times, that Iraqis were waiting to line up in the streets to welcome US troops into Iraq. I’m not saying this current piece is on that level of deceipt, but its playing fast and loose with facts and generalizations is still breathtaking in its sheer audacity.

    The article in the reputed Globe and Mail of Canada, provocatively titled “A Military Coup in Pakistan?”, is by Tarek Fatah, a most prolific writer on issues related to Islam, Muslims and Pakistan. According to a journalist who met him in the US a few years ago, “he is a know-it-all whose knowledge of Pakistan is firmly anchored in the ’70s.” The problem is not even his central thesis – that the Pakistani establishment would rather see the back of Zardari and his cronies. That has been written about with much regularity in the Pakistani press to say the least, and truth be told, the majority of Pakistanis would probably have the same views. The problem, in fact, is with the sweeping claims made about motives, the lack of substantive evidence to back libelous accusations and the propagandistic (read apologist) tone of the piece.

    Right off the bat, Mr. Fatah begins with:

    “A military coup is unfolding in Pakistan, but, this time, there is no rumbling of tanks on the streets of Islamabad. Instead, it seems the military is using a new strategy for regime change in Pakistan, one that will have adverse consequences for Western troops deployed in Afghanistan.”

    So, the parameters are set. The “regime change” is not bad per se for democracy in Pakistan or for the future of rule of law in the country. It is bad only because it might adversely affect Western troops in Afghanistan. So much for having the interests of Pakistan at heart.

    Here are some other choice examples:

    1.
    “A year after rogue elements of Pakistan’s intelligence services disrupted Indian-Pakistani peace talks by staging the Mumbai massacre…”

    Wow. Clear and to the point. Except, nobody has proved this yet. Not even the Indians. Yes, Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives have been charged with the planning and aiding the crime, but they have not yet been convicted as far as I know. Not even Ajmal Kasab, the surviving gunman, whose trial in India is still going on. And while there is ample speculation about whether the attackers received help from elements within the Pakistani intelligence services, no credible publication has been as foolhardy as to claim in definitive terms that this was so. No such burden of proof for Mr. Fatah apparently.

    2.
    “The men who wish to replace Mr. Zardari represent the religious right-wing backers of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, adding a new obstacle in Barack Obama’s war effort in Afghanistan. A change of guard in Pakistan will also place Canadian troops at a higher risk of attack from a Taliban that will get unimpeded access to safe havens across the international border.”

    Let’s leave the pandering to the US-Canadian interests aside for the moment. Since in the previous sentence, Mr. Fatah claims that the people out to get Zardari are “the men who run Pakistan’s infamous military-industrial complex”, it is only fair to surmise that he is accusing General Ashfaq Kayani of being a “religious right-wing backer of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.” Really? So, anyone who thinks Zardari is an unprincipled man with no vision is a Taliban and al-Qaeda backer? And the US dithering on whether it will stay or go from Afghanistan, its own willingness to include the Taliban in talks and power-sharing, and the growing influence of India there plays no role whatsoever in the Pakistan establishment hedging its bets, if it does? I have to admit I haven’t read anything as unnuanced since… oh, I don’t know… Bush’s ‘With us or against us’ dictum.

    3.
    “In the West’s war against terrorism, Mr. Zardari is probably the only politician in Pakistan who has the guts to identify the cancer of jihadi extremism and order the Pakistani army to root it out. With reluctance, the army has complied, but only half-heartedly. With him gone, it’s almost a certainty that Canada and the United States, as well as Afghanistan and India, will once more face the deception and fraud that became the hallmark of Pervez Musharraf’s military regime.”

    Yet again, wow. I doubt even the Press Information Department (PID) of the Government of Pakistan would have felt comfortable with such propagandistic drivel. The only politician? I have no love lost for the MQM or the ANP, but you know, they were saying the same thing for a much longer time, not to mention scores of other left politicians and intellectuals. Even during the time in the mid-1990s when Zardari’s former spouse Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed (MBBS) was actively facilitating the formation of the Taliban in Afghanistan through her interior minister General Naseerullah Babar.

    And “the army has complied [to Zardari’s directive], but only half-heartedly”??? What exactly leads Mr. Fatah to believe that the current (or any) military operations are directed from the presidency without real interest from the military and that the killing of hundreds of soldiers and extremists constitutes “half-hearted” compliance, we shall never really know. It may have helped had he explained how he came to this conclusion but then that would require providing some evidence, something Mr. Fatah seems not too bothered about.

    4.
    “For years, the Pakistani army received billions of dollars in direct American aid while it backed the Taliban and staged faked armed encounters to deceive the Pentagon.”

    Such as? Come on, give us something tangible, dammit. Oh, ok, we should just take your word for it.

    5.
    “Mr. Zardari also is being depicted as the epitome of corruption and thus unworthy of governing Pakistan. Working from within the government, military intelligence was able to coax a junior minister to release a list of thousands of supposedly corrupt politicians and public officials in the country. Leading them was Mr. Zardari himself – notwithstanding the fact that before he was elected president, he had been imprisoned for more than a decade by the military without a single conviction.”

    Yes, of course, and NOBODY in the world ever accused Asif Zardari of corruption ever before. And look, it was a hassled JUNIOR minister who released the lists, not a credible SENIOR minister. And the Supreme Court and Pakistan’s parliament itself never ASKED for the lists of people who benefited from the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). And the NRO only wiped out cases that were already decided in Zardari’s favour anyway. You know, Mr. Fatah, you should work with Jahangir Badar. You’d make a good team.

    6.
    “What irks the generals is not just that they are now answerable to a civilian but that Mr. Zardari belongs to an ethnic group that is shunned by the country’s ruling Punjabi elite. Mr. Zardari is a Sindhi.”

    No, scratch that. You should work with Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza on the next Topi Drama.

    7.
    “The hysteria among Pakistan’s upper-class elites demanding a military dictatorship is best reflected in an article written by a retired military officer in the right-wing newspaper The News: “Military rule should … return. … The problem with democratic governments is that they remain under pressure to go with what the majority of the citizens want, not what is best for them. … People of several South American countries that have returned to civilian rule after a long time are now beginning to feel they were better off under dictatorships.”

    Ah, the smoking gun! Except, this was no article in the “right-wing newspaper The News” (as opposed to left-wing Dawn?) This, ladies and gentlemen, is a quote from a Letter to the Editor by a mad fauji who keeps writing such letters regularly. The same guy sparked off a whole debate in the paper about the term “bloody civilians.” If I had two cents for every loony letter to the editor published in left-wing, centrist and right-wing newspapers, I’d be as rich as Zardari now. This the best you could come up with Mr. Fatah? I mean, it’s not like you had scarce material to work with.

    And finally:

    7.
    “If Mr. Obama wishes to succeed in bringing the Afghan war to an end, he had better make sure Mr. Zardari’s elected civilian administration is allowed to govern until the end of its term.”

    Sheesh! Talk about cringe-worthy. “Mr. Obama… better make sure”? Even Asif Zardari might find being compared to a puppet like Hamid Karzai unsettling.

    Moral of the Story: Stupid, clueless friends are worse than stupid, clueless enemies. Especially if the friends are NRPs.
    POSTED BY XYZ AT 7:58 PM 17 COMMENTS

    ———-

    comments on cafe pyala post:

    17 CommentsClose this windowJump to comment form
    Anonymous said…
    Let me make a few guesses about you. You are a Punjabi, you come from a family background that was entirely comfortable with Zia and hated Bhutto with a passion, you kinda-sorta liked Musharraf but were happy to see him go. You probably also considered the lawyers movement to be this expression of true grass roots support of Pakistan (Pakistan = Punjab) and consider the CJ to be a paragon of virtue. In short, you are a typical member of the same ruling elite that Tareq refers to.

    I have not even read the original article but your blurbs and your own flawed interpretation lead me to believe that it was probably a fairly accurate interview about the situation on the ground.

    Withregard to Zardari, yes, he is the only leader of a national political party that has stood for secularism. If MQM and ANP had a national appeal, they could be mentioned. I am sure the Lahore Christian Community Political Association has secular leaders as well, but they don’t have much of an impact outside their mohalla.

    With regard to Mumbai, outside of Zaid Hamid loving sections of Pakistan, pretty much everyone knows what happened with reference to LeT support. You talk of proof with regard to Mumbai, but suspend proof when it comes to Zardari? Very Punjabi of you I must say. Let me guess, you also think Zaid Hamid is a nice entertaining guy?

    December 9, 2009 10:16 PM

    Anonymous said…
    Zardari Seeks to Streamline Corruption, Help People of Pakistan

    http://wp.me/pIP1s-O

    December 10, 2009 2:44 AM

    XYZ said…
    @Anon1016: A-hahahaha! Let me disabuse you of some of your notions.

    “You are a Punjabi” – No.
    “You come from a family background that was entirely comfortable with Zia and hated Bhutto with a passion” – Er, No.
    “You kinda-sorta liked Musharraf but were happy to see him go.” – Let me think… No. Ok, you may be right a little bit.
    “You probably also considered the lawyers movement to be this expression of true grass roots support of Pakistan (Pakistan = Punjab)” – No.
    “…and consider the CJ to be a paragon of virtue.” – No.
    “Let me guess, you also think Zaid Hamid is a nice entertaining guy?” – Oh yeah, and here’s the proof:
    http://cafepyala.blogspot.com/2009/10/wanker-of-week.html

    I don’t know where that leaves your analyis my friend, since you managed to get almost every single one of your assumptions wrong. But let me make a few guesses about you (be honest now):

    You are a Sindhi who lives in Karachi but considers your hometown in the interior your constituency. You went to English medium schools and probably studied abroad. You’re under 30 years of age and belong to a landed family. Since you’re too young to be a politician, my guess is you’re related to a PPP parliamentarian (minister?), which is why you’ve taken great umbrage at any criticism of Zardari and other government figures.

    But what I find really interesting is that you have no qualms about admitting that you haven’t bothered reading the original article (it wasn’t an interview for one). One would think that for someone who feels passionately enough about the post to attempt a lengthy psychoanalysis of the author, would at least bother knowing what he’s talking about.

    December 10, 2009 2:52 AM

    XYZ said…
    @Anon1016: One more thing. You write: “You talk of proof with regard to Mumbai, but suspend proof when it comes to Zardari?”

    I have done no such thing. I have merely pointed out the flaws in Tarek Fatah’s piece which attempts to crudely whitewash the allegations against Zardari. Zardari spending time (and a long time!) in jail without any final convictions is no proof of either his guilt or his innocence. But we do also know how and why cases never reached their conclusions and under what pretext at least one conviction (in the Swiss case) was set aside.

    December 10, 2009 3:14 AM

    khabardrama said…
    Isn’t it funny how the Canadian expat criticised in the post and the anonymous critic of xyz share a similar essentialist brand of logic?
    The out-of-touch expat Fatah believes that the valiant leftist Zardari is being undermined by the Al-Qaeda loving army and its handmaiden the media only because of the president’s anti-terror stand. From this rather crude premise is born an article that does not let facts, or any nuance, get in the way of his thesis.
    In much the same way, anonymous assumes from the start that xyz is a Punjabi, and therefore is automatically anti-PPP, Zia-loving and pro Zaid Hamid. Everything else flows from a single accusation: that of being a Punjabi.
    Again, silly things like facts or arguments are not deemed necessary once this (now denied) assumption is made. In fact, anonymous confesses to this crime by admitting that he has not even read the piece that is being criticised!
    One small piece of advice to anon: you are doing no favours to the PPP by adopting this myopic approach. The party whose defence you have leapt to so valiantly, if misguidedly, happens to(at least until recently) be a formidable force in the Punjab and is sitting in power courtesy all those (Zia-loving, Zaid Hamid-worshipping?) votes it got from that province. Idiotic zealots like you will only reduce the future electability of the country’s only national party — that is if your hero Zardari has not already done so.

    As xyz rightly says at the end of his post, ‘Stupid, clueless friends are worse than stupid, clueless enemies’

    December 10, 2009 5:02 AM

    Rabia said…
    I have to say that your assertion that it’s unfair to besmirch the good name of Lashkar-e-Taiba before any convictions from Mumbai occur is pretty appalling.

    December 10, 2009 9:49 AM

    XYZ said…
    @Rabia:

    You write: “your assertion that it’s unfair to besmirch the good name of Lashkar-e-Taiba before any convictions from Mumbai occur is pretty appalling.”

    Er… where exactly have I said that? I know people don’t read much in Pakistan but this is getting ridiculous.

    December 10, 2009 7:28 PM

    Rabia said…
    You might consider re-writing this little chunk if you don’t mean what it says:

    “Yes, Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives have been charged with the planning and aiding the crime, but they have not yet been convicted as far as I know. Not even Ajmal Kasab, the surviving gunman, whose trial in India is still going on. And while there is ample speculation about whether the attackers received help from elements within the Pakistani intelligence services, no credible publication has been as foolhardy as to claim in definitive terms that this was so. No such burden of proof for Mr. Fatah apparently.”

    December 10, 2009 7:47 PM

    Rabia said…
    Look if you meant to say that no member (rogue or otherwise) of any Pakistani intelligence agency has been charged for Mumbai, you should have said that. Instead you went a step further and said that no member of Lashkar-e-Taiba has been convicted. Perhaps it was a simple error and you didn’t mean to, but that comes across as defending the Lashkar-e-Taiba members who have been charged but not yet convicted for Mumbai.

    Most high-profile criminal suspects are discussed (and judged) in the press long before they are convicted of the crime for which they are accused. You appear to have a problem with this in the case of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

    Either that or you just have no clue what you are writing.

    December 10, 2009 8:01 PM

    Anonymous said…
    I’m back again. A few things – I did not read the article but I did read the specific blurbs you posted and I read your interpretation of those blurbs. Since my critique was of your post, rather than the priginal article, I think my reading was adequate but I wanted to be upfront.

    FYI, I am not Sindhi. I trace my origin to a small town on the outskirts of Chakwal, close to Choa Saidan Shah. I am over 30, and yes, I do live abroad.

    The point being, as Rabia mentions, it was not just your critique of Zardari (agreed that his lack of conviction was neither here nor there) but matched what at least came across as a robust defence of the LeT (not convicted yet – gimme a break..even Riaz Basra was never “convicted”) that lead to an overall impression.

    December 11, 2009 2:55 AM

    Anonymous said…
    Oh, and I am not related to any PPP parliamentarian from near or far. That was way out of left field.

    December 11, 2009 2:57 AM

    XYZ said…
    @Rabia:

    My point was, as you surmised, that “no member (rogue or otherwise) of any Pakistani intelligence agency has been charged for Mumbai.” The reason for bringing the LeT into it – for whom I hold absolutely no torch – was to point out that since EVEN its members had not yet been legally convicted, the issue of intel operators accused of backing them being held responsible is completely moot. But further than that, no matter what you or I may think of the LeT (and trust me, I would be the last person to subscribe to their ideology), claiming their involvement in specific acts is an issue of libel and journalistic ethics.

    I’m sorry if I was unclear but your assertion that “high-profile criminal suspects are discussed (and judged) in the press long before they are convicted of the crime for which they are accused” does not confer any sort of immunity to those writing in the press. Discussion that clearly states what is an allegation is one thing and perfectly acceptable. Claiming allegations as fact – as Mr. Fatah does in his piece – is quite another. What I believe on a gut level or even KNOW from sources is one thing, I cannot claim it as a fact without proof. That is why in credible publications the word ‘alleged’ is usually inserted before any such claims.

    There are numerous cases where initial accusations have turned out to be seemingly false – one of the most recent e.g. being the Samjhota Express blasts which were also pinned on the LeT initially. (Of course Indian intel plays as murky and dirty game as Pakistan’s and there’s a whole other dimension to accusations from both sides which one must recognize.) Similarly some of the accusations against Zardari, widely bandied about initially, such as the drugs case, have been disproved in later years.

    December 11, 2009 4:59 AM

    sahaafi-braadri said…
    Ok. I’m going to say something but please lets keep it civil; no lynching.
    I disagree with that bit about Zardari being the only secular politician. There are many others, including the ANP. Since, as opposed to the MQM, it has to actually get the votes, its overt secularim, and that too in the Frontier, is remarkable. The point about the PPP having a national appeal, however, is correct.

    But this columnist is dead-on as far as the half-hearted efforts of the military is concenred. I’m a journalist and any journalist who investigated Operation Rah-e-Haq (the media would have you think there was nothing before Rah-e-Rast) would tell you that the army’s collusion with the militants in Swat was pretty obvious.
    And then there are the Khyber Agency operation(s). Operation Siraat-e-Mustaqeem, Operation Daraghlum, Operation Bia Daraghlum and now, Operation Khwakh Ba De Shum and the entire set-up of the Lashkar-e-Islami (not even TTP, for God’s sake!) is safe. The IGFC uncomfortably says, “Well, he (Mangal Bagh) is very lucky…” A small motley crew can be tough to catch, but not one big enough to get back to operating a “tax” network in between the supposed operations.
    If, by way of proof, you want me to provide an agreement between the army and the militants on a stamp paper of Rs 100, then I don’t. But, please, as far as this is concerned, all my distaste for airhead expats aside, he might have a point.

    December 11, 2009 1:51 PM

    Ahsan said…
    You know you’ve arrived as a blogger when anonymous commenters come on, say nothing of substance, and attempt to psychoanalyze you by delineating your demographic profile. There’s nothing like it.

    December 12, 2009 12:40 AM

    american said…
    What exactly leads Mr. Fatah to believe that…the killing of hundreds of soldiers and extremists constitutes “half-hearted” compliance, we shall never really know.

    Didn’t you JUST say above that the Pakistani establishment is hedging its bets while it waits for the US to leave Afghanistan? Or I guess you made that conditional because you don’t want to admit that anything this guy says, no matter how uncontroversial, could be correct; but you know its true.

    December 17, 2009 6:30 PM

    tizi said…
    Anonymous and Rabia are pea brained zits that needn’t be bothered with. Anonymous is one of Tarek Fatah’s ill gotten children, while Rabia is an ex LeT lieutenant (she was expelled for being female despite her mad spit balling skills). Don’t let oversensitive, ignorant little piglets slow you down. One of the best Pakistani blogs on the web!

    December 21, 2009 6:45 PM

    Indian said…
    As an Indian, I love this blog and read it regularly.
    But please do not trivialize Mumbai attack by arguing about journalistic jargon like ‘alleged’ or ‘convicted’.
    Your reply has a tacit bent towards LET and that is something which gives us immense pain.

    January 14, 2011 2:36 PM

    http://cafepyala.blogspot.com/search/label/Tarek%20Fatah

  • The Shia is not your enemy either, Tarek Fatah – by Hasnain Khan

    Summary

    Tarek Fatah thought Zainab Alkhawaja was being too anti-American. I asked what he would do if he were in her position and he kept bringing up Pakistanis lynched in Bahrain-as if my criticism of Pakistani men serving in Bahrain National Guard and security forces in general amounts to endorsing any senseless violence carried out against anyone. That wasn’t enough. He reminded me, perhaps because I say in my profile that I’m Shia, that I have no self-respect and that I’m serving the murderous Iranian regime. Enjoy.

    Story

    Tarek Fatah
    @angryarabiya Maybe you guys should stop spitting on America’s face and ned this obsessive ant-Ameroicnisn if you would care for US help.

    Hasnain Khan
    @TarekFatah what would u do if all of ur family was picked up by a regime supported by US.send dill pickle & bouquet of roses 2 White House?

    Tarek Fatah
    @hnkhan What would I do? I have done been thru that, and it didn’t force me to lynch mob anyone like the cowardly Bahraini Arabs did to Paks

    Hasnain Khan
    @TarekFatah y r u using that lynching to label all Bahrainis? Paki army has a history of crap like this ie black sept under zia

    Tarek Fatah
    @hnkhan What makes you so excited at the thought of Arab civilians in Bahrain lynching your own countrymen? Are your a shia Pakistani?

    Hasnain Khan
    @TarekFatah us pakis have mobbed enough people in our own country @angryarabiya has paki frnds & knows those on BNG don’t represent pak.

    Tarek Fatah
    @hnkhan @angryarabiya Don;t lecture me on Pakistan. I am wondering at yr thrill at seeing Pakistanis being urintaed in their mouths by Arabs

    Hasnain Khan
    @TarekFatah paki army has no business supporting autocratic regimes. Yes I’m Shia, but that makes no difference. Doesn’t color my views.

    Hasnain Khan
    @TarekFatah @angryarabiya I missed the part where I was thrilled about such brutality? Racially inspired killing just as wrong as mercenaries

    Tarek Fatah
    @hnkhan Shia Pakistani serving the Iranian murderous regime that has one million dead in its hands.Disgraceful. Hv you no self-respect?

    Tarek Fatah
    @hnkhan @angryarabiya Arabs treat you like dogs in the Gulf, yet for shia tribal reasons u serve the very people who spit on u, Shame.

    Source: Chirpstory

    http://pakistanblogzine.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/the-shia-is-not-your-enemy-either-tarek-fatah-by-hasnain-khan/

  • Tarek Fatah is a lannati. Plain & simple. If this were the seventh century, I have no doubt that he would be praising (if not working with) Yazid (la).

  • If King Hamid bin Issa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain is deposed by a Shia revolution, then sadly all of Bahrain’s remaining 36 Jews will have to flee for their lives from their homeland. My family fled their arab homeland in 1947 from Aleppo, Syria after an anti-jewish revolt instigated by the government helped by the army and police, many jews were killed, their homes, businesses and synagogues destroyed. I would never trust any arabs again, and although my family never emigrated to Israel after it’s establishment in may 1948, I thank G-d that there is a little piece of land where Jews can at least seek sanctuary from both Islamic and christian persecution.

  • The Syrian Arab Republic, THE OPPRESSIVE ALAWITE SUPREMACISTS DISCRIMNATORY BUTCHERS, just like almost all Arab and Islamic nations, where all minorities are being discriminated against, practice a real apartheid system, not as in the ‘apartheid slur’ which was invented by Arab racism (in 1961, 6 years before the so-called “occupation” even came about, by Arab-Nazi A. Shukairy in his hate-speech at the UN, he was the Mufti’s henchmen and aided in exterminating Jews in WW2) against the non-Arab/non-Muslim democracy island in their midst and categorizing Israel’s struggle against Arab-Islamic genocide – falsely as “apartheid.” Then it picked up steam in the Arab League’s anti-Israel camopaign i the UN in the 1970s, and the Arab lobby paid J. Carter for his hate book. The Pallywood propaganda even faked a document, a speech by an Arab propagandist and pinned it on N. Mandela, who never uttered any comparisons between the Arab-Israel conflict and S. Africa’s apartheid.

  • Oh no! Did you by any chance add more maca powder than the recipe calls for? Maca is really bitter and chalky and tastes absolutely terrible IMO.

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  • Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.