Original Articles

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

Apologists and proxies of the Bahraini Khalifa and the GCC are misrepresenting the Bahraini people's struggle for democracy as sectarianism and racism. The poster in this picture reads: Neither Shia, Nor Sunni, United for the Homeland

Related articles:

Why are Pakistan’s urban chatterers neglecting the Bahrain uprising?

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

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

Currently, there are two false narratives that are being used to misrepresent the situation in Bahrain. Both these narratives have been lapped up by the chaunvinist urban Pakistanis. These narratives have been given a fresh lease of life after it became difficult to justify the invasion of Bahrain by Saudi Arabia and after the conscription of mercenaries from Pakistan. The denial strategy was rendered ineffective after Pakistani, Yemeni and Saudi police forces shot to death unarmed and peaceful Bahraini protestors in the streets (youtube clip)

Sectarianism argument

One argument is that the protest for enfranchisement, opportunity and equal rights in Bahrain is another game by the perfidious Iranians, i.e. Bahraini Shias. This narrative is deeply sectarian and simply cannot accept the political suppression of muslim minority sects in the various Gulf monarchies and totalitarian states. This is the narrative that supports the Saudi and Pakistan army point of view and is silent at the brutal crackdown of protestors by Saudi and Pakistani mercenaries settling their sectarian bigotry.

Unfortunately, this narrative is deeply embedded in the Muslim psyche and is an essential part of the rampant bigotry that blames all the self-created problems of muslims on Christains, Jews and minority Muslim sects.

Any attempt to present a different point of view is dismissed and one is then castigated for being a Khomeini lover and a budding theocrat. This dihonest strawmanning tactic conflates anyone belonging to the Shia sect as an Iranian fifth-columnist. This epithet is thrown out to squelch debate and continue being the ostrich on the bigotry that minority muslims sects have to face. The denial of rights to Bahrain’s majority Shia citizenry is not a one off. Such bigotry is rampant in Saudi Arabia which has suppressed its minority population for decades.

It may be noted that one of the key leaders of the Bahraini people’s movement for democracy, Ibrahim Sharif, is a Sunni, currently serving as the General Secretary of the secular liberal National Democratic Action Society (Wa’ad). He has been on several occasions arrested and persecuted by the Bahraini authorites.

In the last one week, 1000 Pakistani mercenaries were recruited from Lahore and Karachi for the Bahrain National Guard

Racism argument

Another false narrative is that the protestors are anti-Pakistani and anti-Arab racists who have gone beserk and are attacking Pakistani labourers. This narrative is laughably dishonest as it completely ignores the background of what has been going on in Bahrain for the last few weeks. Bouyed by protests for democracy in neighbouring Arab countries such as Tunisia and Egypt, large segments of Bahrain’s citizens rekindled their demands for equal rights and enfranchisement within the system.

The demand by these diverse group of protestors has been waged on and off for decades and has suffered several crackdowns. These are the facts and the suppression in Bahrain is a well documented fact by prominent human rights groups like Amensty International.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/all-countries/bahrain/page.do?id=1011111

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/amnesty-international-2010-report-on-bahrain-a-non-arab-country.html

After the brutal crackdown which included the use of firing squads against peaceful protestors (youtube clips are abound), the influx and further addition of Pakistani mercenaries and finally, the official invasion by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan’s urban chauvinists have gone into overdrive in trying to divert attention away from the human rights abuses in Bahrain.

Here is a video clip by Al Jazeera which shows the police identity cards found on Pakistani, Syrian etc mercenaries in civilian clothes.

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

Here is another clip which shows the services of Pakistani mercenaries (labourers?) in Bahrain:

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

A Dawn newspaper blog (22 March 2011) uses completely unsubstantiated sources to highlight the mass scale lynching of Pakistani “labourers”; something that has already been proven to be a hoax in some instances. Furthermore, these allegations make no sense given the gross disparity between the protesters and the existing and freshly imported armed mercenaries from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Here is a list of evidence / links used in the Dawn blog. Two of the links are from Wahhabi (Shiaphobe) Facebook pages, and two from Gulf Daily News, a Bahraini newspaper controlled by the Al Khalifa family:

https://www.facebook.com/wearebahrain999?ref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/N0thingButTheTruth?ref=ts

http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=302298

http://gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=301954

Unlike the detailed reports of the Amnesty International, BBC, New York Times, VOA, and the Huffington Post, the Dawn blog is the typical aggregation of unsubstantiated gossip that passes for news and facts in Pakistan’s urban elitest discourse. It was pathetic to see Pakistanis highlight the cause of Balochis in Bahrain being victims of the protestors when Baloch nationalists groups in Pakistan are themselves the victims of the Pakistan army and the dominant groups. Furthermore, the Baloch Liberation Front distanced itself from the mercenaries and actually supports the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain.

http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/2902

Lost in some of these false narratives and exaggerated accounts are the compelling question as to why Pakistan always allies itself with the oppressors.

Whether it was Jordan and Black September in 1970, the Jamaat-e-Islami and the genocide of Bangladeshis in 1971 or the Baloch since 1948, the Pakistani urban narrative has always been skewed in favour of the military strongmen crushing those who are asking for their rights. In all the Gulf countries, Pakistani expats are content in being second class citizens like the South Asians were in much of colonial Africa.
They are always willing to serve despots and serve them in crushing those who are more oppressed than them. From South Africa to Uganda, the South Asian mentality was to side with the colonialists and oppress the indigenous Africans. In both instances, African or Gulf Arab identity was secondary to dollars and dinars!

Hence, these largely false and exageratted narratives of the lynching of Pakistani “labourers” are discredited in the lies and deceptions of their own countrymen. When the Bahrainis were crusading for their rights for the last few decades, where were these Pakistani expats!

Why did they not join these protests and ask for full citizenship rights for all Bahrainis? Instead, they cast their lot with armed mercenaries and the Saudi invaders; as Pakistanis, they are always the willing tools of despots Sheikhs! Complicity with despots is not just limited to Bahrain but repeats itself in the other Gulf monarchies like and dictatorships like UAE, Oman and Qatar.

Those Pakistanis who are creating falsehood by making this about racism need to be honest in addressing the following questions:

1. Why are the Bahraini protestors so resentful solely with the Pakistani expats and not with the Indian, Bangladeshi and Philipine expats?

2. Why is the Pakistan army the only entity that has recently sent (via Fauji Foundation) a thousand conscripted mercenaries to Bahrain?

3. If Pakistanis are being denied their citizenship rights, why are they content on being second-class workers, not just in Bahrain but in other Gulf Kingdoms?

4. If it is an issue of Arab vs non-Arab racism, why are Arab invaders from Saudi Arabia and GCC massacring Arab protesters in Bahrain?

This false and insidious propaganda that is being churned out is based on facebook pages by Bahraini monarchy loyalists or by Gulf dailies and is in direct contradiction to other international news sources and by Amnesty International!

Even the most prominent Arab media channel exposes the lie that it was not Pakistanis where being picked out at random but police infiltrators that were allegedly attacked by rioters (see Al Jazeera clip)

Bahrain 2011 seems eerily similar to Balochistan (1948-present), Jordan (1970) and Bangladesh (1971). The oppressors are the same as well as their patrons. Even their apologists, Pakistani bourgeoisie and expats, are the same!

…….

Tail-piece: Notorious suicide-bombing supporting mullah Yusuf Al-Qaradawi reduces Bahraini people’s uprising to Shia rebellion against Sunnis

“The Bahrain’s uprising unlike the other revolutions by the other Arab countries is a sectarian one, and does not represent the demands of Bahrainis as one nation, al-Qaradawi said.”(Source)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax8YPeLd-L0

Examples of obfuscation and misrepresentations on Twitter

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About the author

Ali Arqam

76 Comments

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  • 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!

  • 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 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

  • 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 of 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 united in their hatred for the revolution in Bahrain!

  • Give a dog a bad name and hang him.

    It was Saddam Hussain’s favourite hobby to term Shia Iraqis as Iranians before killing them. This hobby (stereotyping and blaming by association) is lavishly exercised by all Shiaphobes.

    Here is the ‘proof’ of Iranian involvement in Bahrain:

    …………

    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

    Sarah Khan says:
    March 23, 2011 at 1:30 am (Edit)
    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

  • 1,000 Pakistanis recruited for Bahrain forces
    By Syed Irfan Raza | From Dawn
    March 21, 2011

    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.

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

  • Is This Apartheid in Bahrain?
    By NICHOLAS KRISTOF

    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?

  • Borrowing Nicholas Kristoff’s words: your language “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.”

    Shame on those Pakistanis who are misrepresenting the situation in Bahrain and are spewing Shiaphobia! You have quite literally allied yourself with Qardawi!

  • Bahrain kay Shia Iranion kay agent hain. Shia hamesha say Islam kay ghaddar hain. Pakistani aur Saudi bhaiyon ko Bahrain kay Khalifa ki har tarah ki madad karan chahiyay

  • You people have once opposed Saddam and supported Amrika, but what happened now the same Amrika has killed thousands of people including people from your sect and an ayatollah of yours and hundreds of mosque and Imam Bargahs.

    In the same way you are opposing the king but the price of political instability will be more killing of the people of Behrain irrespective of race and sect.

  • Why are you people falling in the trap of divisive religious tactics. What the same Shias have done with their fellow countrymen in Iran, the Sunni Balochs who are derived of their political rights and are fighting a war of independence against tyrant Ayatollahs and their stooges. Why are you people playing the often repeated logic of majority vs minority, sunni vs Shias etc…

  • Musalman bro!
    Azam Tariq was opportunist and was involved in the murder of Shahid Haq Nawaz Jhangvi’son. That was killed by friends from LeJ

  • Maulana Izharulhaq, Jhangvi’s son was abducted and killed in Karachi and his dead body thrown in a deserted place. his only crime was that he has asked Azam Tariq to leave his fathers mosque for him as he thought it was his right to fill his fathers place.
    I have no interest in Sipah Sahaba, they are sell out and have always betrayed their workers

  • I think King of Behrain and Saudia should recruit people from Jhang, DG Khan and Bahawalpur as they will find more enthusiastic soldiers here against Shias.

  • Hamid Dabashi | 20 Mar 2011
    It’s not a Shiite-Sunni divide

    CNN – The roots of the sectarian division between Sunni and Shiite Muslims go back to early history and relate to Muslims’ disagreement on the succession to Muhammad’s prophetic authority. Throughout the medieval era, hostility has flared between Sunnis and Shiites.

    But in the course of European colonial domination of the Arab and Muslim world, and following the old Latin doctrine of “divide and rule,” such sectarian divisions, as in those between Muslims and Hindus or Muslims and Christians, have been abused, exaggerated, and exacerbated.

    The overwhelming majority of Muslims are Sunni, or “orthodox.” A significant minority of Muslims, about 10 to 15%, are Shiites, or “heterodox.” The Shiites are mainly concentrated in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Bahrain, and Yemen, but significant Shiite communities live throughout the Muslim world.

    Soon after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, political strategists and military analysts, seeking to divert attention from the principal culprit in the misbegotten war, attributed much of the violence in Iraq to this sectarian division and the emerging rivalry between the Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia for dominance in the region. Echoing these strategists’ assessments of a transnational Shiite uprising against Sunni domination, King Abdullah II of Jordan even spoke of the formation of a “Shi’i crescent.”

    In the revolutionary uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, particularly in countries such as Bahrain with a significant Shiite population ruled by a small Sunni leadership, the question of Sunni-Shiite hostility and rivalry has again resurfaced in predicting the course of the unfolding dramatic events.

    This fear of a “Shiite crescent” or a resurrection of sectarian rivalries in the Muslim world, as in the fear of a renewed militant Islamism, is a false alarm built on a flawed reading of Muslims’ multifaceted political cultures.

    Recent history instantly discredits any assumption of a transnational Shiite solidarity against Sunnism. For eight long and bloody years, Iran and Iraq, two major Shiite countries, were at each other’s throats — Shiites killing Shiites on two sides of a national divide. Shi’a, or even Islam in general, has never been the sole deciding factor in people’s political identity.

    Today in Bahrain, people are much more attuned to Arab nationalism and even pan-Arabism than they are to Shi’ism. Within specific Shiite countries, loyalties and identities are fractious along many crisscrossing lines.

    In Iran, a major Shi’a country, we are witness to a massive civil rights movement, recently galvanized and radicalized by the uprisings in the region. Shiites chanting “Allahu Akbar/God is Great” are engaged in street demonstrations against an Islamic Republic, a government based on Shi’a doctrines. All of these point out that Shi’ism is one among many other factors in determining people’s political persuasions and social actions.

    What we are witnessing in much of the Arab and Muslim world is not a re-enactment of Sunni-Shiite rivalries. It is the defiant retrieval of a vast and variegated cosmopolitan culture — the assertion of a syncretic identity that is the result of distant and recent history. This vibrant and multifaceted culture can’t be reduced to any sect or ideology.

    Against all odds, people from Morocco to Iran, from Bahrain to Yemen, have arisen almost at the same time against a corrupt, disabling, and denigrating politics of despair — against a colonial geography code-named “the Middle East” that no longer means anything.

    It is imperative for Americans, their elected officials and policy analysts, to come to terms with what is happening on its immediate terms and not reduce them to cliché. Political cultures are neither reducible to their constituent factors nor fixed and stagnant.

    People from Morocco to Oman, from Yemen to Iran are determined to change their destiny from a politics of despair to an open-ended moral imagination that navigates entirely uncharted course for liberty and dignity. In this process, every aspect of their religions and cultures will come forward only to the degree that they can restore their sense of pride of place and chart a new destiny.

    http://www.muslimsdebate.com/faces/sn.php?nid=1625%3D

  • In Bahrain in recent weeks, I’ve seen corpses of protesters who were shot at close range, seen a teenage girl writhing in pain after being clubbed, seen ambulance workers beaten for trying to rescue protesters — and in the last few days it has gotten much worse. Saudi Arabia, in a slap at American efforts to defuse the crisis, dispatched troops to Bahrain to help crush the protesters. The result is five more deaths, by the count of The Associated Press.

    One video from Bahrain appears to show security forces shooting an unarmed middle-aged man in the chest with a tear gas canister at a range of a few feet. The man collapses and struggles to get up. And then they shoot him with a canister in the head. Amazingly, he survived.

    Today the United States is in a vise — caught between our allies and our values. And the problem with our pal Bahrain is not just that it is shooting protesters but also that it is something like an apartheid state. Sunni Muslims rule the country, and now they are systematically trying to crush an overwhelmingly Shiite protest movement.

    My New York Times colleague Michael Slackman was caught by Bahrain security forces a few weeks ago. He said that they pointed shotguns at him and that he was afraid they were about to shoot when he pulled out his passport and shouted that he was an American journalist. Then, he says, the mood changed abruptly and the leader of the group came over and took Mr. Slackman’s hand, saying warmly: “Don’t worry! We love Americans!”

    “We’re not after you. We’re after Shia,” the policeman added. Mr. Slackman recalls: “It sounded like they were hunting rats.”

    Bahrain Pulls a Qaddafi
    By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
    Published: March 16, 2011

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/17/opinion/17kristof.html

  • Racism? Against whom?

    Yet you can parachute blindfolded into almost any neighborhood in Bahrain and tell immediately whether it is Sunni or Shiite. The former enjoy better roads and public services. And it’s almost impossible for Shiites to be hired by the army or police. Doesn’t that sound like an echo of apartheid?

    It is true that Bahrain’s protesters have behaved in ways that have undermined their cause. They frequently chant “Death to al-Khalifa” — a toxic slogan that should offend everyone. And some protesters have targeted Pakistanis and other South Asians who often work for security services.

    This slide toward radicalization and violence was unnecessary. The king could have met some of the protesters’ demands — such as fire the prime minister and move to a Jordanian- or Moroccan-style constitutional monarchy. Most protesters would have accepted such a compromise. Instead, the royal family talked about dialogue but didn’t make meaningful concessions, and the security forces remain almost as brutal as any in the region.

    I wrote a few weeks ago about a distinguished plastic surgeon, Sadiq al-Ekri, who had been bludgeoned by security forces. At the time, I couldn’t interview Dr. Ekri because he was unconscious. But I later returned and was able to talk to him, and his story offers a glimpse into Bahrain’s tragedy.

    Dr. Ekri is a moderate Shiite who said his best friend is a Sunni. Indeed, Dr. Ekri recently took several weeks off work to escort this friend to Houston for medical treatment. When Bahrain’s security forces attacked protesters, Dr. Ekri tried to help the injured. He said he was trying to rescue a baby abandoned in the melee when police handcuffed him. Even after they knew his identity, he said they clubbed him so hard that they broke his nose. Then, he said, they pulled down his pants and threatened to rape him — all while cursing Shiites.

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton rightly deplored the violence in Bahrain, and the administration as a whole should speak out forcefully. If the brave women and men demanding democracy in Bahrain have the courage to speak out, we should do so as well. 

    Bahrain Pulls a Qaddafi
    By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
    Published: March 16, 2011

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/17/opinion/17kristof.html#h%5B%5D

  • Leader of Bahrain’s main opposition party condemns violence against innocent Pakistani labourers. Chances are, such violence is a result of the Bahrain’s King policy to defame the peoples’ movement for rights and democracy:

    ….

    Former opposition MP Matar Matar, a Shia, condemned such attacks on workers, saying he was unable to confirm or deny reports that some Shia youths had assaulted foreign workers.

    “Although we are in the midst of a conflict, that does not mean we abandon our values. We respect foreign communities,” said Matar, one of 18 MPs of the Al-Wefaq association to resign last month in protest at the violent repression of protests.

    He also said that although many Pakistanis and other foreigners are believed to have obtained Bahraini nationality ahead of time by joining the military, “many have been naturalised for spending the legally required period in Bahrain, and many have made valuable services to Bahrain.”

    http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/22/pakistan-workers-seek-escape-after-bahrain-attacks.html

    “These are simple people earning bread and butter for their families,” said Malik Fiaz, a member of the community who helped to interpret as most workers could not speak English.

    “The problem is that Pakistani policemen are put on the front lines” of riot police in clashes with Shia demonstrators.

    “This is not their own choice. This is their job. They have to obey orders,” he said, acknowledging that many Pakistanis serve in the Bahraini police.

    Many Pakistanis, as well as Sunni Arabs, have been naturalised in Bahrain, infuriating the Shia majority which believes that many are given citizenship to tip the demographic balance in the kingdom ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty.

    There are reportedly more than 50,000 Pakistanis in Bahrain, many in the police and security services.

    “The Pakistani community has suffered more than any other foreign community,” said Fiaz, allegedly at the hands of Shia who spearheaded a month-long pro-democracy protest that was quashed on Wednesday by security forces.

    Mohammed Babar, 27, was also a victim of the attacks targeting his community. His arm in plaster, he said he was hit with a steel rod as some 20 youths attacked a labourers’ residence near the central business district on March 13.

    “They want us to leave Bahrain. Pakistani people have jobs in government that they (Bahrainis) think should be theirs,” he said.

    Most of those terrified workers want to return home.

    “Everybody wants to go back to Pakistan. We are scared here,” said Hassan Cheema, a 22-year-old telecommunications worker.

    http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/22/pakistan-workers-seek-escape-after-bahrain-attacks.html

  • Bahrain police shoot man at close range
    During renewed unrest in Bahrain that has claimed the lives of anti-government protesters and security forces personnel, a clip has emerged of Bahraini police shooting a man and apparently leaving him for dead.

    11:42AM GMT 16 Mar 2011
    The video was posted on YouTube on March 16 and appears to show Bahraini security forces knocking a man to the ground before shooting him several times. As armed police leave the scene the wounded man can be seen struggling to get away.
    The distrurbing scenes come as police in the capital Manama killed at least three protesters and wounded dozens more after launching a dawn assault on renewed anti-government demonstrators. The fresh violence has now reportedly claimed the lives of six people, including two members of the security forces.
    Soldiers and riot police used tear gas and armoured vehicles to drive out hundreds of protesters occupying Pearl Square, just one day after a state of emergency was declared.
    The three-month state of emergency was declared a day after more than 1,000 Saudi troops and 500 United Arab Emirates police officers were deployed in Bahrain following a request for assistance made by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/bahrain/8385187/Bahrain-police-shoot-man-at-close-range.html

  • Dawn: Bahrain spillover to spread to Pakistan? By Cyril Almeida
    March 24th, 2011 by Cy

    THE harrowing attacks on Pakistani nationals in Bahrain, including the murder of at least one policeman, has perhaps for the first time drawn attention to the for-hire security personnel who travel from Pakistan to defend the Bahraini kingdom and its ruling class.

    The role Pakistani nationals play in the Bahraini security apparatus was further underlined on Sunday as reports emerged that as many as 1,000 men are being recruited by the army-run Fauji and Bahria foundations for the Bahrain National Guard.

    But the attention garnered domestically by the role of Pakistani nationals in Bahrain — there are as many as 65,000, with thousands employed in the security services, according to a Foreign Office official — has contrasted with the wall of silence that has met the weeks of protests in Bahrain.

    At least 10 protesters have been killed since Feb and Saudi Arabian troops have crossed the 16-mile-long King Fahd causeway in an attempt to shore up the ruling class in Bahrain.

    “Egypt is key. Everything else — Yemen, Libya, Bahrain — is a footnote,” claimed the amir of the Jamaat-i-Islami, Munawar Hasan. The JI has historical ties with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, but while it has condemned the western ‘invasion’ of Libya, it has remained quiet on Bahrain.

    Similarly, while Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Khar on Monday issued a veiled criticism of the western action in Libya, there has been no such criticism of the Saudi action in Bahrain.

    Indeed, on March 14, the Foreign Office spokesperson, Tehmina Janjua, appeared to offer Pakistan’s support for Bahrain’s rulers: “We enjoy close fraternal relations with Bahrain and earnestly hope that the leadership and the people of Bahrain will be able to overcome the present difficulties.”

    Saudi influence

    The reason for the selective silence — if not tacit public support — is easy enough to identify: Saudi Arabia.

    “All the religious parties have interests, economic and personal, with Saudi Arabia,” said Amir Mateen, a veteran journalist who has tracked religious parties in Pakistan, adding, “The religious parties, along with everyone else, have yet again been exposed when it comes to principled politics.”

    Meanwhile, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal considerations said: “We need to be careful that (Pakistanis working in Bahrain) don’t get lynched or thrown out of the country. For every one person there, 10 in Pakistan are dependent on that income.”

    But the official conceded that there were also deeper concerns: “There is a possibility of politics, of Iran and Saudi Arabia being involved. We have to be extra-careful.”

    A former ambassador familiar with Middle Eastern dynamics was more blunt: “The Saudis have bought everyone on the religious right. And remember, they have that massive madressah network in Pakistan. They (the Saudis) can create problems for any government in Pakistan.”

    However, Bahrain does not just represent a foreign-policy compromise for the Pakistani state and political class. The Shia-Sunni tensions in Bahrain are couched in a wider Saudi Arabia-Iran struggle for influence in the Middle East, a struggle which could turn especially bitter in the battle for Bahrain.

    If the tiny island kingdom with a population of just 1.2 million, including 660,000 non-nationals, were to fall to the Shia majority, the next uprising could be in the oil-rich, Shia-dominated Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. “Iran is trying to enter Saudi Arabia,” said Syed Saleem Shehzad, Pakistan bureau chief of the Asia Times Online.

    The Pakistan angle

    With the stakes so high in Bahrain, there are apprehensions Pakistan could be drawn into a renewed conflict between Shia and Sunni and once again become a proxy battleground for Saudi and Iranian interests.

    According to Khaled Ahmed, an expert on sectarianism and militancy, “The Bahrain situation is likely to settle down because there’s too much at stake. But if it doesn’t, since Iran is supposed to be secretly supporting (the protesters in) Bahrain, Sunni groups here may hit Shias and Shias may respond.”

    Mr Ahmed and others noted that while Bahraini Shias have historically distanced themselves from Iran and belong to a different Shia school of thought, Iran’s regional interests have pushed it to support the Bahraini Shias.

    For now, however, at least three factors appear to minimise the possibility of an imminent sectarian backlash inside Pakistan.

    One, Shia militant groups are believed to be on the wane. “Other than in parts of Karachi and Quetta, Shia militancy is almost dead,” according to Rana Jawad, an Islamabad-based journalist who has extensively covered militancy.

    Two, the disparate religious elements in Pakistan appear to be edging closer in recent months. According to a senior police officer, “Since the Namoos-i-Risalat issue, we’ve seen even Shia and Sunni groups being very cordial to each other. There is a sectarian rapprochement wave in the country.”

    Amir Mateen agreed, “The Shia element is on the defensive right now. And the religious parties are trying to unite and bring Shias on board because in the domestic political context they know they can’t do much if they stand divided.”

    Third, most observers believe the situation in Bahrain will not spiral out of control as it has in Libya. “The (Bahraini) king isn’t like Qaddafi. Plus, given what’s at stake, nobody will want to see this deteriorate. The (American) 5th Fleet is there, the (Saudi) Eastern Province is nearby, they will figure out a way,” said Tanvir Ahmed Khan, a former foreign secretary.

    Khaled Ahmed suggested the “conflict would not be prolonged” and that the “standalone, Akbhari Shias” of Bahrain would not be able to resist for long.

    However, in a region where few things have gone according to decades-old assumptions and expectations in recent months, worries remain.

    According to the senior police officer, colleagues monitoring the rapprochement between the religious elements in Pakistan were concerned. “It’s the Bahrain thing mainly. There’s definite concern that events there don’t end up spoiling things over here.”

    http://www.cyrilalmeida.com/2011/03/24/dawn-bahrain-spillover-to-spread-to-pakistan-by-cyril-almeida/

  • WARNING: Graphic images: Bangladeshi martyr ‘Aklas Miah’ who was killed by Saudi invaders in #Bahrain

    http://bit.ly/gc3Y6B

    2011/03/23 source: ABNA print

    Today Funeral of Bangladeshi Martyr ‘Aklas Miah’ in his village Gulap Gong / Tragic Photos

    According to Bahraini sources, today march 23, is the the funeral procession of martyr Aklas Miah from Bangladesh, in his village Gulap Gong.

    (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – According to Bahraini sources, today march 23, is the the funeral procession of martyr Aklas Miah from Bangladesh, in his village Gulap Gong.

    Body of the martyr ‘Aklas Miah’ arrived in the village Sylhet Gulap Gong in Bangladesh from Bahrain on March 22.

    Martyr ‘Aklas Miah’ strongly defended innocent Bahraini people including women and children during the army attacks against inhabitants on Monday, March 14th, the day before the attacks on the square.

    On March 14th Saudi Arabia occupier forces heavily attacked Sitrah region in Bahrain. They martyred hero ‘Ahmed al-Farhan’ and wounded more than 400 demonstrators who have stepped forward to defend their country. The bullet hit the head of martyr ‘Aklas Miah’ by a Saudi army sniper. He martyred before got to the hospital in Sitrah.

    Aklas Miah, 50, married with three daughters aged between 4 and 14 years, came to Bahrain 31 years ago.

    http://www.abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&id=232921

  • Tehmina Janjua, a spokeswoman for Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, said the danger to Pakistanis, many of whom have lived for years in Bahrain and become Bahraini citizens, is being overplayed by Pakistan’s media and the government has no plans to repatriate workers.

    “I don’t think we should paint it in a sectarian color,” Ms. Janjua said. The government, she added, played no role in sending police to Bahrain.

    Still, Pakistan’s powerful military is involved through organizations that recruit police for Bahrain.

    These recruits are increasingly “seen as the repressive arm of the state” by Bahraini protesters, said Tariq Fatemi, a security analyst and former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. and to Middle Eastern countries.

    “The royal family of Bahrain feels much more comfortable having foreigners to guard them than locals,” said Jean-François Seznec, a professor at Georgetown University who studies Bahrain. “They are mercenaries and they are reliable to whoever hires them.”

    In Pakistan, some of the new recruits waiting to ship to Bahrain later this month say they are willing to face the dangers to benefit from pay scales they could never attain at home. “The situation is not very good there but I’m willing to work anywhere if I get good pay,” said S. Khan, a 29-year-old university graduate from the northwestern city of Peshawar. Mr. Khan said he has been offered almost $400 a month to work for Bahrain’s security forces, seven times what he got in a Peshawar factory making matches.

    Others have gotten cold feet. In Gujranwala, a scrubby city in Pakistan’s Punjab province where some families have more than 40 relatives serving in Bahrain’s government and police, people are worried about their kin. Muhammad Siddique, who runs a small grocery shop in Gujranwala, recently forbade his son to join Bahrain’s navy. “I don’t want to send my son to such a horrible situation,” he said.

    Mahmood Ahmed Khan, a retired Pakistani navy admiral who heads the Bahria Foundation, a navy-linked foundation involved in the latest recruitment for Bahrain’s national guard, said it began looking for workers in September, well before the start of the recent protests.

    But he acknowledges the risks to Pakistani police and is running courses in etiquette to make sure they put forward a good face. “We’d like our people to work as ambassadors for Pakistan,” he said.

    Officials for the Fauji Foundation, a Pakistan army-linked organization involved in the latest recruitment, didn’t respond to repeated requests to comment.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703784004576220762563363574.html?mod=fox_australian

  • The roots of emigration from the Indian subcontinent to Persian Gulf nations goes back to the British colonial era, when locals who retired from the army would go to work as security officers in the newly oil-enriched Gulf states.

    Pakistani emigration to Bahrain jumped to almost 6,000 people in 2010, a sixfold increase from 2001, official Pakistan government figures show. A breakdown of how many Pakistanis go into security-force jobs wasn’t available, but Police of Pakistani origin in Bahrain say as many as 7,000 people from a police force of 25,000 come from Pakistan.

    Khalil Almarzooq, a senior member of Al-Wefaq, Bahrain’s largest opposition party, claims the government has used foreign Sunni Muslims in the security services to keep control of the population of 1.2 million, two-thirds of whom are Shiites. “The reason for the security apparatus is to protect the regime, not the people,” he says.

    Akhtar Mahmood, a 38-year-old Pakistani who has worked for 14 years in the police and hopes to soon become a full citizen, says the government can count on his support. “We are supporting the government and standing in front of the government against those who spoil Bahrain,” he said.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703784004576220762563363574.html?mod=fox_australian

  • The Al Khalifa family, Sunni Muslims who rule over a Shiite-majority population, have long relied on recruits from Sunni-majority countries such as Pakistan, Jordan and Yemen to fill the ranks of their police forces. As antigovernment protests have flared in Bahrain, culminating in a violent crackdown last week, the monarchy has turned again to Pakistan military-linked foundations to find recruits for its security forces.

    This month, Bahrani recruiters for the National Guard, a paramilitary body, signed up 1,000 new security personnel during road shows in Pakistan, according to officials with military foundations in Pakistan that organized the recruitment.

    A spokeswoman for the Bahraini government declined to comment on its policy of recruiting foreigners to its security forces.

    Bahrain’s dependency on foreign workers to fill security and other jobs has vexed Bahraini Shiites, who see it as an attempt to tilt the religious balance in the country and exclude them from jobs. Many are angered by the role of Pakistani policemen in suppressing the antigovernment protests.

    Two Pakistani-born policemen and three other Pakistanis have been killed in recent weeks and about 40 others injured, according to the Pakistan Embassy in Bahrain. There are concerns that others in the 65,000-strong Pakistani community in Bahrain—most of them guest workers doing jobs that have nothing to do with the police, such as construction—could be vulnerable.

    Bahrain’s opposition groups deny they are targeting the wider Pakistani community. They say Pakistani police have been injured because they are often on the front lines of clashes with antigovernment protesters.

    But some Pakistani workers say they’re afraid. One of those who has relocated, a 30-year-old Pakistani salesman who gave his name only as Arsalan, said protesters attacked his home in the suburbs of Manama with stones and Molotov cocktails. “They were saying all Pakistanis should leave Bahrain,” Mr. Arsalan said.

    The killings of policemen and attacks on Pakistani workers are front-page news in Pakistan, where the government has faced questions about the wisdom of helping staff Bahrain’s police force as violence there has escalated.

    Tehmina Janjua, a spokeswoman for Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, said the danger to Pakistanis, many of whom have lived for years in Bahrain and become Bahraini citizens, is being overplayed by Pakistan’s media and the government has no plans to repatriate workers.

    “I don’t think we should paint it in a sectarian color,” Ms. Janjua said. The government, she added, played no role in sending police to Bahrain.

    Still, Pakistan’s powerful military is involved through organizations that recruit police for Bahrain.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703784004576220762563363574.html?mod=fox_australian

  • Pak worries being mercenary hub

    Hindustan Times

    The hiring of Pakistani servicemen for riot policy duty in Bahrain has become a source of controversy, with calls being made that such practices be halted. Munizae Jahangir, the host of one such TV program, said that the recruitment of Pakistani mercenaries was having a larger impact on the Pakista

    ni communities in these countries. In Bahrain, Pakistanis are being targeted by locals because it is felt that they are siding with the country’s ruler.
    After the death of a policeman of Pakistani origin in Manama and attacks on several others, attention has been drawn to the for-hire security personnel who travel from Pakistan to defend the Bahraini kingdom and its ruling class. According to a report in the local English language daily, The Express Tribune, 1,000 men are being recruited by the army-run Fauji and Bahria foundations for the Bahrain National Guard.

    But there may be pressure on the Pakistan government to go on supplying much needed men and materials. Columnist Cyril Almeida writes in Daily Dawn newspaper that this pressure may come from Saudi Arabia, a country which has much in stake in Bahrain. However, the short term benefits for Pakistan in this may be crossed out with the long term fall out.

    Journalist Salman Siddiqui says that Pakistani are being seen as part of the problem for the pro-democracy forces in Bahrain. There are fears that if this feeling spreads to other Arab states, thousands of Pakistanis who work on a variety of jobs in the Gulf may

    be sent packing home in the event of a change of guard. “Should this happen, Pakistan will suffer a great deal,” said one analyst.

    It is reported that local army run foundations are recruiting for a wide variety of positions for the Bahraini security forces. There were also reports of recruitment for Libya but these were contradicted by the Pakistan Foreign Office.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/pakistan/Pak-worries-being-mercenary-hub/Article1-677368.aspx

  • The Bahrain Uprising, Saudi Troops and Hussein the Martyr
    3:28 PM, MAR 24, 2011 •

    BY LEE SMITHSingle

    Manama, Bahrain

    Bahrain’s royal family has managed to paint the country’s opposition movement as a sectarian affair, involving only Shia and entirely manipulated by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The opposition says that it is not a sectarian uprising, but a political reform movement, and points to members of the country’s Sunni minority (roughly 35 percent of the population) who support their demands.

    By calling it an Iranian-backed Shia rebellion, Bahrain’s ruling Al Khalifa family meant not only to flush the Sunnis out of the opposition, but also to frighten Washington, which recognizes Tehran as a threat to vital American interests, including the Manama-based Fifth Fleet. Therefore, Bahraini Shia have been subjected to a campaign of violence and systematic harassment the last few weeks in an apparent attempt to get them to fight back so that the government will have even more leeway to crack down on the opposition.

    Among other instruments, the Al Khalifa have been using checkpoints to rattle their people, where the Shia are rousted by policemen and soldiers from places like Yemen, Pakistan, and Syria. These Sunni foreigners have been given Bahraini citizenship in order to try to tilt the sectarian divide in favor of the ruling family, and see the current situation as an opportunity to heap abuse upon the Shia with sectarian slurs.

    And yet my Bahraini colleague didn’t understand why were stopped this morning at a checkpoint and told to get out of the car. “Maybe,” I suggested as we were driving off, “it’s because of the two green headbands hanging from your front mirror that say, ‘Hussein the Martyr.’” Given the charged environment, it’s hardly surprising that Sunni security forces are going to be especially watchful for any signs of militant Shia tendencies—like the kind that might be indicated by apparel commemorating the greatest Shia martyr of them all, Hussein.

    The fact is, to date, the violence surrounding the uprising in this small country is not coming from the Shia or, for that matter, the local Sunni community. Rather, members of the opposition here are quick to note that the only people who carry weapons in this security-conscious state are government employees. So whoever put two bullets in the head of 51-year-old Bahia al-Arady last week, the first woman killed here since demonstrations began February 14, was not acting simply out of a personal sectarian grievance. At least 20, including al-Arady, have been killed in the demonstrations.

    Still, I’m having a hard time figuring out my new friend, whom I’ll call Al. Al’s a youngish colleague, late 20s, whom I met in Beirut before I came to Bahrain. He says he doesn’t want any foreign involvement in Bahrain, not from the Saudis or Emiratis, who sent more than 1,000 troops last week as part of a Gulf Cooperation Council force, nor from Iran. He explains he doesn’t want anything like the Islamic Republic of Iran here in Bahrain, and yet for his religious guide he takes Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei. When I remind him that Khamenei crushed his own domestic opposition, Al notes that for his political guide he takes a different cleric, Bahrain’s Isa Qassem, who merely insists, Al explains, that Shia are owed their rights in Bahrain.

    As we drive through Manama, we pass scores of other drivers pulled over at checkpoints and lined up against a wall with their backs turned to their interlocutors’ weapons, just as we had earlier been. How, I asked Al, did the soldiers know they were Shia? Shias speak with a different accent, he tells me. Al takes that as proof that the Shia presence in Bahrain predates the Sunnis by hundreds of years. Also, Al explains, there’s the evidence on the tombstones in the graveyards. Still, it doesn’t bother him that Sunnis rule Bahrain; he just believes it’s not just that the Shia don’t have equal rights. His mother, for instance, has an engineering degree and can’t get a job, even as they import foreigners to do the same work. Maybe it’s because she’s a woman, I suggest. But they hire Sunni women, Al tells me.

    When I ask him if he thinks the fall of Saddam gave Shia the sense of new possibility in the region, he demurs and counters that it was the 1979 Islamic revolution that inspired the Tunisian and Egyptian revolts 30 years later. “It was proof that people can change their rulers.” The answer is a little surprising, even if admiration for the Islamic revolution is a fairly characteristic Shia perspective—one I’ve heard not only in Beirut from anti-Hezbollah Shia, but in Washington after many glasses of Shiraz late into the evening with secular Shia.

    Nonetheless, Al’s understanding of Shiism gives him a pretty conservative worldview—“It’s our responsibility to improve things, including our own station, and it is wrong to abandon our lives to fate,” he says. “But there are limits to political change that will not be resolved until the Imam Mahdi returns.” Perhaps the real Arab revolution, he thinks, is not what is happening on the streets but is an internal one that is yet to occur. “Islam was supposed to put an end to tribal divisions,” he says. “And yet now we have divisions based not only on tribe but sect as well.”

    That internal revolution is the subtext when Al and I are stopped later in the afternoon at another checkpoint, even after he has taken the green headbands off the rear mirror. “Maybe I look Shia,” he says to me as the soldiers approach the driver’s side window. They’re wearing the camouflage uniforms of the GCC force—they’re Saudis. This time we’re told to stay in the car, and to pop open the trunk. “You were in the Pearl Roundabout, weren’t you?” one of the soldiers asks, referring to the large monument commemorating the country’s pre-petroleum economy based on pearl diving. The roundabout served as the main site of the uprising in Bahrain, until security forces dismantled it.

    Al, who indeed had been at the Pearl Roundabout earlier, takes a strange detour around the question. He says he was actually in Lebanon, and I am wondering if the Saudi in the dark mask covering his face who has stuck his head in the car can see my jaw drop. It happens to be true he was in Lebanon for part of the time, but this is just the sort of thing that is likely to rile up these occupying forces sanctioned by their Wahabbi government to bear arms against foreign Shia. “So you were visiting your friend Hassan Nasrallah,” one of the Saudis says. “Of course not,” says Al. Nasrallah has taken up the cause of Bahrain’s Shia, and in return the Al Khalifa government has cancelled all flights between Manama and Beirut, and instructed Bahraini nationals inside Lebanon to leave the country.

    One of the soldiers asks Al to open the glove compartment, where he’s hidden the two headbands. “What are these?” a soldier wearing a Salafi-style beard asks. Al is compelled by the Saudis to recount the story of Hussein and his martyrdom on a 7th-century battlefield in Kerbala. “We have martyrs, too,” says one of the soldiers. “What’s Kerbala?” he says dismissively.

    Al had previously explained to me that the story of Hussein is generally misinterpreted, even by some Shia. Where many see the story of his tragic betrayal and his death at the hands of a superior force as an emblematic tale of Shia suffering and resignation, it is in reality a story of hope and aspiration. The grandson of the prophet knew he was going to lose, but he went anyway. “We believe that Imam Hussein,” Al had told me, “his companions and family members were the real winners at Karbala. Yes, they lost the military battle but they won for their values and beliefs. And that victory gave a great impulse for Shiism to survive.” This central tableau in Shia Islam is a political narrative, not about self-abnegation but about faith and endurance.

    Maybe that’s why Al and the rest of the Shia here are able to withstand the taunts of their persecutors. But it also suggests that if the campaign of violence against them persists, it is going to reach a point where the hope and faith invested in the figure of Kerbala moves the Shia to action against the injustice they are suffering, and they are going to have a much better chance of success than their martyr.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/bahrain-uprising-saudi-troops-and-hussein-martyr_555452.html?page=2

  • The Nation: How Is Saudi Arabia A ‘Good’ Tyranny?
    by ROBERT SCHEER

    The Saudi lead was made clearer in the kingdom’s support for the royal family in neighboring Bahrain as Saudi troops were sent in along with forces from the United Arab Emirates to suppress Bahraini democracy advocates claiming that freedom would enhance the power of the majority Shiite population. The fraud here is to locate Shiite Iran as the center of terrorism when it was the Sunni monarchies that were most closely identified with the problems that gave rise to Al Qaeda. Not only did fifteen of the nineteen hijackers on 9/11 come from Saudi Arabia but Saudi Arabia and the UAE, along with Pakistan, were the only countries to diplomatically recognize the Taliban regime that harbored Al Qaeda. In Bahrain the majority Shiite population is dismissed as potentially under the sway of the rulers of Iran without strong evidence to that effect. Once again it is convenient to ignore the fact that Iran, as was the case with Saddam’s Iraq, had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack that launched the U.S. war on terror.

    All of which elevates the question of how long will the United States and its allies ignore the elephant in the room posed by an alliance for human rights and anti-terrorism with regimes in the Middle East that stand for neither? While the jury is still out on whether the West’s attack on Libya will prove to be a boon for that nation’s population, at the very least it should expose the deep hypocrisy of continuing to sell huge amounts of arms and otherwise supporting Saudi Arabia and its contingent tyrannies.

    http://www.npr.org/2011/03/24/134817531/the-nation-how-is-saudi-arabia-a-good-tyranny

  • The U.S. double standard
    Published On Wed Mar 23 2011

    In February, protesters in Bahrain celebrated a victory as the military withdrew from the streets of the capital. This month the Saudis sent troops to support the monarchy.
    HASSAN AMMAR/AP

    By Haroon Siddiqui
    Editorial Page
    DOHA, QATAR

    http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/959663–siddiqui-the-u-s-double-standard

    The world has wisely intervened in Libya to stop a tyrant from killing his own people. But it won’t do the same for pro-democracy forces in Bahrain, Yemen and other places in the region.

    Barack Obama helped engineer regime change in Egypt and joined the Anglo-French-led attack on Libya that should lead to regime change there. But these allies, including Canada, won’t help topple other autocrats who are also attacking their citizens.

    Worse, Obama and Co. acquiesced to a Saudi-led military intervention in Bahrain to support the king against the will of his people.

    This cynical, self-serving response to the Arab Awakening is sowing the seeds of future conflicts between Arabs and the West and, therefore, Muslims and the West, the very divide that Obama has tried hard to bridge.

    Welcome to Obama’s realpolitik. He has sacrificed his grand promise of universal human rights and democracy at the altar of American interests.

    All states work in their own interests but few claim the moral leadership that America does.

    After siding, albeit reluctantly, with the people’s revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt against pro-American regimes, Obama has reverted to Washington’s old double standard of one law for allies, another for adversaries.

    Dissidents in Iran and Syria will, therefore, be cheered on and materially backed in their heroic bids to unseat their regimes. Stephen Harper will be among those beating the drums hard.

    But he and others won’t be speaking up, except in banalities, in support of dissidents elsewhere, not just those in Bahrain and Yemen but also in Algeria, Jordan, Oman, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. The autocrats there, repressive in varying degrees, will be counselled against using violence but not penalized for resorting to it, some more viciously than others.

    The U.S. wants these allies to reform, not fall.

    Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa uses far more foreign mercenaries than Moammar Gadhafi. He and Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh have been no less brutal than Gadhafi. Yet there’s no call to the United Nations for a no-fly zone over either country.

    No bombs will be dropped on Bahrain, host to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet and also home to an American air base. Nor is Obama pressuring Saleh to quit. Saleh is an ally in counterterrorism efforts against Al Qaeda and provides fuelling facilities for American warships.

    Let’s not forget what the Arab autocrats, and the other regional actors, have been up to.

    King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia did not seek United Nations permission to send troops into neighbouring Bahrain to save King Khalifa.

    The latter is a fellow Sunni ruling over a majority Shiite population that’s systematically discriminated against. The Shiites are routinely abused by an army that’s exclusively Sunni, its ranks recruited from Pakistan, Jordan, Syria and Yemen, many of whom are granted citizenship to alter the demographic mix.

    The Bahraini Shiites are also demonized as a fifth column for Shiite Iran. This even though there is no evidence of Iranian meddling.

    The Bahraini Shiites are making political, not sectarian, demands.

    The second reason for propping up Khalifa is to avoid a possible domino effect that the fall of one monarchy may have on all the others in the region — American allies all, sitting on oil.

    There are two views on Abdullah’s move. Having failed to convince Obama not to abandon Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, a longtime American client, he was swift to protect Khalifa, a Saudi client. Or that Abdullah did consult Obama and arrived at a quid pro quo — the Arabs would cut Gadhafi loose and the West would not interfere in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

    There is no mass protest movement in Saudi Arabia. But the most potent opposition comes from Shiites, a persecuted minority in that country. They live in the oil-rich eastern province, across a 23-kilometre causeway from Bahrain.

    The Shiites in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are thus doubly damned — for making the same political demands that other Arabs are making and for being Shia.

    The Arab uprising, as transformative as it already has been, has run not only into stiff domestic resistance but also geopolitical realities, regional and international.

    American flirtation with the Arab spring is coming to an end, if it has not already. The new world order is beginning to look like the old world order.

    Haroon Siddiqui is the Star’s editorial page editor emeritus. His column appears on Thursday and Sunday. hsiddiqui@thestar.ca

  • Express Tribune Editorial

    Neutrality on Bahrain
    By Editorial
    Published: March 23, 2011

    Many Pakistanis in Bahrain are living in fear of being targeted. PHOTO: AFP/FILE
    In times of revolution, safety often becomes an afterthought. When both the government and the protesters are charged with emotion, violence, sadly, becomes the norm. With Bahrain in the midst of a violent uprising, many Pakistanis are being targeted by protesters who see them as collaborators of the unpopular regime. Most of the Pakistanis targeted are labourers or other civilians in low-paying jobs. Although the Pakistan Embassy in Bahrain is providing shelter to about 40 Pakistani families, the vast majority are helpless and defenceless.

    Much of the blame has to be directed at the Pakistan government. Even before the uprising broke out, many Pakistanis were serving in the Bahraini police force. Since the troubles began, Bahrain has been recruiting mercenaries from Pakistan to bolster its police and armed forces. We have allowed them to do so unhindered. Bahrainis are understandably enraged that foreigners are being employed to oppress them and so are lashing out at all Pakistanis. The government needs to immediately ban any more Pakistanis from being recruited in Bahrain’s security forces. Additionally, it is the job of the embassy and the government to make sure its citizens are safe in a foreign country. As soon as the situation turned ugly, all Pakistanis should have been evacuated from Bahrain, just as the US had done with its citizens in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries that are in the throes of revolution.
    By allowing mercenaries to serve the Bahraini monarchy, Pakistan has dangerously taken sides in what may turn out to be a geopolitical, ethnic nightmare. The population of Bahrain is overwhelmingly Shia while the ruling family is Sunni. Iran is naturally supporting the protesters while Saudi Arabia is on the side of the king. Thanks to the mercenaries, the impression will now stick that Pakistan is on the anti-Iran side. This will only hurt relations with Iran, with whom we hope to reach a deal on a gas pipeline. It is time to put potential new alliances on par with existing ones. The government needs to cite its own law-and-order problems at home and a desire to remain neutral in a delicate part of the world. Above all, its foremost priority should be to safely bring home Pakistani citizens.

    Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2011.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/136704/neutrality-on-bahrain/

  • Letters to the Editor

    By Letter
    Published: March 24, 2011

    LAHORE: This is with reference to the violent uprising in Bahrain. It is sad to see that the people of Bahrain are targeting Pakistanis, taking them to be collaborators of the unpopular regime. The fact is that most of them are low-wage workers and labourers who have no connection of any kind with the security or police forces that are clamping down on the uprising.
    My question is that what is the Pakistan embassy in Manama doing in this regard? The federal government should be directing its embassy to do all that it can to protect the Pakistanis who are in Bahrain, and to repatriate all those who want to return to Pakistan. A few hundred, of the thousands of Pakistanis resident in Bahrain, have been provided shelter inside the embassy — what about the rest? What are they to do?
    As for the protesters, they might have a somewhat genuine grudge against Pakistan, in that many Pakistanis serve in Bahrain’s police force. In that regard, blame for the backlash lies on the shoulders of the Pakistani government, since it could have stopped this recruitment from taking place. At the very least, it could freeze all such recruitments to the Bahraini security services for now.
    Salma Tahir
    Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2011

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/137103/neutrality-on-bahrain-ii/

  • The only TV channel which is boldly exposing the Shia /Iranian Fitna along with the Jewish /Israeli Fitna is Al Arabiya, owned by our brothers from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Arabiya

    Gulf Daily News, a patriot newspaper of Bahrain, has exposed the Shia Fitna (not unlike its support for our brothers of Hamas) and appreciated the Saudi and GCC brethren for their support to the king.

    http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/

    In Muslim scholars, there are shining names who have boldly exposed the Iranian Shia plot to create troubles in Bahrain, i.e. Shaikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi and those who are saying similar things.

  • While we wholeheartedly support Bahraini people’s struggle for human rights, we also condemn Iranian regime’s aggression against its own people and Isarel’s racism against its own Arab citizens.

    At the same time, we condemn any acts of indiscriminate and deliberate violence against non-Arab and Arab civilians in Bahrain who had nothing to do with the oppression of the Bahraini people.

  • Be Consistent—Invade Saudi Arabia
    By Robert Scheer

    22 March 2011

    It’s the black gold that drives nations mad and inevitably raises the question of whether America and the former European colonial powers give a damn about human rights as the basis for military intervention. If Libya didn’t have more oil than any other nation in Africa would the West be unleashing high-tech military mayhem to contain what is essentially a tribal-based civil war? Once again an American president summons the passions of a human rights crusade against a reprehensible ruler whose crimes, while considerable, are not significantly different from those of dictators the U.S routinely protects.

    It is difficult to escape the conclusion that Moammar Gadhafi must now go not because his human rights record is egregious but rather because his erratic hold on power seems spent. After all, from the London School of Economics to Harvard, influential foreign policy experts were all too happy until quite recently to accept Libyan payoffs in exchange for a more benign view of Gadhafi’s prospects for change under the gentle guidance of what Harvard’s Joseph Nye celebrated as “soft power.”

    But that revisionist appraisal of Gadhafi suddenly became an embarrassment when this nutty dictator—whom few in the world could ever understand, let alone warm to—was exposed by defections from his own armed forces to be akin to rotten fruit destined to drop. Libya’s honeymoon with the West, during which leaders led by Tony Blair and George W. Bush thought Col. Gadhafi might finally prove to be a worthy partner more concerned with reliably exporting oil than ineffectively ranting against Western imperialism, has suddenly been abandoned as no longer necessary. As with former U.S. ally Saddam Hussein before him, the Libyan strongman now seemed an awkward relic of a time that had passed him by, and easily replaceable. Not so the royal ruler of Saudi Arabia and the surrogates he finances in Yemen and Bahrain; their suppression of their peoples still falls within acceptable limits because of the vast resources the king manages in a manner that Western leaders have long found agreeable.

    But this time, in the glaring light of the democratic currents sweeping through the Mideast, the contradictions in supporting one set of dictators while toppling others may prove impossible for the U.S. and its allies to effectively manage. The recognition, widely demanded throughout the region, that even ordinary Middle Easterners have inalienable rights is a sobering notion not easily co-opted. Why don’t those rights to self-determination extend to Shiites in the richest oil province in Saudi Arabia or for that matter to Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza?

    The fallback position for U.S. policymakers is the “war on terror” standard under which our dictators are needed to control super-fanatic Muslims. That’s why the U.S trained the Republican Guard led by the son of the despised ruler of Yemen as the counterterrorism liaison with Washington. On Tuesday it was the tanks of the lavishly U.S-equipped Republican Guard that stood as the final line of support surrounding the Presidential Palace as calls for departure of Yemen’s dictator increased in intensity. The U.S. was still following the lead of Saudi Arabia, long a financier of the Yemeni ruler.

    The Saudi lead was made clearer in the kingdom’s support for the royal family in neighboring Bahrain as Saudi troops were sent in along with forces from the United Arab Emirates to suppress Bahraini democracy advocates claiming that freedom would enhance the power of the majority Shiite population. The fraud here is to locate Shiite Iran as the center of terrorism when it was the Sunni monarchies that were most closely identified with the problems that gave rise to al-Qaida. Not only did 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 come from Saudi Arabia but Saudi Arabia and the UAE, along with Pakistan, were the only countries to diplomatically recognize the Taliban regime that harbored al-Qaida. In Bahrain the majority Shiite population is dismissed as potentially under the sway of the rulers of Iran without strong evidence to that effect. Once again it is convenient to ignore the fact that Iran, as was the case with Saddam’s Iraq, had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack that launched the U.S. war on terror.

    All of which elevates the question of how long will the U.S. and its allies ignore the elephant in the room posed by an alliance for human rights and anti-terrorism with regimes in the Middle East that stand for neither? While the jury is still out on whether the West’s attack on Libya will prove to be a boon for that nation’s population, at the very least it should expose the deep hypocrisy of continuing to sell huge amounts of arms and otherwise supporting Saudi Arabia and its contingent tyrannies.

    Source: Truthdig.com

    URL: http://newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamIslamAndWest_1.aspx?ArticleID=4337

  • Bahrain and Pakistan

    Saturday, March 26, 2011

    Pakistan has a history of getting itself involved in controversial situations that it can ill-afford. The repercussions of our choice of becoming an American ally during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan are still haunting us after three decades.

    In the present scenario, with violence already accelerated to an uncontrolled level in Bahrain, Pakistan will only invite trouble if it shows any leanings in the uprising.

    Ayaana Malik

    Islamabad

  • Bahrain Falls Mainly on the Shia
    A battle royal in Manama.
    APR 4, 2011, VOL. 16, NO. 28 • BY LEE SMITHSingle PagePrintLarger TextSmaller Text
    Manama, Bahrain

    NEWSCOM

    Even as tensions surrounding the protests that have left 20 dead here since February 14 seem to be waning—curfews have been relaxed and people are slowly returning to work—they’re not going away. The sticking point isn’t the sectarianism that divides the Shia majority (some 65 percent of the population) and the ruling Sunnis. Nor is it that Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah see here a potential opening for their influence. The issue is older and more profound, dating back to the time two centuries ago when the al-Khalifa conquered Bahrain and the indigenous people who’d lived there for thousands of years.

    Some longtime observers of Bahraini politics believe it was the call for replacing the Sunni monarchy with a republic that brought escalation. In response, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa two weeks ago invited in a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) force composed of 1,000 Saudi troops and another 500 from the United Arab Emirates.

    “There was a paper signed by some of the opposition groups wanting to topple the government,” says Ali Rabia, a democracy activist for over 35 years. A well-known Sunni, Rabia is proof that the opposition movement is no simple sectarian affair. “I very much doubt these groups’ loyalties are with Iran,” says Rabia. “The Iranians would not treat them well, and they know it. The relationship between Persian and Arab Shia is not a good one.”

    Rabia notes that in 1970 the Bahrainis voted in a U.N. poll not to join Iran and to remain an independent Arab state under the al-Khalifa. Now he fears that discontent, brewing for many years, may be reaching the point of no return. In his office in downtown Manama, he shows me a copy of the document calling for a Bahraini republic and explains this is why he left his political society (use of the word “party” is outlawed). “It was a gift to the government,” says Rabia. “It was also useful in telling the GCC states and the United States that we are facing a danger.”

    But the presence of what amounts to an occupying force—a foreign Sunni constabulary with no accountability to the Shia population it is policing—is only making matters worse. Some here blame the GCC forces for much of the violence, including detentions, disappearances from hospitals, midnight raids in Shia villages, and the shooting death of a 51-year-old woman, Bahia al-Aradi, as she was driving in her car.

    Much of the opposition sees the government’s actions as unjustified. “So what if some of the opposition asked for a republic?” says Khalil Marzooq, a member of Al Wefaq, a Shia grouping and the largest bloc in parliament until its deputies walked out in late February. “As long as they did it peacefully, what’s the problem with that? If there were pro-regime figures on the other side who said we should leave the government alone and accept things the way they are, should we say we’re going to kill them?”

    Al Wefaq, explains Marzooq, is taking the middle road in pushing for a constitutional monarchy. “We want a constitution written by the people,” says Marzooq, rather than the one imposed in 2002 by the ruling family. “And a representative parliament.” At present, the al-Khalifa’s Sunni co-religionists enjoy disproportionate representation. Before the GCC force arrived, the crown prince, Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, accepted the idea of dialogue with the opposition.

    To some observers this suggested a split in the royal family, with “hardliners” taking control and summoning the GCC force. Others wondered if the decision had really been made by the Bahraini government, or if the Saudis themselves were calling the shots.

    “More than three-quarters of Bahrain’s budget comes from the Abu Saafa oil field,” says Abdul Jalil Khallil, a colleague of Marzooq’s from Al Wefaq. “That field produces 300,000 barrels a day, half of which goes to the Saudis and the other half to Bahrain.”

    That is to say, Riyadh essentially determines the economic health of Bahrain. Most real estate investment in Manama is Saudi, and the Saudi royal family sees Bahrain as a vital strategic interest. Bahrain refines up to 270,000 barrels of Saudi oil a day, and trucks coursing the 16-mile King Fahd causeway between the two countries carry vital goods to Saudi Arabia. Coming the other way are Saudi tourists heading into Manama for shopping and the liberal cultural climate. They can let their hair down in the city’s bars and nightclubs.

    If Bahrain serves as an escape valve for the Saudis, however, it’s precisely Bahrain’s relaxed atmosphere that poses a threat to the Saudis. “The Saudis are not worried about sectarianism,” says Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. “Shia make up only 20 percent of the Saudi population. They’re worried about democracy, or anything that would wrest power out of their hands.”

    If the Saudis see Bahrain as a place to project power and dishearten their own opposition before it takes off, other observers argue that it wasn’t the Saudis who made the decision to send in troops.

    “The Bahraini establishment was under intense pressure from the United States to enter a dialogue,” says one source close to the government. “The Americans did not want to see any use of force. So the Bahrainis’ hands were tied, and they brought in the Saudis because of their special relationship with the Americans.” In other words, bringing in Riyadh was meant to shield Manama from Washington’s scrutiny.

    Manama has more than enough firepower to quell any uprising all on its own. Bahrain, with a population of 1.2 million, has some 40,000 troops—a larger army than Tunisia, which has 10.5 million people. Add the security forces (police), the national guard, and the intelligence services, and Bahrain has more armed forces per citizen than just about anywhere else in the world. The vast majority of those forces, moreover, consist of foreigners from Pakistan, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, and Sudan that the government has made citizens in an effort to tilt the sectarian balance in its favor. The number of Shia in the armed forces is minuscule.

    Why is the army so large? The al-Khalifa are afraid of Iran, but that’s why the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based in Manama: to protect Gulf oil and its producers from hostile external forces. The GCC forces are supposed to serve the same purpose. And yet the king congratulated the commander of the GCC forces as though he’d waged a successful campaign against foreign invaders rather than Bahrainis. This is because the royal family does not perceive the Shia community as part of their own people.

    “It’s a tribal matter,” says one Shia intellectual. “It’s not sectarian. It goes back to pre-Islamic days when the tribes invaded each other. You have the Bedouin and you have the towns-people. For the Bedouin there were eight months of raiding, raping, and robbing each year and four months of rest. The al-Khalifa conquered this island. They are the winners and we are the losers, and they believe they owe us nothing. This is Bedouin style—who has the sword can do what he likes.”

    The al-Khalifa play the sectarian card because it has resonance with Bahraini Sunnis and with Washington, which fears Iranian influence in any Shia movement.

    In reality, the ruling families of the Arab Gulf states are more like a confederation of organized crime families. Each has a stake in the others’ maintaining their power and collecting tribute. Most of the families originated in the Nejd region of what is now Saudi Arabia. The al-Khalifa started there and moved first to Kuwait, where their cousins, the Al-Sabah, rule. From Kuwait they went to Qatar, ruled by the Al-Thani, another Nejdi tribe, and then to Bahrain.

    “Therefore,” says my Shia informant, “the Shia have to be under them. But it wouldn’t matter if all the Shia one day converted to Judaism or Christianity or even Sunni Islam, because the bottom line would still be the same. We lost.”

    If Bahrain seems to be getting back to normal, it’s also true that a GCC force cannot put down a protest movement whose roots go back long before the recent regional wave of uprisings kicked off in December. Khalil Al Marzooq says indigenous Bahrainis have been agitating for their rights since the 1920s. “If you keep repressing people,” says Marzooq, “eventually they’ll respond. People cannot continue to live like this.”

    Lee Smith is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard and the author of The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/bahrain-falls-mainly-shia_555538.html

  • The Coming Shia War

    | More

    Hossein Askari | March 23, 2011
    The Al-Khalifas have ruled Bahrain for nearly two centuries, much of the time as a British protectorate, and for the last forty or so years as an emirate and most recently as a kingdom. With centuries of Persian rule up to about the mid 18th century, the majority of Bahrainis profess the Shia sect of Islam. Unlike other rulers in the Persian Gulf, the Al-Khalifas have had to contend with four major handicaps: (i) Bahrain has no oil or natural gas wealth to speak of, (ii) it is literally a stone’s throw away from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, where most of Saudi Arabia’s 15 percent or so Shia population live, (iii) the Al-Sauds, who financially support the Al-Khalifas, viscerally hate the Shia and have subjugated and deprived them for decades, and (iv) the Sunnis are, at most, 30 percent of Bahrain’s population. The Al-Khalifas find themselves between a rock and hard place. Understandably, the Shia majority wants freedom and a voice in the administration of their tiny island country, especially in the aftermath of Shia rising to power in Iraq and the broader “Arab Spring.” The Al-Sauds want the Shia subjugated and treated as third-class citizens–just like they are in Saudi Arabia. How have the Al-Khalifas responded?

    The Al-Khalifas have thrown their lot in with the Al-Sauds by mistreating their Shia majority. The Shia communities have less of everything the Sunni minority enjoys: modern infrastructure, healthcare, education, jobs, wealth, and a whole host of other privileges. To buttress their rule, the Al-Khalifas have put together a harsh security force largely made up of foreign mercenaries: Pakistanis, Jordanians and Yemenis. They have actively recruited and granted citizenship to Sunnis to increase their numbers. And most recently they have “invited” Saudi forces (accompanied by a few from the UAE to afford the Saudis GCC cover) to help them put down the protests, called on Kuwait to help patrol their waters, arrested the leaders of the Shia opposition for no valid reason, killed peaceful protesters and declared a three-month state of emergency, banning any and all peaceful demonstrations. This is not a pretty picture of Al-Khalifa rule in Bahrain—selling the country to the Al-Sauds and starting a process that could surely be classified as ethnic cleansing. Is this something the United States can afford to embrace? No.

    America and Western Europe have denounced the use of excessive force to obstruct demonstrators on many occasions, and condemned the killing of peaceful protestors and the use of mercenaries. They have supported the legitimate rights of people to choose their government. How can the United States and Europeans freeze the assets of the Gaddafi clan, condemn the use of overwhelming force and mercenaries, and say virtually nothing about Bahrain and Saudi Arabia’s role therein? How can they use military intervention to protect those in peril in Libya and do nothing in Bahrain except to advise ‘restraint’ to all parties? This sort of blatant duplicity will not go answered in this day and age of the Internet, social media and mobile communication devices. Sadly, US policy toward the Middle East and North Africa has been to adopt what is expedient at the time and not consider the future implications for US national security and economic interests. America must not let its ongoing involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, its historic marriage to Middle East dictators or its need for a naval base in the Persian Gulf deter it from looking at all the facts shaping its longer-term national security interests in the Middle East.

    Iran’s population is more than the population of the rest of the Persian Gulf combined, while the combined population of Iran and Iraq, both majority Shia countries, is about four times that of the six countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council. Iran and Iraq are respectively 90 and 60 percent Shia, while Bahrain is about 70 percent Shia. Iraqi Shia know what it is like to be discriminated against after decades under Saddam Hussein. In fact Iraqis already protested in Basra last week in support of their brethren in Bahrain. One thing is for sure. Iran, Iraq and their surrogates, such as Hezbollah, will not stand idly by and let this persecution against Shia gather momentum. They will intervene with ominous implications not only for Bahrain, but also for the rest of the GCC and for the future of the United States in the Persian Gulf.

    If the United States wants to protect its dictators in the region, it should use tough love to persuade these dictators to change while they have time.

    King Abdullah has reportedly taken the position that he will never allow Shia to have a say in shaping their destiny in Bahrain. Such a position is a morally reprehensible. How dare he interfere in the internal affairs of another country? How dare he quash the justifiable demands of a people? Surprisingly, at the meeting in Paris on March 19, the Saudi foreign minister was invited to have a seat at the table with legitimate governments because “the US wanted Arab support” for its intervention in Libya. This was the man who had said he would cut off any finger raised in protest! By courting Saudis, we are sending the message that their behavior is acceptable. It is not. By supporting the Al-Sauds we are sending the same message to the people of the Muslim World, especially to all Shia. And at the same time, we are doing nothing to stop the killing of innocent people by a dictator in Bahrain.

    Are the Al-Sauds an ally Washington can afford? In the Middle East, it is said that you really know a person by the company he keeps. Is this how the United States wants to be known in the region, as the ally of the Al-Sauds and the Al-Khalifas? If so, then our future in the Persian Gulf is indeed a dark one.

    If we continue to support despots in the Middle East we are handing Iran and Iraq unbelievable propaganda material. It is they who will have the moral high ground. We are giving them carte blanche to interfere in Bahrain, and eventually in Saudi Arabia, as the only means to prevent killings and ultimately ethnic cleansing. We are putting them on the right side of history. We must stop looking at each event in isolation. These are the conflicts that, if not addressed today, will beget the massive wars of the future.

    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/the-coming-shia-war-5054?page=1

  • Is it appropriate to label the Baloch nationalists’ struggle for rights as racist because of a few unfortunate attacks on Punjabi settlers?

    Similarly, is it appropriate to label #Bahrain people’s uprising for democracy as racist because of a few unfortunate attacks on Pakistanis?

    Example: http://criticalppp.com/archives/tag/baloch-nationalism and http://criticalppp.com/archives/tag/punjabi-settlers

    Razarumi Raza Rumi
    Targeting Punjabis cannot be condoned either. Settlers r equally marginalised & not the cause of repression in #Balochistan @AbdulNishapuri

    AbdulNishapuri Abdul Nishapuri
    @ Razarumi Exactly. We shd apply same principle in #Bahrain. Violence against non-Arabs unacceptable, but uprising 4 democ must be supported!

    Lesson: Context is important!!!

  • Adrian Hamilton: Bahrain’s uprising is about power not religion

    Source: Independent

    Sunni. Shia. Every time the protests in Bahrain are mentioned, they are made into a battle between these two branches of Islam, as if this was a war of religions.

    It’s not about religion, it’s about power and the desire for political change. Of course, in terms of power, it matters that 65 per cent of the population of Bahrain is Shia but 95 per cent of authority and most of the wealth belongs to the Sunni royal family and its close circle.

    But to put it in terms of a religious division is not only misleading, it also plays into the hands of those in Washington, as in Riyadh, who want to see everything through the prism of the confrontation with Iran and the fear of a so-called “Shia arc” emerging through the Gulf.

    It’s grossly exaggerated. The Iranians, ethnically Indo-European, have always had problems of influence among the Arab Shia of the region. So far Iran seems to have played virtually no part in this uprising.

    To put the Bahraini demonstrations in Muslim terms is simply a diversion from the real problem, which is that a major part of the population has had it up to the neck with a corrupt and self-serving regime which has garnered the wealth of the island to a small group of royal rich and left the majority excluded. As Ibrahim Shareef, leader of the largest non-religious party in the country, the opposition Waad, put it succinctly this week: “This is not about the Shia versus Sunni; it is about conserving the status quo.”

    It is the same as in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, the difference being that Bahrain – or rather the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa, the King’s uncle – is beholden to neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which has its own problems with minorities and has every fear of the same thing happening there.

    The decision to send in Saudi troops, together with police from the United Arab Emirates, makes it depressingly clear where we now stand in the Gulf region so far as protests are concerned. The royalist regimes are not going to tolerate them. There’s now a state of emergency in Bahrain, demonstrations have been banned in Saudi Arabia, there’s a violent crackdown (also encouraged b y the Saudis) in the Yemen.

    Talk of moderate reform, of keeping King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in Bahrain but firing his wealthy, long-serving prime minister, is now being swept aside. Sheikh Khalifa will survive (which in itself is an interesting comment on the relative power of uncle and nephew), as may the Yemeni president.

    That is not entirely good news for the Obama administration, which had urged the idea of compromise, partly to make its support for the Gulf regimes more acceptable back home and partly to forestall total revolution in the future.

    As in Libya, it’s also deeply dispiriting for those outside, as within, who looked for peaceful change in the Arab world. Yet the latest events in Bahrain should not be the cause for total pessimism. Even if protest is suppressed for the moment, it has happened and has been seen around the world to have happened. That must aggravate the feeling of anger among a resentful people within the country, for whom violent oppression has given added grievance.

    It must also affect confidence among investors abroad, who must now put a question mark over the future stability and security of these royalist regimes. That applies to western governments as well, particularly the US for whom the base in Bahrain and the oil in Saudi Arabia is of crucial importance. Alternative strategies for security and for energy are bound now to be considered.

    That may not be of enormous comfort to the protesters brutally ejected from Pearl Square, or the doctors and nurses desperately trying to care for the sick and the wounded in the hospital surrounded by security forces firing tear gas into the building.

    But the story isn’t over. Far from it. The genie is now out of the bottle and a thousand Saudi soldiers are not going to be enough to put it back in.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/adrian-hamilton/adrian-hamilton-bahrains-uprising-is-about-power-not-religion-2243894.html

  • Action calls for end to Bahrain invasion

    Sunday, March 27, 2011
    By Chris Jenkins, Perth

    Perth, March 22. Photo: Alex Bainbridge.
    A crowd of 200 people marched on the US consulate in the Perth CBD on March 22 to protest the invasion of Bahrain by Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates (UAE) soldiers to suppress the democracy movement in the country.

    Bahrain’s popular uprising threatens to follow the examples of Tunisia and Egypt, and topple its Western-backed authoritarian regime.

    Chanting outside the US consulate, the protesters — many from the local Bahraini community — made clear the hypocrisy of the US.

    The US projects itself as a champion of democracy and freedom in the world but has a long history of backing oppressive, despotic regimes friendly to the interests of US corporations.

    With the recent fall of the Hosni Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt, Barack Obama’s government wants to stabilise the Middle East and reassert its control of the region.

    The US has tried to deflect attention away from the invasion of Bahrain. Saudi Arabia is the US’s key ally in the region and is itself threatened by democratic rumblings inspired by the waves of people power gripping the region.

    US imperialism has not been challenged in such a way in the Middle East for decades.

    The protesters message was clear: it is the right of the Bahraini people to democratically determine their own lives, without the meddling of foreign interests who have supported unpopular and oppressive regimes for many years.

    The protesters took a letter to the consulate. It called on the US government to:

    “1. Condemn the Bahraini regime for the atrocities they committed against unarmed civilians.

    “2. Use its influence in the Gulf region to pressure the Saudi Arabian and UAE governments to withdraw their forces from Bahrain, and to stop the massacre of Bahraini protesters seeking legitimate shifts to democracy in the region.

    “3. Push the Bahraini government to: Lift the current emergency state in the country; stop the mass imprisonment of protesters without charge; free those already arrested since the beginning of the Bahraini peaceful uprising and; listen to the demands of its people and allow democratic changes to take place in a peaceful manner.”

    http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47131

  • Ya Zardari Madad!

    Unrest in the Arab world: Islamabad assures Riyadh of support
    By Qaiser Butt
    Published: March 28, 2011

    President Zardari with the Saudi prince at the President House in an earlier meeting. PHOTO: APP/FILE
    ISLAMABAD:
    In the backdrop of the current political uprisings in the Arab world, Pakistan has decided to play a significant role in the region by supporting Saudi Arabia, sources told The Express Tribune.
    The decision came following a string of meetings that Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, special emissary of the Saudi king, had with the Pakistani leadership over the weekend.
    The Saudi royal family scion met the top political and military leaders, among them President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.
    Prince Bandar’s whirlwind tour came as mass protests are sweeping across most of the Gulf and Middle Eastern countries. Though there is no immediate threat of an uprising against the Saudi rulers, the situation in neighbouring Bahrain is a cause for serious concern.
    In his interaction with Premier Gilani, the Saudi prince indicated that the oil-rich kingdom would extend meaningful support to Pakistan to improve its ailing economy, sources told The Express Tribune on Sunday.
    Cash-strapped Islamabad has been asking Riyadh for oil on deferred payment for quite some time now.
    Prince Bandar is said to have assured Islamabad of its help to address its immediate oil needs. He also reaffirmed that the kingdom would always stand by Pakistan to confront any challenge and support any initiative to expand bilateral ties.
    According to sources in the Foreign Office, the Saudi move to seek help from Pakistan had a tacit endorsement from the United States whose forces are stationed in Bahrain. The US 5th fleet is stationed in Bahrain under an agreement reached between the two countries 15 years ago.
    “The United States does not consider Saudi security forces’ entry into Bahrain as an invasion,” the White House said on Monday.
    Riyadh sent about 1,000 troops into Bahrain to protect government facilities after protesters overran police and blocked roads.
    Premier Gilani told Prince Bandar, who is also secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council, that his country supports the Saudi stance in the Gulf and the Middle East and would stand by Riyadh for regional peace.
    The prince briefed the prime minister on the Saudi perception of the situation in the Gulf and the Middle East.
    Sources said that the main purpose of Prince Bandar’s visit was to evaluate Islamabad’s viewpoint on the rapidly changing political situation in the Arab world, particularly on the alarming situation in Bahrain, which borders Saudi Arabia.
    In 1991, Riyadh was disappointed by Pakistan’s attitude towards the Gulf War when the then army chief Gen Aslam Beg had publicly opposed the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s decision of sending army and air force units to Saudi Arabia on the call of the kingdom.
    Faced with the threat of a direct attack from Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussien’s forces, the Saudi authorities were further disappointed when Gen Beg agreed to send only 5,000 troops after a long delay and that too under strict conditions.
    It took Islamabad several years to win back the trust of Riyadh.
    The Saudis kept referring to this ‘betrayal’ during their talks with Islamabad on all forums, a former diplomat, who has served in Riyadh, told The Express Tribune.
    Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2011.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/138742/unrest-in-the-arab-world-islamabad-assures-riyadh-of-support/

  • 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

  • @maryamalkhawaja: The Guardian: Barack Obama must speak out on Bahrain bloodshed http://tinyurl.com/68728d6 #bahrain #feb14

    HRW: Bahrain: Suspicious Deaths in Custody http://bit.ly/fYKcGl #bahrain

    TIME: How Bahrain’s Government Is Dividing the People http://ti.me/dI071J #bahrain

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2064934,00.html

    How Bahrain’s Government Is Dividing Sunnis and Shi’ites http://yhoo.it/dJgHZw

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20110413/wl_time/08599206493400

  • How Bahrain’s Government Is Dividing Sunnis and Shi’ites

    Email
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    By KAREN LEIGH / MANAMA – 1 hr 31 mins ago
    Liz, a Shi’ite in her late 20s, is afraid to leave her house. She says that the last time she went out, government-hired thugs stopped her car at one of the many checkpoints that litter Manama, the capital of Bahrain. They pulled her out, asked for her identity card and tried to ascertain one thing: whether she was Sunni or Shi’ite.
    “It’s pure racial profiling,” she says a few days later, sitting in her family’s living room in Al’Ali, a Shi’ite village north of Manama. “Your name could lead to your arrest if it’s a Shia name.” Her brother, an IT engineer, asks not to be named for fear of retribution. The last time he went out, thugs pulled him over, with his wife and child in the car. “They hauled me out, asked, ‘Are you Sunni or Shia?'” he says. “My dearest friend since childhood is a Sunni. Now he won’t even speak to me. He’s a former roommate, and now he treats me like a stranger.” Anytime he speaks to Sunnis now, he says, “it’s like there’s an invisible shield between us.” (See TIME’s exclusive photos of the crackdown in Bahrain.)
    An increasingly bitter sectarian divide is eroding the social fabric of the island kingdom, the result of a crackdown by the ruling Sunni government on Shi’ite antigovernment protesters. The government’s new, highly effective strategy of divide and rule has sought to split the country along sectarian lines, making it harder for protesters to organize a credible national opposition movement. “The most successful revolutions in the region have been in Egypt and Tunisia, and that’s because protesters have been able to unite people from different backgrounds,” says Jane Kinninmont, senior research fellow for the Middle East and North Africa Program at Chatham House. “Division in conflict is a powerful tool.”
    So far, at least 25 Shi’ites have been killed, hundreds injured and hundreds more activists, high-profile bloggers and political leaders arrested by Bahraini government forces in violent predawn raids. Opposition-party headquarters have been torched, Shi’ite citizens shot at random by security forces. The crisis has polarized the two sects – Sunnis, the wealthier ruling class, vs. Shi’ites, who comprise the 70% majority. In February, demonstrators from both groups had said they were united. “No Sunni, no Shia,” they chanted. They waved banners that read, “We are one.” That unity has dissipated. (See pictures of government troops routing protesters from Pearl Square.)
    “The Bahraini regime has increasingly adopted an us-vs.-them attitude, seeing Shias as intent on subverting the country,” says Shadi Hamid, research director at the Brookings Doha Center and a fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. “By repeating the same narrative over and over, more Sunnis start believing it, and more Shias feel they are being painted as enemies.” The biggest factor in the split is propaganda spread by state-controlled media, namely flagship network Bahrain TV. The regime also continues to jail opposition journalists and independent bloggers, has placed strict visa restrictions on foreign reporters and shuttered the newspaper of opposition party al-Wefaq.
    According to the opposition, Bahrain TV’s tactics include the false planting of guns and knives at protesters’ feet. Medical staffers at Salmaniya Hospital, which was for a time under military control, told TIME that station crews had allowed a doctor to leave, filmed his happy exit, then beat and sent him back inside the emergency room. “Bahrain TV is playing with fire by taking the lead of creating sectarian conflict between the two denominations,” says one opposition leader, asking to remain anonymous. On March 22, in the first demonstration on the streets of Manama since martial law was declared the week before, protesters added a new chant to their usual repertoire calling for the toppling of the Bahraini King, “Down with Bahrain TV.” (See “Has Bahrain’s Opposition Thrown In the Towel?”)
    Across the island a few days before the rally, in the Sunni community of Galali, the streets were peaceful and devoid of police, in contrast to the gun-toting checkpoints around Shi’ite communities. Najah, a Sunni, was driving in her new red sport-utility vehicle. She spoke of the protesters with vitriol, saying she had heard on Bahrain TV that they were attacking riot police with guns and knives. “Before we lived, ate and worked together,” she said of Sunnis and Shi’ites. “We want to live in peace. Everyone’s asking why the Shi’ites are doing this to our country. We’re scared.” She was parked in front of a community center whose garden, bystanders said, was normally filled in evenings by Sunnis and Shi’ites, who gather to talk and smoke shisha. It’s been empty for weeks.
    Hasan Ali Ashifi, a retired airport engineer, spoke in front of a leafy villa in Amwaj Islands, a wealthy area largely populated by Sunnis and expatriates and physically a world away from the beleaguered Shi’ite villages across the causeway. He said he and other Sunnis had stopped supporting the protests when they went beyond the original demands of democratic reform and started calling for the King’s ouster. “We supported the original protests when they wanted housing and education,” he said. “Sunnis want that too. But we don’t want to take out the whole government. And we don’t want them using violence.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20110413/wl_time/08599206493400

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