Sometimes there are topics of which I don’t like to really write about, and this one is one of them. I actually don’t have a choice. I feel responsible and my brains start itching if I don’t inform the general public through my modest articles about where we are heading. In simple terms, we are slowly and daily moving further away from reaching our goal.
Of course each person and nation has different set of goals, but I believe this specific goal is one for us all. I believe that one of the most important goals is the ability to overcome the voices of false by the voices of truth. Read through my article to see my prescription to this terrible and powerful overstretching phenomenon.
There are a number of reasons that inspired me to write this article. The first, is an article published in the New York Times by Souad Mekhennet a couple of days ago. One paragraph almost summed up the whole sectarian movement that took place in Bahrain last year in February and March. The writer asked a Shiite student in the University of Bahrain about democracy and here’s what he said, “That’s up to our religious leadership.”
Wow! I’d really give her full credits for being able to get this out in public and published as well. This is no real shock to all of us here in Bahrain and the GCC and Arabs as well, but all along many in Bahrain have been trying to relay this message to the international audience, without any real success. The failure to convey this message earlier was due to a number of reasons, one of which has to do with the mismanagement of containing a sectarian revolution.
Another important event portrayed in Souad’s article is the infamous Khalid Al Sardi’s beating that happened in the roof of an academic building in the University of Bahrain. The only crime that Khalid did was that he was a Sunni. What is important about this is when and where it took place. Many these days blame ‘Bahrain Television’ (BTV) for being the main reason behind driving the protests into a sectarian one. Thus, they place a red circle around their Twitter avatar to remind everyone about what BTV has done. Khalid Al Sardi’s beating happened before the red circles appeared on BTV.
And then there’s Omar, the young Sunni student who was forced by his Shiite teacher to kiss her foot everyday for five months. If the opposition in Bahrain simply denounced this inhumane act, then I’d barely have weight to bring this issue up here. However, they stood by the teacher and simply placed the act in their ‘say it was a lie’ favorite basket. Was BTV responsible for making the teacher do such a thing? Was the Government of Bahrain responsible? Was it the 40 year Prime Minister? The only crime this young boy committed was that his name was Omar, named after the second Caliphate, an Islamic hero and a very close companion to the Prophet, peace and prayers upon him.
To note, the Shiite books followed by extreme Shiite leaders preach hatred towards the caliphates, including Omar, who lead the Islamic world before Ali, the Prophet’s cousin. Something else to keep in mind is that the ex-GCC roundabout is now named after Omar, The Farooq intersection. He was called Omar Al Farooq for his bravery and strength.
Let’s take few steps back and remember the support that protesters received from the Arab world only, not the international press. The Shia press and politicians in Kuwait, the Shia press and politicians and terrorists in Lebanon, the Shia press and politicians and militias in Iraq, and most of all Iran. Let’s ask ourselves why, and why are GCC leaders, except Kuwait, are represented by Foreign Ministers and Ambassadors to the current Arab League Summit held in Baghdad?
I’m not an extremist sectarian individual at all. I try to be as fair as possible in an attempt to follow the preaching of my prophet, who once said: “If I learned that my own daughter have committed a theft crime, I’d punish her the same way I’d punish anyone of you.”
I however cannot remain silent on all these sectarian acts. Yes Bahrain has shortcomings in many reform agendas, but so do every single country around the world. Our Prime Minister is not responsible for the corruption in America by ALEC, nor is he responsible for the greed in Greece. However, we are blessed with a relatively small country and we should be able to resolve our political, social, and economic problems faster than others. The only way to resolve our issues and go over the obstacles we face is through being more informed. Being more informed starts when someone is born to the day he graduates from school. We’ve been only looking at how to raise the quality of higher education, and that’s like microwaving a cake, not cooking it. I have some depressing statistics on our average Bahraini students compared to the world average. I will share them next week. So be prepared for a big shock!
By solving this issue, we’ll be able NOT to say, “That’s up to our religious leadership.”