For this week, I have two very important topics to discuss. One is on a recently uncovered scandal about an International Human Rights organization, and the second is about explaining more of the sectarian reality in Bahrain. The first begins when an anonymous person sent me a tape with him/her arguing with a senior figure who belongs to a famous Human Rights organization regarding the situation in Bahrain. In a nutshell, some conspiracy theories that I used to never believe are becoming more plausible after I heard what I heard.
I won’t discuss this topic today, and may do so later, if I haven’t decided to hand over the tape to a journalist (Let me know if you’re interested). I can say that I do now stand by the decision of my government not allowing some Human Rights organizations come to Bahrain, because they really have other goals in mind, that can be harming if applied today.
About few weeks ago, I received an email from a Masters student, named Reza Akbari, requesting to meet me. I really admired his approach and the fact that he was willing to come to Bahrain all the way from Washington, D.C. simply to have a better and more solid understanding for his thesis. He was working with a partner, Jason Stern. He asked good questions and I knew that he will eventually produce a report that is one of the best of its kind, and they did right here.
I read it, and I liked it, with only few comments that I think would very much add to the quality of their work. First and foremost, I think that with the time and effort they have placed, they could not have done a better job. It was nothing less than excellent for its type. But, if this was a paper for a course in Ph.D. or a research to be published in a renowned journal, then my suggestion is to invest in finding out why the issue of sectarianism has risen from last year’s events.
I, for example, am friends with many Bahrainis who call themselves ‘liberals’, or should I say, used to call themselves that. Now, they’d prefer to buy their coffee from Starbucks, a store that many used to boycott because of its ties to Israel, than from Costa Coffee, a store owned by a Shia multimillionaire. What happened?
Well, many people here, their friends, and cooperatives elsewhere directly blame the government, or the Information Affairs Authority (IAA) for being the reason behind driving last year’s protests towards sectarianism. Reza and Stern, mentioned above, have bought this argument and said that it is a move by the government to ‘divide and rule.’ You see, anyone who knows the government pretty well, such as myself, would agree that the government really had no clue what to do, let alone strategize exactly how to take care of the protests. Everybody was on his own!
I think, given my background, I’m at a very comfortable position to make some conclusions, so hang tight. I’ve been in the Army for many years, have worked for the IAA, and have a modest Political Science background. Like many Bahrainis, I followed closely the events before, during and after they had happened. If the government had a strategy, they wouldn’t have allowed the protests to reach the roundabout and camp there in the first place, because it was illegal. Put simply, the government had no idea that the media would end up being the tool to win or lose.
When it came to media, and I know it, each TV presenter had the total ‘Freedom’ to discuss whatever he/she wanted and accept phone calls from citizens who wanted to raise their concerns about important issues they saw necessary. So the issue is not ‘why did you order this presenter to use a sectarian tone in his show’, but more like ‘why have you not stopped the presenter from showing his emotions.’ Think about it for a second and you’ll see my point.
So the million dollar question is, why are people in Bahrain becoming more extreme and will they reconcile after all this? One thing that TV presenters on Bahrain TV have done, as well as Islamists from the Salafi and Muslim Brotherhood, is to uncover to the citizens of Bahrain and the Arab world the Shia extremists who were hiding behind the ‘Democracy’ and ‘Human Rights’ shields. Through more information, more reading, and more research into the ideology that moves the goal post every time the government reaches closer to it, normal citizens in Bahrain are finding out more about the work being done to swallow The Kingdom of Bahrain just like Iraq was swallowed. In this video, Hezbollah’s TV Channel Almanar, two members of the opposition clearly state that they do follow the Iranian Islamic ideology. Note that one of them is a ‘Human Rights’ activist. We started revisiting the Iranian revolution and the expansionist ideology and clearly saw that extremists have never went to sleep.
What this tells us is that in order for you to understand more of what really went on last year, and today as well, we have to really divulge into knowing more about the Sunni and Shia schools of thought. We will never be able to find a solution if we do not know the cause of the problem. To the many psychos, such as the one I heard on the leaked tape, if a country turns up moving towards theocracy due to democratic reforms, so be it! What are the qualifications of a human rights activist who sees Iraq as a successful democracy?
The next step for Reza and Stern is to find out the driving force that makes Islamists,from both sects, increase their followers and foundation. For that, they need to see the historical, regional, and the Iranian clerical ideology that is adapted here in Bahrain and rejected throughout the Arab world, except in Syria, Southern Lebanon, and now Iraq.
Today, and day by day, Shia opposition in Bahrain are yet to come out publically discounting the Iranian clerical ideology. In fact, they have done the exact opposite, as you can see in the video above. Unless they do so, the future will set aside reconciliation, and simply initiate containment by proper, more modernized, rule of law.