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What do they want in Bahrain? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The violent demonstrations carried out by 300 Bahrainis in the country’s capital by no means could be attributed to calls for freedom or democracy. The demonstration explicitly aimed at sabotaging the Formula 1 racing event that has been held in Bahrain due to the country’s thriving economy and in recognition of its local and international prosperity.

Bahrain is a clear story of unique political success. In the past few years, Bahrain had shifted from an isolated state to become one of the most open and democratic of Gulf countries. Following this extensive experience that had incorporated all aspects of political life in Bahrain and achieved a true political balance, we were left questioning the reasons behind the eruption that sought to demolish an established stability. Those demonstrators could have simply expressed their opinions and demands through a number of governmental authorities and other civil rights associations that could have represented the demands of the demonstrators.

Unfortunately, there are some parties in Bahrain that aim to spread chaos and to waste the successful political endeavor accomplished in Bahrain. Bahrain had shifted its outlook and practices in a manner that deserves appreciation and not sabotage. To face this deliberate chaos, the responsibility will be given to civil associations that will be the first to suffer from these attempts of destroying security in the country. The creation of battles actually impedes on the country’s strategy towards its preparation for foreign investments and the widening of employment opportunities for Bahraini citizens who do not enjoy the same revenue from oil production like other Gulf countries. When the responsibility is shifted to the heads of various civil institutions then we must consider the fact that such civil institutions have a strong capacity in winning public opinion. Without there being any solidarity expressed by different institutions towards the government and a clear stand against whoever violates the laws and threatens peace in Bahrain, Bahraini’s model of success could be subjected to failure allowing the malicious party that wants Bahrain to be autocratic like other regional governments will succeed in their endeavor. Let us recall the degree of mockery that had been expressed against Bahraini authorities when it declared the open door policy. At that point, some stated that that stage would only be temporary whilst others claimed that Bahraini officials are simply selling slogans. Nevertheless, those who doubted the Bahraini endeavor completely dismissed that there was actually a risk by getting involved in achieving political reforms. Yet, the Bahraini government had widely opened the door since the first day that it called for more freedoms. Many demonstrations were organized and numerous accusations were made against the government, until people realized that the freedoms they were being granted were genuine and are practiced through the media, the parliament and the public. All these successful steps are targeted by malicious individuals who aim at sabotaging the Bahraini success through violent demonstrations and at spreading aggressive feelings amongst citizens.

There is no explanation for causing riots and those that do so are parties that aim to endanger Bahraini stability, as unrest is the basic ingredient for spreading violence and damaging the social, economic and political fabric of society. These parties exist only to destroy the political achievements and systemic shifts that have taken place.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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