Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Inside the Bahraini Demonstrations - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

When will some Bahrainis be fair to their country? There are people that believe that democracy is nothing more then they right to hold demonstrations, or take to the streets with or without good reasons. That is what happened in Bahrain, when some considered the caricature that was published in Al-Ayyam daily to be an insult to Iranian Supreme Guardian Khamenei, and should have never been published.

The newspaper published the cartoon and later explained that the demonstrating demographic had misunderstood its meaning. However, these demonstrators walked the streets of Bahrain, and not Iran, and to make matters worse threatened to kill the editor-in-chief of the newspaper. This highlights essential and serious issues inside this multi sect society. It was a kind of sectarian provocation and form of intimidation to the Bahraini public. Ali Khamenei is the leader of the Islamic revolution in Iran, where some of the Shiites themselves follow him, while some oppose him. It is unacceptable to launch demonstrations and cause sectarian irritation among the people because of a caricature that the newspaper made clear was not meant to offend or insult the Supreme Leader.

Bahraini religious leader, Aqeel Al-Musawi, who sent a scathing message to editor-in-chief of the newspaper, calling him a traitor and threatening him as well probably doesn”t realize how serious it is to use such harsh, uncivilized and even sectarian language in a country the size of Bahrain. He must be unaware of conflict these words can provoke regarding relations between some Shiite activists in Bahrain and Iran. The issue as he surely knows is highly dangerous. The Shiites in Bahrain, like all other human beings, have their ideologies, stances, and disagreements. This is quite natural and normal. What is abnormal is for one of them to show himself as an extension to Iran or any other country.

On previous occasions, demonstrators held non-Bahraini flags and agitated public opinion. Through such behavior, they raised doubts regarding the loyalty and patriotism of Bahraini Shiites. Only ignorant people would believe such misgivings, because Bahrainis, whether Shiites or Sunnis, can never be loyal to anyone but to their country.