Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

‘Iranian Chaos’ in Bahrain | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Shi’ite Cleric Isa Qasim

While ink is still wet on the order stripping Shi’ite cleric Isa Qasim of citizenship, Iran rushed into proving Bahrain’s sovereign decision right. At first, the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs fiercely defended Qasim and condemned the “arbitrary” decision, after that it was Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani who said that Bahrain had doomed its regime to a fatality by withdrawing Qasim’s citizenship, considering it an ultimate crime against humanity.

Doing Bahrain another favor, IRGC’s major general Qasem Soleimani, notorious for leading sectarian bigoted militias in Iraq and Syria, directly threatened an armed bloodthirsty “resistance” showing up in Bahrain, both motivated by the Qasim incident and violence.

Not only do those declarations prove Iran’s wanton interference in the affairs of neighboring countries, but they also define its unwarranted policy for openly supporting armed movements. Once again Iran operates unlike any other country in this world.

“For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words thou shalt be condemned,” — the Bahrain administration would thus acknowledge the great service given by its Iranian peer.

Although I do not believe in the method of stripping anyone from citizenship, and that the measure should not be hackneyed, the principals on humanitarian rights decree that one cannot overlook a person backed by a foreign government and who supports chaos in his or her own country.

Should Bahrain release Qasim, after knowing that he purposely incites strife among its citizens, violates the law and compromises civil peace? Should the Manama government corroborate political reform at the cost of overlooking counterterrorism policies?

Despite citizenship being a duly right which everyone must take into consideration, no one is above the law. The security and safety of a nation and its people are forever an ultimate priority.

Isa Qasim headed a foreign-led religious organization which violates national constitution and law, abuses other sects in Bahrain, strikes social elements, and targets national unity. Hence the decision on stripping Qasim’s citizenship is part of Bahrain’s strategy on fighting terrorism.

All attempts on distorting Bahrain’s image, forging facts and downplaying its counterterrorism efforts must be drawn to a stop. Not for the sake of saving Bahrain itself, as much as it is to protect the whole region from the daily strain of terrorism it faces.

With the world becoming a fertile ground nurturing loud contradictions, some countries sought opportunity in Qasim’s loss of citizenship to accuse Bahrain of inciting sectarian strife, violence, and compromising the nation’s best interest. The accusations are quite politically strange, given the principals of national loyalty were unheeded. The same Western countries criticizing Bahrain for stripping the citizenship of a person, who proved to be inciting violence and hatred, have a history in revoking the citizenship of those who had earned it, after sensing the slightest danger against their national security. Exercising rights of sovereignty was without hesitation.

It is as if Western countries are alone allowed to lecture humanitarian rights and principals, without even allowing others any justification, while alternatively – when it’s the West’s turn- all is fair in the name of fighting terrorism and protecting national security and stability.

It is time for the Manama government to rest assured. It is not obliged to either explain or clarify its decision to strip Isa Qasim from his nationality, especially after Iran has provoked a so-called “revolution” in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Iranian stances play the best defense to Bahrain’s decision.