WARIS SHERE

Family of the Heart - DIALOGUE & DISCUSSIONS 

 Bahrain has become like an apartheid state

It is extremely sad, disappointing, and pitiful to see Bahrain an America's ally continues to rock the Kingdom of Bahrain. Since the British left the tiny island-state in the 1970s, Bahrain has been ruled by the Khalifa royal family, a Sunni Muslim dynasty dating back to the pre-Islamic Arab tribe of the Annizah. Today, despite a population that is nearly two-thirds Shiite Muslim, members of the Sunni royal family continues to manage nearly all of the country’s government and social programs. Sectarian violence continues to be a key factor in the crisis. The Bahraini capital of Manama has seen increasingly violent clashes between Shiite protesters and the Sunni armed forces. According to Nicholas Kristof , a columnist for The New York Times, the United States is in a vise — caught between our allies and our values.
Bahrain has become like an apartheid state. There seems a systematic governmental policies of discrimination that is taking place in Bahrain under the Al-Khlifa ruling family. Shia only holds 13% of the high official post in the country. They are not allowed to work in the Bahraini Army, in police force and are not allowed to include their religious believes in the school curriculum. Shia attendance in the University of Bahrain is above 70% while the majority of them are unemployed as a specific policy of the government. The government has made it extremly difficult for the Shia youth to live in Bahrain where they are forcing them to leave Bahrain to neighboring countries for employment. The Shia mosques are neglected by the Bahraini government and it is almost impossible to get a permit to build a Shia mosque in the country. Shia citizens cannot buy land or house in 48% of the country because the government refuses to allow Shia citizens to purchase land and houses on those areas; like East and West Riffa. Shia are not allowed to study Islam according to their sect in the government schools. Shia Friday sermons are completely neglected by the government media while Sunni sermons are aired live every Friday. Recently Michael Slackman also of New York Times was caught by Bahrain security forces . They pointed shotguns at him and that he was afraid they were about to shoot when he pulled out his passport and shouted that he was an American journalist.
Then, he says, the mood changed abruptly and the leader of the group came
over and took Slackman’s hand, saying warmly: “Don’t worry! We love Americans!“. We’re not after you. We’re after Shia,” the policeman added.
Slackman recalls: “It sounded like they were hunting rats.” As Mideast
scholar Michael Rubin recently noted, Bahrain is both “a flash point between
the United States and Iran” and “a flash point between Saudi Arabia and
Iran.” In the final analysis, American interests in the Persian Gulf and
beyond hinge on stability in Bahrain. White House is not yet capable of
making bold new strategies for America’s foreign policies in the region. In
Bahrain, the stakes couldn’t be higher for the Obama administration.

 

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