Two dead protestors, the families are in despair but in the presence of international media they manage to parade the body of one whilst in the usual manner point fingers at police. Sadly both young offenders were out on the streets with no other reason than to attack the police. Similar attacks during the same week resulted in the death of one policeman and almost one hundred were injured, some serious. The youth showed no mercy when they stabbed a resident who tried to stop molotov attacks in his village. There is always remorse when a young person dies, but when his death could have been avoided if his parents acted like responsible adults is even more shameful for Bahrain society.
The Bahraini culture is family orientated, and children are expected to run around mischievously whilst family members gently bring them back into line. Living within an extended family means that children grow up around many adults who will have some influence on the child. In general, children grow up gregarious – sharing their food, drinks and personal belongings without a second thought. It is the way children are raised, to share and live together in unity with people of different personalities and mindsets. This is what makes Bahrain unique in so many ways – the people.
The fanatics who have infiltrated the villages are in essence trying to break up the camaraderie and kindness of a population that for generations has lived along side people from all walks of life. Violence has never been tolerated and if you were to ask any expatriates who live in Bahrain, they will candidly tell you that Bahrain is a country where one can raise children with little fear and women are free to move around safely – a country safer than most around the world.
So what’s changed from what Bahrain was to what it is today?
Everything has changed. The country’s population has increased; people travel more, reach higher levels in education with 70% of the graduates being women. A study carried out by the World Bank shows that “better educated women are more likely to raise better-fed and healthier children who will themselves be educated. Women who are given access to credit generate more economic gains than when men receive loans”. Through governmental initiatives, entrepreneurs have been offered opportunities to set-up SMEs – a boost for the economy. The vision of the PM to bring international education and business projects has attracted investors and taken the country to new economical heights. Despite the increase in spending power, the essence of the majority has not changed – the people remain compassionate, generous and tolerant.
What Al Wefaq political party is attempting to do and to some extent has succeeded, is to fragment and polarize society and allow for easy manipulation and control under the motto “divide and rule”. The leadership on the other hand has always worked under the vision of “United we stand”. There is no systematic discrimination based on gender, religion, creed or colour.
It is time for figures in authority to stand together for a better future for the sake of the country. Members of Parliament who believe that Bahrain has been built on the “blood of martyrs from the 1990s” have no place under a moderate leadership and open-minded society. These people are in a position of power and to abuse freedom of speech with a show of prejudice that is out of place would imply that they are incapable of balanced views. How can they be in a position to represent anyone except themselves?
The majority spoke when they gathered in Arad last Thursday. It was not a rally, not a demonstration and no violence ensued despite the thousands that turned out – it was a show of allegiance to Bahrain. Once again, the people of Bahrain proved to the world that the majority of this country will not discard their culture and religion and turn to violence, nor will they be dragged into anyone’s political agenda. The thousands who came demanded peace, security and a better future for all. That is the grass roots of the people of this nation. The international media failed to acknowledge the thousands of citizens and residents because none of them danced to their dramatic tabloid tune.
Al Wefaq rallies, funerals and protests are infested with violence and unfathomable hate. Organisers demand violence from their recruited youth and are ready to accept deaths as a means of achieving their fanatical goal. The authorities must take severe action against the perpetrators of violence and begin the process of debriefing. Moderation at this point does not seem to be an option and the criminals who carry out terrorist acts are more experienced, and more merciless than they were in 2011.
It will not be an easy task to bring communities back into the fold, but it is not impossible as humans ultimately crave long-term security not only for themselves but also for their families. No one is ready to sell a nation and allow it to be taken into an abyss of Welayat Faqih.
Bahrain is on the brink of a new era. What the future holds is unclear, but the true Bahraini people have spoken– they have reached out to the leadership to demand an end to the violence, insecurity, suffering and international interference.