Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bahrain not sunny for Shias

Article follows my comments;

This article is worth reading in the light of how governments get toppled violently. It is the tragedy of the humanity, where the rulers gets arrogant and believe that the minority is subservient to them, because they know it better.

Peace talks fall flat in the face of injustice which ensures non-sustainability of a government, people will bear it and bear it, but deep in their heart there is a spark that craves for justice, and each incident accumulates and catches fire to the point that, it is difficult to reverse the idea of getting even when they get their turn.

This arrogance is not a characteristic of Bahraini rulers alone, it is with the Republicans, Neocons, Islamists, Hindutva, Zionists and other extremists groups.

I hope the Bahraini rulers wake up and take care of the disadvantaged ones before it is too late. Stability of a government is directly dependent on its ability to ensure justice for one and all.

Mike Ghouse

Not so sunny for Shias
Apr 3rd 2008 MANAMA, BAHRAIN
From The Economist print edition

A put-upon majority feels done down—and is getting angry

THE monarchy of Bahrain regards itself as a beacon of democracy in the Middle East. It was the first in the Gulf to give all its citizens the vote, setting up a partially elected parliament, albeit with limited powers, in 2002. Yet in the past few months its officials concede that in an average week there have been more than two riots and five public protests.

Most of the unrest takes place outside the predominantly Sunni capital, Manama, in poorer, mostly Shia, villages. No official statistics are published but some villagers say that a third or even half of them have no jobs. Bahrainis are readier to work in menial jobs than their wealthier counterparts in Kuwait or the United Arab Emirates but cheap foreign workers depress wages. A typical foreign construction worker is housed in a labour camp, cannot bring his family to Bahrain and earns around $160 a month, which would barely support a Bahraini family with four or five children.

The soaring price of land is another grumbling point. Some Bahrainis have been waiting for state housing since 1992. Mortgages are hard to get. Yet the government has embarked on a grandiose campaign to reclaim land, with banks pouring cash into construction. Many of the new schemes are for fancy flats and artificial islands, like those in Dubai, and are more likely to be sold to rich Saudis or people from the emirates than to Bahrainis.

To make matters worse, these inequalities often have a sectarian tint. Most Bahrainis are Shias but the royal family is Sunni. The Shias are more likely to be jobless; many government employers discriminate in favour of Sunnis. “Recently I went for a public-sector job and they asked me what sect I was,” says a sour Shia mechanic. “But I didn't come to the garage to pray!”
Ebrahim Sharif, a former banker, heads Wa'ad, a liberal Arab-nationalist party. Himself a Sunni, he thinks Sunni and Shia Bahrainis should form a united opposition. “Most of the Shias are worse off than the average Sunni but the only first-class citizens are the royal family,” he says. However his party lost all its seats in the last election, and the parliament is dominated by Islamists of both sects.

These included the country's main Shia opposition group, Wefaq National Islamic Society, which joined parliament in 2006 after boycotting the previous election four years earlier. Its presence raised hopes of change. But voters are growing frustrated with parliament as they realise how few powers its elected members have. The government controls the pace of liberalisation. Local political activists get little support from abroad. America is wary of calling for more democracy. It fears that parliamentarians may turn against America's naval base in Bahrain, its biggest in the Gulf; last year a majority of them declared that it should not be used in any war between America and Iran. More recently the government has signed an agreement with America to help Bahrain develop peaceful nuclear technology.

Wefaq must now deal with one of the trickiest sectarian issues raised by its supporters: a widespread rumour that the government is handing out passports to Sunnis from other countries in an attempt to turn the Shias into a minority. These fears were raised in a report in 2006 by a former government adviser, Salah al-Bandar, who said he had confidential government documents revealing such a plan, The government hotly denies any such thing. The row has flared up again with the publication of government statistics that show the population jumping by 41% last year and the number of citizens growing by 15%, against a previous rate of 2.4%.

Wefaq wants to question a minister named in Mr Bandar's report. The constitution says a minister must submit to questions in parliament if five of the assembly's members so demand; in this case, 18 want the minister questioned, so far in vain. The row has paralysed parliament for the past six weeks as debates have descended into shouting matches; for one week it was suspended. A Sunni Islamist member says it should be dissolved. Wefaq is wondering whether it was sensible to have joined it.

This week, just before its officials were to attend a UN meeting to review Bahrain's human-rights record, the government said it would set up a new human-rights task-force. What a coincidence

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.