Parliament - ABC of civil society

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The benefits of civil society for Bahrain and for you

Why do MPs get blamed for everything?

Citizens all over the world (and perhaps especially in Bahrain) tend to have something of a passive-aggressive attitude to their parliamentary representatives: They mostly ignore them when everything is going well; and then blame them for everything when the going gets tough!

MPs themselves are often guilty of unrealistically raising expectations, with impossible promises at elections time; but then failing to properly engage with the public to explain their role and represent their achievements and failures once they have won their seats.

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Daesh heralds Eid with rivers of blood

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Daesh has once again demonstrated that it is the mortal enemy of all true Muslims, with a wave of atrocities across the Muslim world, culminating in the holy places of Saudi Arabia.

There is no justification for murdering innocent worshippers, especially at a time when Muslims are fasting for Ramadan and preparing for Eid. Eid al-Fitr this year will be marked by hundreds of families in Turkey, Bangladesh, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq mourning the loss of loved ones and wondering why this had to happen.

This senseless and arbitrary killing is so far from the teachings and spirit of our tolerant and peaceful faith that those who perpetrated these acts can’t simply claim to be misled. Anybody who justifies, condones or supports such acts can truly be considered to be the enemy of both Islam and humanity.

Daesh’s propagandists will claim that these attacks across the Muslim world are a sign of its strength and power. In reality they are proof of its weakness and inevitable demise. Daesh is lashing out after being pushed out of Al-Fallujah, Al-Ramadi and many other areas of Iraq, Libya and Syria. The end of its satanic “Caliphate” is simply a matter of time and the world will jointly rejoice its passing.

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Beware of who you’re championing

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Open message to US Senators and the State Department

A number of US Senators have written to Secretary of State John Kerry demanding a rethink on military sales to Bahrain in the context of the closure of Al-Wefaq Islamic Society and the move to withdraw nationality from Ayatollah Isa Qassim. The State Department also condemned the measures against Isa Qassim, saying that this would "further divert Bahrainis from the path of reform and reconciliation".

The moves against these entities are undoubtedly controversial and have provoked a broad range of reactions. However, US Senators and the State Department should consider a number of factors before speaking out forcefully in support of these elements:

Separating politics from religion

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Quality of life - ABC of civil society

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The benefits of civil society for Bahrain and for you

Why quality of life?

One could argue that the primary role of all civil society organizations is to improve the quality of life of people across society. This either encompasses the work of charities which aim to improve the quality of life of those with special needs and the most vulnerable sectors of society; or clubs which provide entertainment and activities for members to give greater value and purpose to their lives; or societies which lobby government and institutions to better serve the public and help citizens enjoy their rights and freedoms.

Quality of living challenges for Bahrain

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