Analysis: Bahraini views on US terrorist listing

Posted on

The US State Department’s decision to list two affiliates of the Al Ashtar Brigades on a terrorist list was strongly welcomed by many Bahrainis. The organisation which is backed by Iran was responsible for the deadliest attack on Bahraini soil that left three policemen dead in March 2014.

There was a notable tendency for Bahrainis to welcome this new readiness by the US to get tough on terrorism in the GCC and to take a stronger approach on Iran. However, many people raised other concerns about American policies towards the region and Muslims more generally. Below is a range of opinions on how Bahrainis viewed the recent decision by the United States:

...
Hits: 161
0
Continue reading 0 Comments

The rise and fall of Bahrain’s left-wing

Posted on

A shared political consciousness

As the first state in the Arabian Gulf region to discover oil in 1931, Bahrain has a long history of political and civil society activism. Many of the first generation of modern political figures were educated in new schools set up during the 1920s, giving Bahrain a strong progressive edge over many of its neighbours. The first girls’ school in the entire region appeared in Manama in 1928.

Due to Bahrain’s small size, most of the prominent figures who would dominate Bahrain’s political scene over the coming decades went to school with each other; including members of the ruling family, political activists and professionals.

The first manifestations of political activism appeared among workers of the national oil company, Bapco, with workers demanding better pay and conditions; as well as preferment for Bahraini workers. During this generation which appeared between the first and second world wars, one of the noticeable features was the eradication of sectarian barriers. People from both Sunni and Shia villages attended these modern schools together and worked alongside each other.

...
Hits: 385
Continue reading 0 Comments

Dialogue with the sponsors of terror

Posted on

Dialogue is the first step towards peace and stability in any situation of conflict throughout history. Our region has been plagued by high levels of instability and insecurity with the rise of extremist groups that are waging a war against modernisation, progress and all forms of freedom. The two biggest powers in the Arabian Gulf region Saudi Arabia and Iran have had had a tense relationship throughout the past few decades following the Islamic revolution in Iran that openly aims at exporting the Welayat Al Faqih ideology to other countries. 

 

For much of Muslim history, Sunnis and Shia have peacefully coexisted without there always being sharp awareness of the minor theological differences between them. Sunni-Shia tensions have throughout history been the result of competing Islamic empires such as the Ottomans and Safavids who exploited sectarian affiliations for political gain. The conflict is today represented between Sunni Saudi Arabia and GCC states and Shia Iran which wants to take the lead in the Muslim world, particularly through trying to dominate a number of Arab states which have been weakened by conflict.

...
Hits: 452
Continue reading 0 Comments

Who is worse: Daesh or Al-Hashd al-Shaabi?

Posted on

In Iraq, ISIS and Al-Hashd al-Shaabi are fighting against each other. However, both entities in different ways represent a threat to the region.

Al-Hashd al-Shaabi was established in mid-2014 as a collection of mainly-Shia militias to fight against ISIS (Daesh), after the collapse of the Iraqi Army and ISIS’s capture of the Iraqi city of Mosul. However, the sectarian objectives of these militias, which are partly funded and commanded by Iran, create long-term threats for the region, setting the stage for sectarian unrest and regional conflict long after Daesh has been forced out of all its territory. It is of particular concern that Hashd leaders have threatened other Arab states, like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Yemen.

This poses the question; which of these two entities poses the greatest threat to the region. Below we will compare these two organizations according to a number of criteria, to try and reach a conclusion about which group represents the greatest long-term danger.

Number of active fighters

...
Hits: 630
Continue reading 0 Comments