The recent furore over the re-election of Sepp Blatter as the head of FIFA has shown the importance the world places on sporting events. Hosting a major sporting event is seen as a ticket into an elite club! That is why so many nations put so much money and hope in their attempts to secure major tournaments. The Muslim world is not immune to this kind of hysteria, as was found when Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 Football World cup.
Another Gulf state which feels it has ‘arrived’ is Bahrain which since 2004 has been hosting the Formula One Grand Prix – a ‘sport’ exclusively for the elite and one that perhaps exemplifies western self-indulgent culture more than any. This year’s event was to take place on March 13, however due to the political uprising in Bahrain the race was cancelled.
Despite the months of protests and oppression there has been very little Western condemnation of the Bahraini regime. Bahrain, which is the home of the American sixth fleet, is just too important to Western interests to even condemn let alone boycott.
It is under this cloud of continuing uncertainty and protest in the country that the FIA, Formula 1s governing body, has now re-scheduled the Bahraini Grand Prix for 30th October. This has meant pushing the Indian race back into December but it allows Bahrain a green light back into the fold of the so-called ‘civilised’ world. Not everyone in the sport is apparently happy with extending the season into December or the ramifications of being involved in an event that seems to condone the actions of the Bahraini regime.
For the Bahraini government re-scheduling the race portrays a sense of normality and signals to the world that Bahrain is open for business once again. Such a portrayal however false would not be possible without Formula 1, with its western backers, agreeing to return to Bahrain despite the violent way in which the Government has put down the protests. All the political spin about supporting so called ‘pro-democracy’ protests is meaningless when money and political allegiance is put before the lives of those on the streets.
Unsurprisingly the protests have done little to change the attitude of the tyrannical elite in Bahrain. They still see their Mecca as the West paying little attention to the desires of their people for political change. The return of the Grand Prix is seen by the ruling family as justification for their actions, they do not fear Allah (swt) but are contented when their masters in the West can openly do business with them.
Although the FIA appears now to have decided to cancel the re-scheduled race it’s not because of any moral objection at the killing of protesters. The demand to abandon the re-scheduled Bahrain GP is for logistical reasons with many Formula 1 teams selfishly stating in a letter to the FIA that it would be “unbearable to our staff” to extend the racing season.
The attitude of both the West and the ruling family in Bahrain clearly shows that unless there is a true independent leadership making money will always be put above the lives of the innocent.
The only system that will give a voice to the oppressed of Bahrain, Libya or Syria is the Khilafah. Only a leadership that fears Allah (swt) will put the rights of the Muslims above the capitalist needs of the West.