The unrest in Bahrain
With the current tension the people of Bahrain, like those across the Arab world, must be watchful of their demands for change and of their issues being manipulated to the detriment of the entire people.
It should be clear that:
- The issue that engulfs Bahrain is not a dispute between a minority and a majority.
- The issue is neither due to a dispute between Sunni and Shia or one governing the other.
- The issue is neither the deprivation of some rights, representation or lack of accountability, though these are manifestations of the cause.
- The issue is neither due to the claim (valid or otherwise) of the government’s failure to redress the inequities amongst its citizens and the limited or non-implementation of the National Action Charter of 2001.
And the issue will not be solved by national dialogues or governmental concessions. Neither will it be solved by the support from governments such as Saudi Arabia, which themselves are oppressive regimes, nor from western governments like America that work only for their own interests.
However, the people must also realize that the issue will not be solved through adopting a republican system or democracy nor should the people confuse political accountability with democracy or that accountability only arises within democratic institutions.
As for the most recent developments, which were the invitation of troops from the GCC countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and more recently from Kuwait, by the Bahraini government to tackle the domestic unrest, this has raised a number of important points:
1. Though the US administration stated it was unaware of this invitation – it nonetheless did not condemn the GCC troops from entering Bahrain, nor demanded that they leave. As far back as 2002, the magazine, ‘The Economist’ stated, “Two decades after the formation of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), all six members co-operate more closely with America on defense matters than with each other.” (March 23-29, 2002).
The US position on Bahrain, whether to support the monarchy, advocate constitutional overhaul or a position in-between will be based on US’s own ability to get directly involved and control events. Currently, the US involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and her deepening financial situation makes it difficult for her to take decisive steps. The US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said: “the military operations may have indirect consequences which need to be studied with great care.” [Washington Post: 02.03.2011]. However, the US will not compromise her military strategic position i.e. the 5th fleet – this interest is paramount.
And Allah (swt) states in Surah Mumtahanah (60:1)
‘O you who have believed, do not take My enemies and your enemies as allies, extending to them affection while they have disbelieved in what came to you of the truth, having driven out the Prophet and yourselves [only] because you believe in Allah , your Lord. If you have come out for jihad in My cause and seeking means to My approval, [take them not as friends]. You confide to them affection, but I am most knowing of what you have concealed and what you have declared. And whoever does it among you has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way.’
2. The different positions held by the US, Europe and the wider international community concerning the unrest in Bahrain is not motivated by the concern for the people of the region, their rights etc… neither is it motivated by justice, morality or any universal right. Rather it is based on economic and political interests. This is why these governments have supported the oppressive governments in the Arab world, even though the governments have gained little love from their political masters and little love from their people.
And Allah (swt) states in Surah Al-Nisa (4:139)
الَّذِينَ يَتَّخِذُونَ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِنْ دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۚ أَيَبْتَغُونَ عِنْدَهُمُ الْعِزَّةَ فَإِنَّ الْعِزَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا
‘Those who take disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do they seek with them honor [through power]? But indeed, honor belongs to Allah entirely.’
3. As for all the regional governments in the Middle East, their involvement, whether from the GCC or the likes of Iran – is purely motivated by the politics of preservation or re-directing public debate and focus to deflect away from their own domestic issues. Each of these governments is itself facing growing domestic opposition from the people who are also demanding change, political reform and accountability.
4. If any of these Middle Eastern governments had care for the protection of its people, these governments would have sent their armies to liberate Palestine from its brutal occupation. How can the GCC armies move into Bahrain and ignore Gaza? How can Iran, which boasts to be the voice against the oppression of the people of Palestine – just speak? Are these governments deaf and blind? This is the level of hypocrisy and treachery that the people of the region witness within the Middle East from these governments.
Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said:
«لكل غادر لواء عند إسته يوم القيامة، يرفع له بقدر غدره، ألا ولا غادر أعظم غدراً من أمير عامة»
“Every traitor will have a flag tied to his buttocks on the Day of Judgment. It will be raised according to the level of his treachery. Nay, there is no treachery graver than the treachery of the Ameer of the people.” Reported by Muslim.
5. It is incorrect to view the armies from the GCC entering Bahrain as a foreign invasion. Such a view reinforces nationalism, a concept which is alien to Islam and was implanted in order to maintain the division of the Muslims and their lands. The ummah is one, there should be no political borders between the Muslim lands and the armies are the sons and daughters of the ummah.
And Allah (swt) says in Surah Aal-Imran (3:103)
وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنْتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُمْ بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنْتُمْ عَلَى شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِنَ النَّارِ فَأَنْقَذَكُمْ مِنْهَا كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ءَايَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ
And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allaah (i.e. this Qur’aan), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allaah’s Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islaamic Faith), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allaah makes His Aayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) clear to you, that you may be guided.
6. It is also incorrect for the armies to move to protect these governments. Rather the armies should move against the oppression of the governments in the Middle East, uproot them and support the ummah, not to establish western based secular systems, but rather to establish her state, the Khilafah, true liberation and move to liberate her people from oppression, as in Palestine.
Abu Hurayrah (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
«المسلم أخو المسلم، لا يظلمه، ولا يخذله، ولا يحقره، كل المسلم على المسلم حرام دمه وعرضه وماله»
“A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim: he neither oppresses him nor does he fail him, he neither lies to him nor does he hold him in contempt. … The whole of a Muslim for another Muslim is inviolable: his blood, his property, and his honor.”