Conflict in Bahrain

By Amineh Sherazee

With the revolt of recent Arab nations, Bahrain has joined in on the uprising of their dictatorship. The anti-government rising of the Bahraini people has embedded roots within the distinction between the Islamic sects of Shiites and Sunnis due to the demagoguery from the Bahraini royal family. This characteristic of the nervous regime should not be underestimated and has continuously attempted to brand this uprising as exclusively sectarian.

There has been a historical witness between the separation of Sunnis and Shiites that has created conflict by both the groups when there was a given opportunity. The Shiites being the minority sect (20 percent of the Muslim population around the world) have been mostly persecuted and have remained at the receiving end of the intimidation and brutalities inflicted upon it by the majority sect which of whom a noticeable amount does not even consider the Shi’a as Muslims. Iraq, Syria and Jordan have been facing the brunt of the Shi’a- Sunni rivalry all these continuing centuries. Millions of Muslims from both sects have died as a result of sectarian hatred.

When observing this through the historical perspective, the Bahrain uprising against the Khalifah ruling family has sectarian undertones as well. It is utterly impossible for the ruling family to subdue the protestors as the “Shi’a population is 70 percent to the 30 percent of the Sunni population.” Furthermore, Iran (a Shiite dominated country) would not let this rare occasion pass by without producing desirable results that would not only reap political changes in that region but would also bring the suppressed Shi’a population greater influence and rights. The democratic setup to emerge would be, predictably, in favour of the Shi’a community because of their predominant majority.

This article was initially published on http://www.monitormideast.com

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