Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sectarianism in Mid East "enveloped in denial"

Ah, what a great way to put it.

Amir Madani on Bahrain: 'Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused the regime of creating a "climate of fear," particularly in Shia neighborhoods and villages where nighttime raids appear designed mainly to instill terror among the mostly poor residents.

This is the sense of what is happening in Bahrain, the tiny isle located on the south side of the Persian Gulf where the ruling al-Khalifa from the Sunni minority is threatening the majority Shiite population. Of course there is diversity and ethnic variety in Bahrain, as elsewhere, which extends even into the religious field. Tulin Daloglu, a Turkish journalist based in Washington, writes: "Sectarianism in the Middle East is grievous, pernicious and enveloped in denial."

However, the Bahraini have not taken to the streets for primarily sectarian reasons, but rather to demand democracy and the recognition of civil rights; and, yes, the end of the apartheid system that excludes the majority of the population from full political life and reserves all the levers of power for the minority. As in other Arab countries, the Bahraini have begun pushing their own political and economic demands.'

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