Friday, May 13, 2011

Fascism in the Gulf

By Lawrence Davidson, MWC News, May 11, 2011

Bahrain

Welcome to Bahrain

If you want to see how an ostensive religious regime can be corrupted into something close to fascism, just take a look at contemporary Bahrain. In February 2011 there were a series of non-violent demonstrations staged mostly by the small kingdom’s Shia majority (approximately 70% of the country’s Muslim citizens.) These were held to protest the discriminatory practices of the country’s Sunni monarchy. The protests were soon violently suppressed by the Bahraini army and police, with the help of troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. However, it was what followed the crushing of the demonstrations that smacks of fascism.

Here is how a report, dated 6 May 2011, by Roy Gutman of the McClatchy Newspapers, puts it, “authorities have held secret trials where protesters have been sentenced to death, arrested prominent mainstream opposition politicians, jailed nurses and doctors who treated injured protesters, seized the health care system that had been run primarily by Shiites, fired 1,000 Shiite professionals and canceled their pensions, beat and arrested journalists, and forced the closure of the only opposition newspaper. Nothing, however, has struck harder at the fabric of this nation, where Shiites outnumber Sunnis nearly 4 to1, than the destruction of Shiite worship centers.”

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