Bahrain: When will it begin?
When will it begin...?
A Saudi Arabian soldier holds his American made rifle to the head of a Bahraini teenager, yet we call that Bahraini and agent of Iran. We call for that teenager to cease his protest to ensure ‘reformation’.
A group of stories that have received some back page media coverage, coupled with the infamous slanderous characterisation of their relative objectives and individuals, and differentiated from their somewhat similar neighbouring stories.
I pose the question: when will 'it' 'begin'? It clearly hasn't commenced yet. The Bahrain uprising, which should be characterised as a 'group' of individual stories of oppression and suffering has not yet begun to receive any relative 'top of the ladder' support. Some might argue that those occasional hisses from European Union or United States leaders register as support, but do they equate with support? Do they equate with the NATO intervention in Libya when Muammar Gaddafi unleashed an onslaught of suppression on the democratic objectives of his people? Do they equate with the harsh words of contempt and condemnation received by the Assad camp in Syria? Do they equate with international sanctions or medical facilitation? Do they equate with deployed UN monitors? They do not.
‘Where is Bahrain?’ That is the question entertained every time reference is made to the country where my fathers were born and oppressed for centuries...
What is 'it'?
It is mere words. The words that would give voices to those that have been struggling with a regime murdering their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. The words that may provide some calm to a mother waiting for news of her missing son. The words that would give some relief to those whom have lost hope of anyone in the world with solidarity for their cause.
It involves absolute omissions. Preventing one’s self from supporting those that give equality little chance for survival. The omission from selling arms to a dictatorship that turns the tips of those arms on to the faces of its people, shooting at those with a voice left to be heard. It is the refusal to call a free state, an 'ally' or a 'friend' of those human rights repressive regimes occupied by individuals that tarnish the reputation of the human race. The prevention from inviting a dictator to a Jubilee dinner by the Queen of England. Perhaps it might involve giving way to the minor interests of a state for the overarching objective of giving women and children a land free, one not experienced in the history of those people. Free land refers not to economic freedom, but to political, social and religious freedom, perhaps similar to the freedoms experienced in those states supporting these oppressive regimes.
It hasn't 'begun'
After a year and a half of constant suppression and brutality, Bahrain is yet to receive any recognition or support. What have we become? A nation that has suffered brutality not seen since the medieval ages, yet we still find ourselves a year later posing the question; where is Bahrain? A question that itself would not be posed if individuals simply relied on Western media outlets for information. A year and a half of the same voices crying out for help yet US public relation firms are still allowed to salvage the image of the oppressive Bahraini regime through the defamation of the oppressed people.
What are these group of stories?
Ahmed Oun, a teenager that is posed to lose his eye through government abuse. Abdulhadi Al Khawaja who spent 100 days hunger stricken for his nation yet received little international media recognition. Ali Hassan, an 11 year old that has barely reached the fruits of his childhood, yet is found behind the prison bars of the Bahrain regime. Nabeel Rajab, the human rights defender that has stood at the forefront of this democratic uprising but now stands at the back of the Al Khalifa jails. Salah Abbas Habib who was found murdered in cold blood on the eve of the Formula One in Bahrain, only to have his burial held back for the satisfaction of the race. Fatima, the daughter of Abdul Rasool Al Hujairi who was left fatherless by the regime. Zainab Al Khawaja, the daughter of Abdulhadi who is arrested almost immediately everytime she attempts to cry out her father’s name.
These are some headlines of a thousand stories that remain unanswered and unacknowledged and cruelty in Bahrain is yet to end. Signs of government reforms are far from perceptible yet the world holds back in its support for the democratic calls of the people in Bahrain. Instead they are libelled and slandered. Instead they are condemned for protesting and blamed for not trusting the out-of-date regime when the roots of reform lie in the hands of the government. Instead the world still has little knowledge of the name ‘Khalifa’, the tyrant who holds the world’s longest Prime Minister post.
This question is posed to the current leaders of the world. When will it begin? Will we still find ourselves asking ‘where is Bahrain?’ a year from now as the crackdown continues? Or will we eventually find our ever dying moral foundation?
When will it end…?