Comments:Shiites protest against discrimination in Bahrain
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|Comments from feedback form - "The narrative that this is a s..."||2||01:22, 12 April 2011|
The narrative that this is a sectarian conflict and somehow abstract from the wave of democratic uprisings throughout the region is common throughout western media outlets, but I expect better from an open alternative news source such as this. People's religious affiliations has only played a minor part in the uprising in Bahrain, the demands most people have been mobilising for - increased accountability, end to corruption, democratic rights - are all secular.
The *demands* are secular, but the sides are sect based. Shiite uprising vs Sunni overlords. The Shiite protestors may be demanding nothing more than fair treatment, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a sect vs sect conflict.
If you disagree, then show me equal numbers of Sunni protestors (on a per capita basis of course) out on the streets. You can't? Then it's a sectarian conflict, by definition:P.
I didn't argue with the fact that there is religious-based discrimination in Bahrain. However, the present uprising is not "about" the fact that that tension exists - it's about the poor and powerless standing up to an autocratic regime. That means people struggling to overthrow a sectarian ruler, so obviously Sunni people aren't going to join the protest in as great numbers - however, it's still an obfuscation to say there is both "political and sectarian unrest in the nation". It's almost entirely the former, and the sectarian nature of the uprising reflects a political conflict in which a minority based ruler has been giving preferential treatment while oppressing the poor.
While it may be true to say that "Sunni security forces have been raiding Shiite protestors' homes, knocking their doors down, spraying graffiti on walls and arresting them in an effort to keep Shiite activists off the street", you could just as easily say "state security forces have been raiding protestors' homes... in an effort to keep democracy activists off the street." They are both true statements, but the former places the conflict within a discourse of religious struggle, while the latter puts it in a context of people rising up against dictatorships, which is far more applicable to this situation, given the broader Arab spring presently happening.