Wikia

Bahrain

Shi'ism and Political Protest in Bahrain

Talk0
71pages on
this wiki

Author(s): al-Mdaires, Falah
Document types: Feature
Publication title: Domes. Milwaukee: Spring 2002. Vol. 11, Iss. 1; pg. 20
Source type: Periodical
ISSN/ISBN: 10604367
Text Word Count 8894

Abstract (Document Summary)Edit

Bahraini society is divided into two sects, Shi'a and Sunni. The percentage of each sect is unknown and, for political reasons, the general census does not mention the sect of the individuals, with the exception of the census of 1940, which was built upon a sectarian foundation. It was declared in that census that the population of [Shi]'a numbered 46,359 while the Sunni numbered 41,984. (1) The British authorities estimated that the population of Bahrain was 100,000 in the year 1920. Sixty thousand of them were Sunni and 40,000 were Shi'a (2). However, Muneera Fakhro estimated that the percentage of Shi'a was 70% of the population, whereas Sunni, in all their different origins, formed 30% of the population. Muneera Fakhro explained that there are many reasons behind the increase of the percentage of Shi'a in Bahrain society. First, most Shi'a reside in villages and the countryside and their habits are to marry early. Second, Shi'a men marry more than one wife. Third, the woman's fertility in the countryside is higher than women in the city (3).

In 1972, al-Sandooq al-Hussaini al-Ijtima'i (the Social Hussaini Fund) was founded. One of its most outstanding leaders was al-Sa'id Ja'far al-Aawi. The Social Hussaini Fund is considered as an expansion of the Islamic Guidance Society. In 1975, the Social Hussaini Fund was renamed the "Social Fund" (SF). The SF adopted the slogan "God-Justice-Human." This slogan has social, political and doctrinal significance and there is a great resemblance to the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain's slogan which is "God-Rightness-Liberty." Since the beginning of the 1970s, the SF has tried to concentrate on issues like humanity and social revolution in Islam. It built its cadres for its organized secret action groups which became the essential cadres on which the SF depended. The SF consisted of four committees. The most important committee was the "Religious Occasions Commemoration Committee," whose mission was to utilize religious occasions to spread its ideas and to recruit new members. The second committee was the "Journey Committee," which supervised a journey organization aiming to choose comrades and to join them with the revolutionary action in Bahrain. The third committee was the "Informational Offers Committee," which fulfilled all directives of typing books, statements, and bulletins decided upon by the SF board. This committee published and distributed books and copybooks, which discussed changing cases, Moslem human letter and the revolutionary Hussaini Deletion. The SF recruited a great number of students, intellectuals, merchants and notable men from within the Shi'a sect. In 1980, Bahraini security forces sealed the SF properties and confiscated its belongings, apprehending dozens of the SF members and accusing them of being connected with the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain. (40)

On the 2(nd) of September, 1979, Hujjat al-Islam Hadi al-Mudarrisi held a press conference announcing the formation of al-Jabha al-Islamiyyah li-Tahrir al-Bahrain (The Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain (IFLB). Faisal Marhoun, one of the IFLB leaders, stated that the IFLB was established before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, but for security reasons was unrevealed. (51) Most of the IFLB members representing the Bahraini Shi'a were descended from Iranian origin, while the Shi'a from Arab origin were connected to the Hizb al-Da'wah al-Islamiyyah (Islamic Propagation Party) which was established in Iraq, and they formed the Bahrain Islamic Freedom Movement in Bahrain. The first signs of dispute between the Shi'a descending from Iranian origin and those descending from Arab origin appeared during the referendum supervised by the United Nations regarding the political future of Bahrain. The former accused the latter of denying the existence of their sect and of being a victim of their nationalist fanaticism, while the latter accused the former of being Persians, foreigners to Bahrain, reinforcing the historical fact that Bahrain was a country first inhabited by Arabs and that independence is a natural right to them. (52)

Full Text (8894 words)
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Spring 2002

IntroductionEdit

This study aims to enlighten the political status of the Shi'a in Bahrain. The importance of this study comes from its coincidence with the escalation of the conflict between the Shi'a, who comprise the majority of the population of Bahrain, and the Bahraini government. Since December 1994, the political arena has witnessed open clashes between the Shi'a and the Bahraini regimes, leading to political instability in Bahrain.

This study will focus on the period from 1920 to 1999 and will attempt to explain the mutual struggle between the Shi'a and Sunni sects against the Bahraini regime and the British through the political reform movement in the year 1938 and the uprising in 1950s represented by the al-Haiy'a al-Tanfidhiya al-'Ulya (Higher Executive Committee) (HEC).

This study will also approach the impact of the Islamic revolution in Iran, which raised the slogan of exporting the revolution to the Arabian Gulf region. This affected the relationship between the Shi'a and Sunni from one side and between the Bahraini regime and the Shi'a and Iranian regime from the other side.

The Social SituationEdit

Bahraini society is divided into two sects, Shi'a and Sunni. The percentage of each sect is unknown and, for political reasons, the general census does not mention the sect of the individuals, with the exception of the census of 1940, which was built upon a sectarian foundation. It was declared in that census that the population of Shi'a numbered 46,359 while the Sunni numbered 41,984. (1) The British authorities estimated that the population of Bahrain was 100,000 in the year 1920. Sixty thousand of them were Sunni and 40,000 were Shi'a (2). However, Muneera Fakhro estimated that the percentage of Shi'a was 70% of the population, whereas Sunni, in all their different origins, formed 30% of the population. Muneera Fakhro explained that there are many reasons behind the increase of the percentage of Shi'a in Bahrain society. First, most Shi'a reside in villages and the countryside and their habits are to marry early. Second, Shi'a men marry more than one wife. Third, the woman's fertility in the countryside is higher than women in the city (3).

The Bahraini Shi'a are divided into three groups:

- al-Baharnah, the original Bahraini inhabitants. They are Shi'a with Arabian origins who migrated to Bahrain to escape the religious and political repression at the time of Abbasi and Umayyad rulership.

- Those who came from al-Ihsa' and al-Qatif and migrated to Bahrain after the escalation of activity of the Wahhabi movement in the nineteenth century.

- Shi'a who came from Iran and settled in Bahrain since the seventeenth century, during the Iranian invasion of Bahrain.

The Shi'a who descended from Arabian origins form 95% of Bahrain Shi'a population (4), and they are called the Imamate Shi'a. They follow twelve Imams beginning with 'Ali bin Abi Taleb and ending with Muhammad al-Mahdi, who they believe will return again as their spiritual leader. (5)

The majority of Bahrain's inhabitants are from Shi'a who suffered from the rule of Sunni Arab tribes coming from the center of the Arabian Peninsula. The Shi'a have been exposed to the cruelest suppression under the rule of al-Khalifa, who have ruled Bahrain since 1783 and put the country and its previous rulers under their control. They considered all the lands as their own property on the foundation of victorious rights. Consequently, the Bahrain society was divided into two categories:

- Suppressed laborer Shi'a majority.

- Sunni minority comprised of different levels. On top of this minority and in its name, the al-Khalifa family is dominating the whole society. (6)

Most of the writers who wrote about Bahrain confessed that the Shi'a had been oppressed in Bahrain. Lorimer describes the situation of Shi'a in Bahrain under the rule of the al-Khalifa family by saying that under the rule of al-Sheikh and his relations, the Shi'a in Bahrain, whose majority are farmers, were unhappy because they had been exposed to continuous "slavery" and full control of their boats and cattle, while the landlords enjoy liberty, and if they are unable to produce a certain amount of crops they would be expelled from their homes and in some cases they would be imprisoned. (7)

During the visit of the British political resident in the Gulf region, Lt. Col. Trevor, to Bahrain, the Shi'a expressed their grievances saying, "We beg to state to the possessor of great wisdom, the chief of the Gulf, that the Shi'a community is in a state of great humiliation and subject to public massacres. They have no refuge, the evidence of none of them is accepted (in the courts), their properties are subject to plunder, and their selves liable to maltreatment at any moment."(8). They were deprived of land and subjected to an unjust tax order and they paid taxes on palm trees and fish. They suffered from slavery order and they were not acceptable in heading any managerial institution. (9).

All these bad political, social and economical situations, which the Shi'a suffered from, led them to submit several petitions to the British authorities demanding their rights and to hold demonstrations. The most important one was the uprising of February 1922, which escalated to a general strike in Manama Bazaar ending in a protest demonstration against the practices of oppressing authority. (10)

Following these protests, the British government abdicated the ruler, Issa bin Ali, in 1923 and some reforms were established which included customs, police, diving and the judicial system. These reforms, which were conducted by the political agent in Bahrain major, Clive Daly, were faced by refusal from the sincere followers of the abdicated ruler from the ruling family and some Sunni tribes. The latter refused to give up their absolute authority to the central authority which Britain was trying to establish. They submitted a letter to Trevor complaining that the measures taken by Major Daly, and the abdication of 'Issa bin 'Ali, were regarded as interference in Bahrain's internal affairs. (11)

Shi'a and the Reform Movement of 1938Edit

After the failure of appeals made by notable men of the Shi'a sect to the Bahraini government and to Britain in 1934, and the slow reformations during the era of Sheikh Hamad's rulership which did not satisfy the demands of either the Shi'a or the Sunni sects, the gap narrowed between the two sects. Additionally, other factors were observed, such as: (12)

1. An increase of political awareness among the educated Bahraini young people.

2. The discovery of oil in 1932 and the participating of Shi'a and Sunni workers in the strikes, which occurred during the 1930s.

3. The support of the government of India to the al-Khalifa family and the suppression of all opposition movements.

4. The appearance of reform movements in Kuwait and Dubai.

5. The emergence of the Bahrain issue both regionally and Internationally where many articles criticizing Bahrain and the British government were published in Arab newspapers and magazines such as al-Mustakbal "The Future," published in Baghdad, and al-Rabitah al-'Arabiya "The Arab Society," published in Cairo.

Before the appearance of the reform movement in September 1938, the newspaper, al-Rabita al-'Arabiya, had published an article under the name "A Call of Bloody Tragedies is a Hot Call," signed by "an Arab," motivating the Bahraini people to claim their rights. The article also propagated to establish a legislative council and to stop interference in Bahrain internal affairs. (13) Consequently the British adviser, Sir Charles Belgrave, accused a group of Bahraini notable men of the two sects of being behind the publishing of this article. (14)

On the first of November 1938 the first petition signed by five Bahraini prominent figures from both sects, Yosef Fakhro, Sa'id Sa'ed Bin al-Sa'ed, Kalaf Mansour al-Areed', Mahdi al-Tajir and 'Issa bin Saleh, demanded the following: (15)

1. The establishment of a council for education consisting of eight members, four from each sect, to supervise the process of education in the country.

2. The reformation of the judicial body by appointing three Judges for every court, two Sunni and one Shi'a, and the establishment of a special criminal court.

3. The reformation of the municipalities and the employment of Bahraini nationals instead of foreigners

4. The establishment of a trade union for laborers.

5. The appointment of six liaisons, three of them Sunni and the other three Shi'a, to negotiate with the government.

The British commissioner credited the cooperation between Shi'a and Sunni to: (16)

1. The possibility of Sheikh Hamad al-Khalifa ruling the country.

2. Kuwait and Dubai accidents.

3. The decline of the economical situation.

4. The decline in the pearl market.

5. Dissatisfaction in the courts, especially in the Shi'a legal court.

6. Dissatisfaction with education and police forces.

7. Complaints about British colonialism and the increase in employing foreigners in BAPCO (Bahrain Petroleum Company).

As a result of this initial alliance between Shi'a and Sunni and despite Britain's comprehension of the importance of fulfilling some of the reforms, it was afraid of the political outcome. Belgrave, the British adviser, developed a plan to make a hole in this alliance. He succeeded in persuading the representative of the Shi'a sect to give up the demand for a legislative council. He also succeeded in neutralizing the Shi'a by responding to some of their demands, such as the changing of Ja'fer Shi'a Judges, and by doing this he broke the alliance between the two sects. (17)

At the end of 1938, the al-Khalifa family and the British government arrested the leadership of the Sunni political reformers: Sa'id al-Shamlan, Ahmad Ashshirawi, Ali al-Fadel, and Ibrahim Kamal. (18) Their plan was to create a division between Shi'a and Sunni. But the prosperity following the discovery of oil created a new social classification based on classes and not sectarianism. (19) The reaction was strong from the workers of both sects. The oil workers who were working in BAPCO announced a general strike after the arrest of the leaders of the reform movement and raised the same demands and added some labor demands such as the increase of wages and equalization with the Indian workers. Consequently, the company dismissed eighteen workers, accusing them of engineering the strike. (20) The coherence between Sunni and Shi'a working in the oil fields consolidated and this was clear during the general strike of 1943, in which they demanded improvement of their social situation. This strike succeeded in satisfying some of the workers' demands and it was the first sign of real coherence between the two sects which each sect alone had not been able to achieve previously. (21)

The Shi'a and the 1950s MovementEdit

At the beginning of the 1950s, Bahrain witnessed sectarian clashes between Shi'a and some Sunni, like the clashes of 1953, during the celebration of 'Ashura.(22) The cooperation between the al-Khalifa family and Belgrave, who was adopting the British policy based on "divide and rule," played a great role in inflaming the dispute between Shi'a and Sunni. Hussain Moosa comments: "It is clear that the clashes of September 1953 were created by the government, because it has been noted that the police vice leader (Du'ayj Bin Hamad al-Khalifa) was overseeing a group of intelligence officers who were ordered to throw bottles at the people participating in the religious procession, after which he moved to Muharraq to lead a group of fanatic Sunni attacking Shi'a residences. These events were examples of a series of sorrowful clashes in Bahrain during 1953-54, where Belgrave, the British adviser, pretended to be the defender of Shi'a and their rights, while Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa pretended to be the defender of Sunni and their rights". (23)

On September 24, 1954, taxi drivers went on strike to protest against the government's decision to enforce a full insurance system on taxis conducted by British insurance companies with high fees. The strikers demanded: (24)

1. To decrease the insurance fees.

2. To cancel the taxes charged to cross the Manamah -- Muharraq Bridge.

3. To establish a trade union for the taxi drivers.

The newspaper, Sawtal -- Bahrain (The Voice of Bahrain), founded by a group of intellectuals from the two sects in 1949, adopted from its first issue a call for narrowing the gap between the two sects. It also adopted the demands of taxi drivers. This newspaper played a big role in persuading the authority to agree to establish the "Co-operative Compensation Society", the first project of its type to bring together businessmen from both sects. Abd-Alrahman al-Bakr headed the board of directors of this society and it became the place in which business people from the two sects could meet. As a result of this, the government withdrew the passport of al-Bakr which created a tremendous negative reaction among the Shi'a and Sunni and helped al-Bakr to become a national hero.(25)

On 13 October 1954, al-Bakr and his comrades from the two sects succeeded in holding a rally in the Hussainiah of Sanabis village where they announced the formation of a General Assembly composed of 120 members to represent the two sects. This Assembly would appoint eight prominent Bahraini members to the Higher Executive Committee (HEC), four from each sect. The most eminent demands put forward by the HEC were: (26)

1. Recognized legitimacy for the HEC from the Bahraini government.

2. Establishment of a legislative council through free election.

3. Adaptation of a criminal and civil law system.

4. Institution of a Higher Appeal Court.

5. Establishment of trade unions for both company employees and those self-employed.

On the 17(th) of November 1954, during the celebration of the anniversary of the Prophet's birth, the HEC seized the opportunity to actively mobilize the public. The HEC announced the ruler's refusal of its demands and its leaders assured the people of their continued insistence on these demands. Thousands of people from the two sects turned up at this meeting in the Ide Mosque in Manama, signing a petition authorizing the HEC leaders to speak on their behalf. As a response to the government's refusal, the HEC called for a general strike in December 1954 and the majority of the public responded to the call with 90% attendance. (27)

Britain expressed its anxiety towards these developments, in favor of the HEC. Through an internal memorandum for the British foreign ministry, Britain emphasized that if the British government agreed on the reformer's demands, by pressuring the ruler to make some sort of parliamentary rule, it would lose the ruler's trust and confidence and his influence would be weakened. The Arab nationals might take over, affecting the quiet atmosphere in the oil company and leading, ultimately, to the overthrow of the traditional rulership in Bahrain. In addition, British influence would be affected in the whole Gulf region, especially in Kuwait and Qatar. (28)

After the success of the general strike, the authorities started to negotiate with the HEC and recognized it after the latter agreed to change its name to Hai'at al-Itihad al-Watani (the Committee for National Unity) (CNU). (29)

The CNU is considered the first public group in the Arabian Gulf region. It is also considered as the first political group based on a non-sectarian foundation throughout the present history of Bahrain. The most eminent activities of CNU were to issue statements and to hold rallies by followers of the two sects. It also succeeded in forming a trade union called "The Bahraini Labor Union" which included both Shi'a and Sunni workers among its ranks. (30)

Following the success of the CNU, the British and the Bahraini authorities took advantage of the popular uprising. Reacting to tripartite aggression occurring in Egypt in 1956, in which British interests were sabotaged by demonstrators, to narrow the circle on the CNU they apprehended its leaders and exiled three of them to Saint Helena Island. (31)

Afterwards other political groups representing Marxist and nationalist trends appeared in the mid 1950s. These included: "the Arab Ba'th Socialist Party," "the Arab Nationalists Movement" and the "Bahraini National Liberation Front." Many Sunni and Shi'a workers, both educated and non-educated, participated in the formation of these underground groups which played a great role in narrowing the gap between people from the two sects.

The Appearance of Shi'a GroupsEdit

At the insistence of the Bahraini government, religious platforms for Shi'a and Sunni were developed either as committees or as publications (newspapers and magazines). These included "Mawakif" (Stands) in which political and religious activity appeared and many Shi'a religious men who were pro-government joined these platforms. The Bahrain government's objective was to use this motivation as a substitution for the political opposition represented in leftist and nationalist forces and to use its activities, on its behalf, to break the popular stand regarding the demands raised by these forces through an alternative to speak directly to the popular bases and move through its lines, similar to occurrences in Kuwait. (32) But, since the early 1970s, religious Shi'a political groups and their ideological activity increased and began to respond to the appeals from the centers of Shi'a Islamic calls in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and the eastern region of Saudi Arabia, in order to establish its organizations. In April 1974, Harakat Areal (Hope Movement) in Lebanon was declared and in 1975, Munazzamat al-Thawrah al-Islamiyah fil-Jazirah al-'Arabiya (Islamic Revolutionary Organization in the Arabian Peninsula), followed by Munazzamat el-Areal al-Islami (Islamic Action Organization), developed in Iraq in 1979.

Following the arrival of Hujjat el-Islam Hadi al-Mudarrisi (33) to Bahrain, who began to work actively in an organized, ideological, and political way through the religious platforms like "al-Mawkif" magazine and other religious bulletins and publications, a decline among the Shi'a religious movement in Bahrain occurred, especially after the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran and the establishment of the Islamic Republic which caused anxiety to the authorities. (34) This new development which was affected by the Islamic revolution in Iran described the conservative religious theme: "Those who have secluded themselves from Islamic concept in the worship heritage have isolated themselves from reality."(35) This new theme dominated on these platforms, which were represented in the following societies.

The Islamic Enlightenment SocietyEdit

In 1968, Jam'iyyat al-Taw'iya al-Islamiyyah (the Islamic Enlightenment Society) was established, and many young, religious, educated Shi'a men contributed to its foundation led by 'Issa Qasim who was a member of the Parliamentarian al-Kutla al-Diniya (Religious Bloc-RB) in the National Council. Many Shi'a judges, merchants, engineers, doctors, and other graduates joined this society. At the beginning, its activities stemmed from Tai mosque at the east of Diras. The Society utilized the political openness during the existence of the National Council and its members started to spread its ideology in most of Bahrain's cities and villages by opening clubs, conducting lessons, lectures, Islamic conferences and symposiums about Islam, and opening Islamic schools. (36) The Islamic Enlightenment Society correlated, since its establishment and before the breaking out of the Islamic revolution in Iran, with the formal bodies and it was directed by the authority in Bahrain to fight against the national forces. (37) Months before the start of the Islamic revolution in Iran, the leaders of the society began its first communication with Ayatollah Khomeini during his residence in Najaf. The society's members played a great role in supporting the Iranian Islamic revolution physically and spiritually, and after the success of the revolution, the Society took the initiative by sending a public telegram congratulating Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution, and Dr. Mahdi Bazerjan, the prime minister of temporal government. Some of its members participated in the popular delegation that visited Tehran to congratulate Ayatollah Khomeini for the victory of the revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran. In 1984, the security forces attacked the center of the society and confiscated it. The chairman of its board, Sheikh Ibrahim Mansour al-Jamri, and a number of the society leaders, Sheikh Hassan al-Malki and al-Haj 'Ali al-Akrai, were arrested and secretly tried by the National Security Court which sentenced them to seven years in prison. (38)

Islamic Guidance SocietyEdit

In 1969, Jam'iyyat al-Irshad al-Islami "the Islamic Guidance Society" was established in Manamah, during the anniversary of al-Imam 'Ali bin Abi Taleb dying in "al-Urayyid `Ma'tam"(funeral houses)," announcing the beginning of a new stage of Islamic action. In the beginning, its name was the Islamic Young Guidance Society. It concentrated its activity among young Shi'a people where it succeeded in forming the first nucleus for an organized Shi'a religious movement in Bahrain. It mobilized many Shi'a people and its most important activity was holding religious meetings, festivals, and celebrations. The society tried to get a formal legalization from the authority in Bahrain, but it failed to achieve that. (39)

The Social Hussaini FundEdit

In 1972, al-Sandooq al-Hussaini al-Ijtima'i (the Social Hussaini Fund) was founded. One of its most outstanding leaders was al-Sa'id Ja'far al-Aawi. The Social Hussaini Fund is considered as an expansion of the Islamic Guidance Society. In 1975, the Social Hussaini Fund was renamed the "Social Fund" (SF). The SF adopted the slogan "God-Justice-Human." This slogan has social, political and doctrinal significance and there is a great resemblance to the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain's slogan which is "God-Rightness-Liberty." Since the beginning of the 1970s, the SF has tried to concentrate on issues like humanity and social revolution in Islam. It built its cadres for its organized secret action groups which became the essential cadres on which the SF depended. The SF consisted of four committees. The most important committee was the "Religious Occasions Commemoration Committee," whose mission was to utilize religious occasions to spread its ideas and to recruit new members. The second committee was the "Journey Committee," which supervised a journey organization aiming to choose comrades and to join them with the revolutionary action in Bahrain. The third committee was the "Informational Offers Committee," which fulfilled all directives of typing books, statements, and bulletins decided upon by the SF board. This committee published and distributed books and copybooks, which discussed changing cases, Moslem human letter and the revolutionary Hussaini Deletion. The SF recruited a great number of students, intellectuals, merchants and notable men from within the Shi'a sect. In 1980, Bahraini security forces sealed the SF properties and confiscated its belongings, apprehending dozens of the SF members and accusing them of being connected with the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain. (40)

The Religious BlocEdit

The Religious Bloc (RB) appeared in 1972 after an announcement by the Bahraini regime of its intention to establish the first elected Constituent Assembly in 1972. Fuad Khuri recalls, "As soon as the announcement to establish a parliament was publicly made, the religionists, led by a renowned jurist in the Shi'a court, began to organize themselves for political action."(41) All of the founders of the RB were conservative Shi'a who played a great role in establishing "the Islamic Enlightenment Society." The RB is considered a Shi'a phenomenon. It appeared in villages and most of its members had graduated from the religious Shi'a institution in Najaf, Iraq. The most outstanding member was 'Ali Kasim, who had graduated from the Sha'ria faculty in Najaf, Iraq. Other members, Abdullah al-Madani, Abbas Alrayes and Abdul Amir al-Jamri, also studied religious doctrine and jurisprudence in Najaf. (42) The electoral program of the RB contained many articles. The most important were: to support the labor unions since the majority of Bahraini society living in the villages belonged to labor classes; to prohibit the sell of alcoholic beverages; to separate boys from girls in institutions of higher learning; to prohibit women from participating in public life, such as club entertainment, etc. The candidates of the RB made a great achievement by winning nine seats in the National Council. Following this success three of them abandoned the RB and joined Kutlat al-Wasit al-Mastakil, "The Independence Middle Bloc," a pro-government platform. (43) Although the RB defended the labor issues in its electoral program, it voted against considering the first day of May as a labor day. (44)

The Impact of the Islamic Iranian Revolution on Bahraini Shi'aEdit

After the Islamic revolution victory in Iran, the Shi'a in Bahrain divided into two sects: one conservative sect which only wanted some reformation to improve its position in sectarian authority, and one revolutionary sect which included the overwhelming majority of Bahrain Shi'a wishing to replace the existing regime with a revolutionary one similar to the one established in Iran, particularly after the claims made by Ayatollah Saddik Ruhani, of the Islamic Iranian Revolution in Bahrain, announcing that Bahrain was the fourteenth province of Iran and demanding that the government in Bahrain establish an Islamic form of government similar to the one established in Iran. (45)

On the 23(rd) of February, 1979, thousands of Bahraini Shi'a demonstrated in support of the Iranian Islamic revolution and its leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, and condemning the American government, raising slogans to overthrow the pro-American conservative regimes in the region. A procession accompanied with a Shi'a uprising in Saudi Arabia followed this demonstration. (46) These demonstrations were led by religious Shi'a men and originated from mosques and funeral homes. There were five hundred funeral homes in the many villages and cities of Bahrain. Among them were Binzabar, Madan, al-Ajam, Salambad, al-Mudayfi, al-Urayyid, al-Qassab, and Bin Rajab (47). These funeral homes were considered social and political fronts for the Shi'a Islamic groups and played an active role in mobilizing people against the government whenever possible. (48)

Five prominent Shi'a religious men presented a petition to the prime minister of Bahrain demanding to apply Islamic law in Bahrain, to guarantee freedom of sects, to segregate males from females in schools, to impose Islamic wear on women, and to review the state's security law.(49) Many statements opposing the political regime in Bahrain, signed by pro-Iranian groups, followed. (50)

On the 2(nd) of September, 1979, Hujjat al-Islam Hadi al-Mudarrisi held a press conference announcing the formation of al-Jabha al-Islamiyyah li-Tahrir al-Bahrain (The Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain (IFLB). Faisal Marhoun, one of the IFLB leaders, stated that the IFLB was established before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, but for security reasons was unrevealed. (51) Most of the IFLB members representing the Bahraini Shi'a were descended from Iranian origin, while the Shi'a from Arab origin were connected to the Hizb al-Da'wah al-Islamiyyah (Islamic Propagation Party) which was established in Iraq, and they formed the Bahrain Islamic Freedom Movement in Bahrain. The first signs of dispute between the Shi'a descending from Iranian origin and those descending from Arab origin appeared during the referendum supervised by the United Nations regarding the political future of Bahrain. The former accused the latter of denying the existence of their sect and of being a victim of their nationalist fanaticism, while the latter accused the former of being Persians, foreigners to Bahrain, reinforcing the historical fact that Bahrain was a country first inhabited by Arabs and that independence is a natural right to them. (52)

The IFLB's demands, published through its first statement on the 15th of October, 1979, were to release all political prisoners, to allow religious activities, and to remove American military bases from Bahrain. The IFLB wished to overthrow the ruling regime in Bahrain and replace it with an Islamic Republic.

The Islamic Republic of Iran supported the IFLB and its office in Tehran was very active, producing many publications like al-Sha'b al-Tha'er" The Revolting People" and al-Thawra al-Risaliyya "The Missionary Revolution," which were considered the mouthpiece of the IFLB. Since its establishment, the IFLB defended itself from accusations of being sectarian with assurances that "it strives against and under the shadow of the worst sectarian regimes in the world." (53)

Issa Marhoun pointed out, "We believe that the popular revolution is the best choice, and it is the best and quickest road by which to overthrow the reactionary regime in Bahrain." (54) The IFLB also opposed the parliamentary option. (55) The IFLB regarded the reforms made by the Bahraini government after the announcement of independence, such as the Constitutional Council and the National Council, as formal reforms whose aims were to deny popular demands in free elections. (56)

The IFLB called for the unification of all Islamic forces in the Gulf, not mentioning the Arabian Gulf, and thus, insinuating its connection with Iran. It considered the unity of these forces as the right way to achieve unity of the region. It considered the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) an alliance of dominant tribes, practicing repression against people and directed by colonial forces. (57)

Among the most outstanding activities of the IFLB was the organization of demonstrations against the Bahraini regime, as in the demonstration held on the 23(rd) of August, 1979, as well as in Ashura' processions occurring concurrently with the uprising led by the "Islamic Revolution Organization to Liberate the Arabian Peninsula," in Saudi Arabia which bears the same objectives as the IFLB. (58)

In December, 1981, the Bahraini government revealed a coup attempt to seize power in Bahrain and accused the IFLB of being behind it. Following these events, seventy-three IFLB members and supporters were arrested and sentenced to a life imprisonment by the state security court where they were tortured and some died, according to IFLB Resources. (59) The IFLB denied any involvement in the coup attempt and announced that the Bahraini regime aimed to get rid of the religious movement and to break its basis which dominated the Bahraini arena. (60) The IFLB then transferred its activities outside of Bahrain to Beirut and Tehran.

In 1980, Harakat al-Ahrar al-Islamiya al-Bahrainiya (the Bahrain Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM)) was founded by a group of Shi'a students studying in Britain. It was regarded as an expansion of the Islamic Enlightenment Society. The most distinguished figures in the movement were Dr. Said al-Shihabi, Dr. Majeed al-Alawi, and Dr. Mansour al-Jamri. The political bulletin, Voice of Bahrain, issued in London, was the mouthpiece of the BIFM. The BIFM was regarded as a reform movement because it did not demand the overthrowing of the ruling family in Bahrain. Its demands were focused on returning to the democratic system and the release of political prisoners, making it popular among the Shi'a in Bahrain. (61) The BIFM maintained good relations with the European parliaments and the international human rights committees. Many BIFM members and supporters were arrested by the Bahraini regime and were sentenced to imprisonment. (62)

In the meantime, other political Shi'a groups appeared in 1980 such as Harakat al-Wihda al-Islamiya (The Islamic Unity Movement), established by al-Sheikh Abed al-Azeem al-Muhtadi al-Bahrani; the Harakat al-Shuhada' al-Islamiya (Islamic Martyrs Movement) established by al-Sheikh Jamal al-Deen al-Asfour; and the (Islamic Propagation Party) based among secondary school and university students.(63)

Most of these Islamic Shi'a groups were activated among students, workers and women, with an active role played by mosques and funeral homes, and the majority of these groups receive support from the Islamic Republic in Iran.

Shi'a and the Constitutional Uprising of 1994Edit

Following the second Gulf War, the political arena in Bahrain witnessed strong activities in which all opposition groups participated. These activities started with submitting petitions to the ruler and holding meetings in mosques and funeral homes demanding the restoration of the constitution and the National Council which were dissolved in 1975 unconstitutionally. (64) This is very similar to what had happened in Kuwait after the unconstitutional dissipation of the Kuwaiti National Assembly in 1986, with the Kuwaiti people meeting in diwaniyas to demand the restoration of the constitution and the National Assembly. (65). In 1992, 300 prominent figures representing all sections of Bahraini society submitted a petition to the ruler of Bahrain demanding him to make a general election for a National Council, but the ruler refused these demands. (66) On the contrary, he appointed a non-elected Consultative Council consisting of thirty members without any legislative power or authorization. The government was careful to make sure that the council represented the two sects equally. The members did not belong to any political group and the majorities were merchants. (67) In response, the political forces from nationalist, liberal and religious fronts formed al-Haraka al-Disturiyya (The Constitutional Movement (CM)) with thirty representatives. (68) The CM submitted a petition signed by 25,000 citizens demanding the following: (69)

1. To reactivate the constitution and to restore the democracy through calling for National Council elections.

2. To release all political prisoners and to repatriate those exiled.

3. To grant women civil and political rights.

4. To assure that justice would prevail among all citizens.

5. To institute economic reforms.

As a result, the Bahraini regime arrested and exiled three Shi'a religious leaders who were active members in the CM, Ali Salaman, Hamzah al-Daire and Hayder al-Satri. These events coincided with violent acts against the Ministry of Labor offices by groups of unemployed Bahraini youths who came from Shi'a villages. (70) These groups grew into a popular protest against the apprehension of the three Shi'a leaders. The government confronted these protests fiercely and arrested between 3000-5000 citizens, among them women and children between the ages of 12-15 years. During these events, security authorities assassinated twenty citizens (71) and arrested Sheikh Abdul Amir al-Jamri, the Shi'a spiritual leader. All these events coincided with bad social and economical times among the Shi'a. The unemployment average reached up to 18,000, primarily Shi'a, in a country with a population of not more than 300,000 inhabitants. The census conducted by the Ministry of Labor stated that there were 180,000 foreign laborers in Bahrain occupying 58,000 posts (72).

The Bahraini regime tried to mislead the citizens by claiming that all the members of the CM belonged to the Shi'a sect. This claim was blatantly untrue because the apprehensions made by the authority were not limited to Shi'a citizens but included Sunni citizens as well. The most outstanding Sunni leaders who were suppressed by the authority were Dr. Abed Allatteef al-Mahmoud, who represented the Sunni religious movement; Ahmad al-Shamlan, a lawyer, who represented the Democratic movement; and Dr. Monira Fohkro, a professor of Social Sciences at Gulf University. (73)

As a reaction to this claim made by the Bahraini regime, forty-four prominent figures from both sects issued a statement confirming the popular demand of all the Bahraini citizens for restoring democracy and the constitutional power of 1973. Some of those were Muhamed Jaber Sabah and Muhsin Marhoun, who were ex-MPs of the National Council, Ahmad al-Shamlan, Sa'id al-Asboul, Hussah al-Khamiri, Azizah al-Bassam and many poets, writers, engineers and doctors. (74)

In fact, there were many factors behind the Shi'a revolt and violence in the Bahraini society: the majority of the society were Shi'a, the increased number of unemployed among the Shi'a, the policy of discrimination towards the Shi'a depriving them of any political post, (75) the negligence policy in the Shi'a villages, and, the role played by Shi'a religious leaders in turning the citizens against the government through their speeches in the mosques and funeral homes to restore democracy. (76)

On March 6, 1999, Hamad Bin 'Isa al-Khalifa succeeded his father 'Isa al-Khalifa, the Emir of Bahrain, after his death. The opposition political groups took the initiative by sending cables of condolences to the new ruler announcing a temporary halt of their active political protest, anticipating that the latter will follow the new kings of Jordan and Morocco. (77) The opposition groups were thus disappointed when the new ruler only made a few announcements regarding human rights and giving women political rights in the promised municipality elections.

The steps taken by Sheikh Hamad Bin 'Isa al-Khalifa were:

- The expansion of the number of Consultative Council's members from 30 to 40 members to include one woman, one Christian, one Jew and one Bahraini of Indian origin.

- The formation of a human rights committee consisting of 6 members, all of whom were members in the Consultative Council. The committee's duties did not exceed the celebration of the international human rights day. The opposition groups criticized this committee accusing it of being inactive.

- The release of some political prisoners and allowing some political exiles to return to Bahrain under the condition that those in exile have to write a letter asking for a pardon and confirming that what he had done was wrong and he would not deal with politics in future. Because of this condition most of the prisoners and political exiles refused this offer preferring to continue their struggle in order to restore democracy. (78)

Dr. Abdul Hadi Khalaf commented, "Despite the fact that the tactics taken by Hamad showed his skills, at the same time they proved his hesitation in solving the crisis in which the state has been living since 1975. The real objective of the steps taken by the ruler was to improve his image to the outside world." (79) The ruler also refused to meet any representative of the CM for a political reconciliation, (80) and by doing this he followed in the steps of his father and proved that he is not ready to give up absolute rule.

After few months, dramatic changes took place, where on December 23, 2000, Sheikh Hamad Bin 'Isa al-Khalifa, the Emir of Bahrain, announced a reformative plan called Mithaq al-'Amal al-Watani "National Action Charter," through which constitutional developments took place, through the creation of two councils. The first council will be elected directly and freely by the citizens and will have legislative attributes. The second council will be appointed and will include experts and competent citizens who will offer advice and knowledge as requested by the Shura. Laws will be issued as stipulated by the Constitution and according to constitutional systems and traditions used by long-standing democracies. (81) This charter was rejected by the opposition movements in Bahrain until the Emir clarified some of key issues demanded by the opposition and promised the supremacy of the 1973 Constitution over the National Action Charter, the elected National Assembly will have the legislative power, the appointed Shura Council will be for consultation only, and the powers of the Emir are as prescribed in the 1973 Constitution. (82) Accordingly, and under the pressure of the opposition movement, the Emir opened up channels of dialogue with the opposition movement and announced several reforms which complied with their demands such as: (83)

- Abolishing the State Security Law and Court.

- Releasing all political detainees and prisoners.

- Allowing all exiles to return home and promising to allow the rest back as soon as possible.

- Allowing citizens to debate political issues with greater freedom of expression than ever before.

- Allowing citizens to form non-governmental organizations that are important for activating civil society.

- Initiating a new process for granting public contracts that avoid corrupt practices.

- . 'Allocating temporary benefits for the unemployed and allowing a committee of citizens to monitor the work of the labor ministry in relation to finding jobs for the unemployed.

- Authorizing the formation of labor and women unions.

Following the implementation of these reforms, the opposition movement encouraged the Bahrain citizens to participate in voting for the National Action Charter Referendum, and in 15-16, February, 2001, 98.4% of the Bahraini citizens voted yes to the National Action Charter Referendum.

ConclusionEdit

Since the beginning of this century, Shi'a suffered from the policy adopted by the ruling family in Bahrain with the help of the British who believed in the "divide and rule" policy. The ruling family inflamed sectarianism among the citizens by putting itself in the position of defending Sunni, while the British put themselves in the position of defending Shi'a. The discovery of oil played a major role in changing the Socio-Economic Formation in Bahrain, which led to the emergence of political awareness between the two sects. The political groups also succeeded in mobilizing groups from the two sects against the Bahraini regime and the British presence in Bahrain so that the regime could fail in playing the sectarianism card. This began with the reform movement which appeared in Bahrain in 1938, including people from the two sects, and the formation of the CNU, which headed the popular unrest during the 1950s, and ending with the appearance of the Marxist and Nationalist groups such as "the Arab Nationalists Movement," "the Socialist Arab Ba'th party" and "the Bahraini National Liberation Front." These groups played a great role in leading the opposition movement and uniting the two sects through the demands and slogans presented.

After the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran, which raised a slogan of exporting the revolution and which coincided with the retreat of Arab nationalism, and the collapse of the socialist bloc which had a great impact on the Marxist and nationalist groups in Bahrain, Shi'a Islamic religious groups, which received support from Iran, appeared. These groups succeeded in recruiting a group from the Shi'a in Bahrain who live in poverty, especially those that form the majority in Bahrain and suffer from political discrimination.

After the second Gulf War and the appearance of what is called the New World Order and the collapse of the totalitarian states, the Bahraini society witnessed popular unrest in 1994, including both Sunni and Shi'a populations. Since the majority of the population in Bahrain is Shi'a, the regime accused Shi'a of being behind these events in Bahrain in cooperation with the Islamic regime in Iran. But, the fact is, all political forces were behind raising common slogans such as restoring democracy, abandoning the state security law, improving the social and economical status, and respecting human rights in Bahrain.

Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa, who became the ruler of Bahrain in March, 1999, undertook several steps of reforms in order to make Bahrain a democratic state. He promised the Bahraini citizens that general elections would be held after four years from the National Charter Referendum.

BibliographyEdit

BooksEdit

Ahmad Hussain, al-Haraka al-Islamiya wal-Yasar fil-Bahrain "The Islamic Movement and the Left Groups in Bahrain," (London: al-Safa Publications, 1989).

Ahmad al-Shamlan, al-Haraka al-Dusturiyya: Nedhal Sha'b al-Bahrain rain ajil al-Dimuqratiyya "The Constitutional Movement: The Struggle of the Bahraini People for Democracy," (Beirut: Dar al-Wihda al-Wataniyya, 1997).

al-Jabha al-Sha'biya fil-Bahrain, Tatawur al-Haraka al-Wataniya wal-Mu'arada fil-Jazira al-'Arabiya wal-Khalij "The Development of the Nationalists opposition Movement in the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf," unpublished typewritten, undated.

Abdul Hadi Khalaf, Binaa al-Dawla fil-Bahrain: al-Muhimma Ghair al-Munjaza "The Establishment of the Sate of Bahrain: The Unfinished Mission," (Beirut: Dan al-Kunuz al-Adabiya, 2000).

The Bahrain Islamic Freedom Movement, 'Am al-Tadhhiyat wal-Amal: Yawmiyyat al-Intifadha al-Disturiyya fil-Bahrain December 1994-November 1995 (The Year of Hope and Sacrifices: The Diary of the Constitutional Uprising in Bahrain December 1994-November 1995), (London: The Bahrain Islamic Freedom Movement Publications, 1996.)

Faysal Marhun, al-Bahrain Qadhaya al-Sulta wal-Mugtama' "Bahrain, the Issues of Society and Authority," (London: al-Safa Publications, 1988).

Fuad I. Khuri, Tribe and State in Bahrain: The Transformation of Social and Political Authority in an Arab State, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980).

Fred H. Lawson, Bahrain: The Modernization of Autocracy, (London: Westview Press, 1989).

Fred H. Lawson, Opposition Movements and U.S. Policy Towards the Arab Guff States, (New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1992).

Ghassan al-Mulla, Riyah al-Taghyeer fil-Bahrain "The Winds of Change in Bahrain, 1996.

Hussain Moosa, al-Bahrain al-Nidhal al-Watani wal-Dimuqraty 1920-1981 "Bahrain the National and Democratic Struggle 1920-1981," (Cyprus: al-Haqiqa Press, 1987).

Hamadeh, 'Asifa fawq Miyah al-Khaleej "A Storm above the Gulf Water," (London: al-Safa Publications, 1990).

Ibrahim al-'Ubaidi, al-Haraka al-Wataniya fil-Bahrain: 1914-1971 "The National Movement in Bahrain: 1914-1971," (Baghdad: al-Andalus Publications, 1976).

Joseph Kostiner, "Shi'a Unrest in the Gulf" in: Martin Kramer's, ed, Shi'ism, Resistance and Revolution, (London: Westview Press, 1987).

Lorimer, J. G., Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia, (Calcutta, 1908).

Mahdi al-Tajir, Bahrain, 1920-1945 Britain, the Sheikh and the Administration, (London: Croom Helm, 1987).

Mohammed al-Rumaihi, Bahrain: A Study on Social and Political Changes Since the First World War (Kuwait: University of Kuwait Press, 1975).

Muneera Fakhru, al-Mujtama' al-Madani wal-Tahawul al-Dimuqrati fil-Bahrain "Civil Society and Democratization in Bahrain," (Cairo, Ibn Khaldoun Center for Development Studies, 1995).

Sa'ed al-Shehabi, al-Bahrain 1920-1971: Qira'ah fil-Wathaiq Albraitaniya (Bahrain 1920-1971: Readings in the British Documents), (Beirut: Dan al-Kunuz al-Adabiya, 1996).

Majed al-Habib, Ta'aleem 'la Tareeq al-Thawra "Instructions for Path of Revolution," (Bahrain: al-Jabha al-Islamiyia li Tahrir al-Bahrain Publications, 1982).

ArticlesEdit

'Ala' Salem, Idhirabat al-Shi'a fil-Bahrain Ab'ad Azmat al-Dawla al-Wataniyyah fil-Jazeera al-'Arabiyah "Shi'a Up rising in Bahrain, Dimensions of the National State in the Arabian Peninsula," al-Siyasa al-Duwaliyyah, No. 126, October 1996.

Falah al-Mdaires, al-Haraka al-Disturiyyah fil-Kuwait "The Constitutional Movement in Kuwait," Social Affairs, No. 52, Winter 1996.

Falah al-Mdaires, Jama'at al-Akwan al-Moslimeen fil-Kuwait (1947-1992), "Mouslim Brothers Group in Kuwait (1947-1992)," al-Bahith, No. 63, October -- December 1994.

Joe Stork, "Bahrain Regime Stages Confessions, Rejects Compromise," Merip Reports, July-September.

Joe Stork, "Bahrain's Crises Worsens," Merip Reports, July-September 1997.

Youssif al-Hasan, Mawqfana Tigah al-Haraka al-Diniya fil-Bahrain "Our Attitude Towards the Religious Movements in Bahrain," An-Nahj, No. 15, 1987.

Newspapers and MagazinesEdit

al-Jazeera al-'Arabia al-Thawra al-Risaliyya

The Economist The Times

The Guardian Voice of Bahrain

The Independent The Wail Street Journal

Kehan al-'Arabi al-Quds al-'Arabi

al-Naser

FootnotesEdit

(1). Mohammed al-Rumaihi, Bahrain: A Study on Social and Political Changes Since the First World War (Kuwait: University of Kuwait Press, 1975), pp. 245-248.

(2). Ibrahim al-'Ubaidi, al-Haraka al-Wataniya fil-Bahrain: 1914-1971 "The National Movement in Bahrain: 1914-1971," (Baghdad: al-Andalus Publications, 1976), p. 66.

(3). Muneera Fakhru, al-Mujtama' al-Madani wal-Tahawul al-Dimuqrati fil-Bahrain "Civil Society and Democratization in Bahrain," (Cairo, Ibn Khaldoun Center for Development Studies, 1995), p.73.

(4). Ebrahim al-'Ubaidi, op. cit., p.84.

(5). Mohammed al-Rumaihi, op. cit., p. 35.

(6). Youssif al-Hasan, Mawqfana Tigah al-Haraka al-Diniya fil-Bahrain "Our Attitude Towards the Religious Movements in Bahrain," An-Nahj, No. 15, 1987, p.53.

(7). Lorimer, J. G., Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia, (Calcutta, 1908), pp. 233-253.

(8). Mohammed al-Rumaihi, op. cit., p235.

(9). Youssif al-Hasan, op.cit., p.54.

(10). Mahdi al-Tajir, Bahrain, 1920-1945 Britain, the Sheikh and the Administration, (London: Croom Helm, 1987), pp. 35-36

(11). Sa'ed al-Shehabi, al-Bahrain 1920-1971: Qira'ah fi alwathaiq al-braitaniya "Bahrain 1920-1971: Readings in the British Documents," (Beirut: Dar al-Kunoz al-Adabiya, 1996), p.86.

(12). Sa'ed al-Shehabi, op. cit., p.105. Mahdi al-Tajir, op. cit., pp. 238-239.

(13). Sa'ed al-Shehabi, op. cit., p.105-106. Mahdi al-Tajir, op. cit., p. 239.

(14). Sa'ed al-Shehabi, op. cit., p.106. Mahdi al-Tajir, op. cit., p. 239.

(15). Mahdi al-Tajir, op. cit., p. 242.

(16). Sa'ed al-Shehabi, op. cit., pp. 106-107.

(17). Hussain Moosa, al-Bahrain al-Nidhal al-Watani wal-Dimuqraty 1920-1981 "Bahrain the National and Democratic Struggle 1920-1981," (Cyprus: al-Haqiqa Press, 1987), p.21. Youssff al-Hasan, op. cit., p. 56.

(18). Ibid.

(19). Youssif al-Hasan, op. cit., p. 56.

(20). Hussain Moosa, op. cit., p. 34.

(21). Youssif al-Hasan, op. cit., p. 56.

(22). Hussain Moosa, op. cit., p.46.

(23). Hussain Moosa, op. cit., pp. 46-47. Youssif al-Hasan, op. cit., p. 56.

(24). Hussain Moosa, op. cit., pp. 47-48.

(25). Ibid p. 48.

(26). al-Jabha al-Sha'biya fil-Bahrain, Tatawur al-Haraka al-Wataniya wal-Mucarada fil-Jazira al-'Arabiya wal-Khalij "The Development of the Nationalists opposition Movement in the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf," unpublished typewritten, undated, p. 21.

(27). Ibid, p. 21.

(28). Sa'ed al-Shehabi, op. cit., pp. 184-185.

(29). al-Jabha al-Sha'biya fil-Bahrain, op. cit., p.

(30). Sa'ed al-Shehabi, op. cit., p. 208.

(31). al-Jabha al-Sha'biya fil-Bahrain, op. cit., p. 21.

(32). Hussain Moosa, op. cit., p. 68.

(33). Abdul Hadi Khalaf, Binaa al-Dawla fil-Bahrain: al-Muhimma Ghair al-Munjaza "The Establishment of the Sate of Bahrain: The Unfinished Mission," (Beirut: Dar al-Kunoz al-Adabiya, 2000), pp. 54-133. Youssif al-Hasan, op. cit., pp. 60-61. Falah al-Mdaires, "Jama'at al-Akwan al-Muslimeen fil-Kuwait (1947- 1992)" "Muslim Brothers group in Kuwait (1947-1992)," al-Bahith, No. 63 October -- December 1994, p. 63. Ibrahim al-'Ubaidi, op. cit., pp. 54-133.

(34). Hadi al-Mudarrisi is a prominent figure in Iraq. He lived in exile in Kuwait, he was granted the Bahraini nationality and he became a well known religious figure in the funeral houses. His speeches concentrated on attacking communism in Bahrain which correlated with the Bahraini government's attitude towards communism. He was accused of being behind many of unrests in Bahrain after the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran such as the coup attempt in 1981. He was denied the Bahraini citizenship and was deported from Bahrain.

(35). Youssif al-Hasan, op. cit., pp. 60-62.

(36). Majed al-Habib, Ta'aleem 'la Tareeq al-Thawra "Instructions for Path of Revolution," (Bahrain: al-Jabha al-Islamiyia li Tahrir al-Bahrain Publications, 1982), p. 22.

(37). Ahmad Hussain, al-Haraka al-Islamiya wal-Yasar fil-Bahrain "The Islamic Movement and the Left Groups in Bahrain," (London: al-Safa Publications, 1989), p. 40-42.

(38). Muneera Fakhru, op. cit., p. 97.

(39). Faysal Marhun, al-Bahrain Qadhaya al-Sulta wal-Mugtama' "Bahrain, the Issues of Society and Authority," (London: al-Safa Publications, 1988), p.212. Ahmad Hussein, op. cit., pp. 42-44.

(40). Ahmad Hussein, op. cit., pp. 47-48.

(41). Ahmad Hussein, op. cit., pp. 48-49. Faysal Marhun, op. cit., pp. 212-213.

(42). Fuad I. Khuri, Tribe and State in Bahrain: The Transformation of Social and Political Authority in an Arab State, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), pp. 225-228.

(43). Ibid., p. 228.

(44). Ibid., p. 225.

(45). Youssif al-Hasan, op. cit., pp. 59-60.

(46). Fred H. Lawson, Bahrain: The Modernization of Autocracy, (London: Westview Press, 1989), p. 124. Joseph Kostiner, Shi'a Unrest in the Gulf in: Martin Kramer, ed, Shi'ism, Resistance and Revolution, (London: Westview Press, 1987), p.178.

(47). Fred H. Lawson, Opposition Movements and U.S. Policy Towards the Arab Gulf States, (New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1992), p. 11.

(48). Fuad I. Khuri, op. cit., pp. 155-157.

(49). For more details about the political and social role played by the funeral houses, see: Fuad I. Khuri, op. cit., pp. 155-172

(50). The petition submitted to the Prime Minister in Bahrain on July 7, 1979 signed by Sheikh 'Ali al-Asfor, Sheikh Hasan Abdulah Hussein, Sheikh Hussain Abbas, Sheikh Hasan al-Sayiq and Sheikh 'Ali al-'Akry.

(51). Among the political groups that appeared in Bahrain directly after the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran, are Harakat al-Tahreer al-Watani al-Islami fil-Bahrain (The Islamic National Liberation Movement in Bahrain), al-Jama'a al-Islamiyya (The Islamic group), Harakat al-Shabab al-Muslim al-Bahraini (The Young Muslim Movement in Bahrain), and al-Jabha al-Wataniyya al-Islamiyya li Tahrir al-Bahrain (The Islamic National Front for the Liberation of Bahrain).

(52). al-Jabha al-Sha'biya fil-Bahrain, op. cit., p. 13. Kehan al-'Arabi, September 2, 1979.

(53). al-Naser, No.38, October, 1994.

(54). al-Jabha al-Sha'biya fil-Bahrain, op. cit., p. 13. An Interview with Essa Marhun, the Chief of Information Department in the IFLB, published in the al-Thawra al-Risaliyya, No. 32, August 1985.

(55). Ibid.

(56). Ibid.

(57). Ibid.

(58). Memo about the GCC Council and regional Affairs issued by IFLB published in al-Thawra al-Risaliyya, No. 59, December 1987. See also: statements issued by IFLB published in 5th of Mars Newsletter, November 1979.

(59). al-Jabha al-Sha'biya fil-Bahrain, op. cit., pp. 13-14.

(60). For more information about the events of December, 1981, refer to Rashed Hamadeh, 'Asifa fawq Miyah al-Khaleej "A storm above the Gulf Water," (London: al-Safa Publications, 1990).

(61). Faisal Marhun, op. cit., p. 206-207.

(62). For more information about "BIFM" refer to the monthly newsletter Voice of Bahrain, issued by the BIFM.

(63). Ahmad Hussain, op. cit., pp. 49-50.

(64). Ahmad Hussain, op. cit., pp. 49-50. Muneera Fakhru, op. cit., p. 97.

(65). For more information about Constitutional Uprising in Bahrain refer to: Ahmad al-Shamlan, al-Haraka al-Dusturiyya: Nedhal Sha'b al-Bahrain rain ajil al-Dimuqratiyya "The Constitutional Movement: The Struggle of the Bahraini People for Democracy," (Beirut: Dar al-Wihda al-Wataniyya, 1997). The Bahrain Islamic Freedom Movement, 'Am al-Tadhhiyat wal-Amal: Yawmiyyat al-Intifadha al-Disturiyya fil-Bahrain December 1994-November 1995"The Year of Hope and Sacrifices: The Diary of the Constitutional Uprising in Bahrain December 1994-November 1995," (London: The Bahrain Islamic Freedom Movement Publications, 1996.)

(66). For more information about the events of the Constitutional Movement in Kuwait, refer to: Falah al-Mdaires, al-Haraka al-Disturiyyah fil-Kuwait "The Constitutional Movement in Kuwait," Social Affairs, No. 52, Winter 1996.

(67). The Bahrain Islamic Freedom Movement, 'Am al-Tadhhiyat wal-Amal: Yawmiyyat al-Intifadha al-Disturiyya fil-Bahrain, December 1994- November 1995, op. cit., p. 2.

(68). Muneera Fakhru, op. cit., p. 55.

(69). 'Ala' Salem, Idhirabat al-Shi'a fil-Bahrain Ab'ad Azmat al-Dawla al-Wataniyyah fil-Jazeera al-'Arabiyyah "Shi'a Uprising in Bahrain, Dimensions of the National State in the Arabian Peninsula," al-Siyasa al-Duwaliyyah, No. 126, October 1996, p. 148.

(70). 'Ala' Salem, op.cit., p.149. The BIFM, 'Am al-Tadhhiyat wal-Amal, op. cit., p. 2. For more information about the petition submitted by the CM refer to: Ghassan al-Mulla, Riyah al-Taghyeer fil-Bahrain "The Winds of Change in Bahrain," 1996, p.311.

(71). 'Ala' Salem, op. cit., p. 148. The Wall Street Journal, 13/6/1995. The Economist, February 15, 1996.

(72). Muneera Fakhru, Intifadhat Sha'b al-Bahrain: al-Asbab wal-Durus wal-Ihtimalat "The Uprising of the People of Bahrain: Causes, Lessons and Possibilities," al-Quds al-'Arabi. Sept. 20/ 1995. For more information about the events in Bahrain refer to The Independent, 13/2/1996. 14/2/1996. 16/2/1996. 16/2/1996. 18/2/1996. 19/2/1996. 20/2/1996. The Guardian, 16/2/1996. 1/3/ 1996. The Times, 24/2/1996.

(73). al-Jazeera al-'Arabia, January, 1993.

(74). Ghassan al-Mulla, op. cit., pp. 215-216. The Times, 21/1/1995.

(75). The BIFM, 'Am al-Tadhhiyat wal-Amal, op. cit., pp. 179-180.

(76). Abdul Hadi Khalaf, op. cit., pp. 88-89. The Times, 21/1/1995.

(77). 'Ala' Salem, op. cit., p. 149.

(78). Abdul Hadi Khalaf, op. cit., pp. 112-113.

(79). Abdul Hadi Khalaf, op. cit., p. 118. An interview with Abdulrahman al-Na'aimi, the Secretary General of the Popular Front in Bahrain, Beirut, Winter 2000.

(80). Abdul Hadi Khalaf, op. cit., p. 117.

(81). Ibid, p. 120.

(82). Mithaq al-'Amal al-Watani"National Action Charter," December 23, 2000, pp. 26-27.

(83). Voice of Bahrain, February 16, 2001.

(84). Voice of Bahrain, July, 2001.

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki