The anger Shiites threatens the stability of Bahrain
02/07/2010 Updated : 08:35 Feedback (16)
All weekend , the Shiite neighborhoods of Bahrain to ignite the young initiativede colèrequi want a regime change . Photo credits : Associated Press
This small kingdom in the hands of a Sunni monarchy allowed the U.S. Fifth Fleet . But the majority of its population is not immune to the lure of Iran .
"Stop the torture! "," No to the naturalization of foreigners! "," An illegitimate ruling family ... " On Friday morning , riot police had not yet had time to clear the subversive slogans plastered over the night by the Shia al - Dirazi on the outskirts of Manama , the capital . Like every weekend, security forces are on high alert in the Shiite areas of Bahrain, the only Gulf country populated by a majority of Shiites (70 % ) , but ruled by Sunnis. Around dustbin ignite , police and angry youths are facing. Violence remains contained , but for how long?
" How could I be loyal to a regime of Sunni recruits punish Pakistan for us ? " cried Ali, a young al - Dirazi , one of those disadvantaged Shiite villages where a few months of elections , and a tense situation by the Iranian nuclear threat , fueling resentment communitarianism. Anxious not to arm the Shiite power for fifteen years, is to rely heavily Baluch , Jordanians and Iraqis in security forces and intelligence services . "They have no complex for us slug it out , " Ali protests . His anger is even stronger than their nationality is generally granted for a rarity in the Gulf monarchies , denounced by Bahraini Shiites as a maneuver to reverse the demographic curve .
In a rigorous and Arabian Peninsula in the basement bathed in oil, discrete kingdom of Bahrain is an exception . The archipelago has its banks for its development. As the alcohol flows freely in bars frequented by prostitutes Asian , 37 Jews still live in harmony with the overwhelming majority of Muslim countries led by an enlightened monarch ( see below ) , Sheikh Hamad bin Issa al -Khalifa , who appointed ten women in one of the two Houses of Parliament . This delicate balance is challenged by the rampant frustration of a community that looks on the side of Iran, "the motherland " of Shiites around the world.
"This is not because you will find portraits of Khomeini in the houses we are loyal to Tehran, " defends Hussein , a retired telecommunications . " But we do not know what can happen , "he adds , if tomorrow Iran is attacked . " In his room , youth, sitting on the floor , recount their demands: work in the public service better access to land and the release of remaining political prisoners. Cleverly , the power co-opted some Shiites in government , but these figures have little credit to the base. Since the last elections in 2006 , following which 17 Shiites have been elected to the Second Chamber of Parliament , the community is divided between a fringe that agrees to play the game of institutions and hardliners who want a change regime. "They thought the change in 2006, but since then, their situation has not improved , "says one diplomat .
The authorities fear that some young unemployed are an easy target for Iranian agents to work with the Shiite communities in the Gulf, as demonstrated by the recent dismantling of several pro-Iranian Shiite cell in Kuwait . The tension is constantly fed by statements from Iranian officials claiming neither more nor less , Bahrain . Alarmed, the U.S. has decided to double the size of their base in Bahrain , headquarters of the Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf , where France also has a major center for plays .
" How do you think we can trust them , says about a Shiite official in the Ministry of Information . These people are questioning the legitimacy of the regime . " Faux , Ali responds , we are not supporters of using violence . But if we burn garbage , because we do not we ever heard. " After Lebanon and Iraq , the Shia majority in Bahrain has on democracy to snatch a power-sharing. At the legislative elections , scheduled for the fall, it requires a dose of proportional representation and a fair redistricting . His goal : the advent of a constitutional monarchy on the British model , with the possibility of replacing the prime minister, a cousin of the king in place for nearly forty years .
Sheikh al- Khalifa protects the last Jews of the kingdom
They are more than forty , but the last Jews of Bahrain can boast of being protected by the king, Sheik Issa al - Khalifa . In recent years, the monarch has stepped up actions in their favor . First, by appointing , in 2008 , Houda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo ambassador to the United States . Ms. Nonoo became the first Jewish ambassador to an Arab country . Then , Sheikh al -Khalifa visited London to call the Jews Bahraini expatriates to return home . Then he appointed some members of their community in the Majlis al- Shura , the consultative assembly which sits alongside the Upper House of Parliament . Descendants of Iraqi and Iranian Jews , most of them arrived in the archipelago in 1948, when Israel was created . They still have a synagogue . If Bahrain has no diplomatic relations with Israel , boycotting it since 2004, foreign companies trading with Israel.
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