SHAFAQNA – 2017 marks the sixth year of Bahrain’s struggle for freedom, justice and political self-determination. A nation interrupted by a brutal and illegal foreign military occupation, Bahrain has been largely ignored by an apathetic press – thrown the wolves for world state officials have aligned themselves with tyranny out of sheer political myopia.
“Interests is what we have told prompted world powers and Britain to side with al-Khalifa regime against Bahrain’s revolutionaries,” said Professor Rodney Shakespeare at Bahrain conference this Saturday at Abrar House in London.
“Interests,” he continued “is a flawed argument, since interests … everyone’s interests would be best served by opening up Bahrain to democracy instead of lining the pockets of a selected elite.”
Speaking on Bahrain’s abysmal human rights violations track record and Britain’s insistence to whitewash Manama’s increasing taste for blood and gruesome display of violence against its people, Steven Bell from Stop The War warned that Britain, alongside other world powers were losing the moral high-ground, de facto acting as accessories to war crimes.
“Bahrainis’ demands are legitimate demands,” he said.
Catherine Shakdam, Director of the Shafaqna Institute of Middle Eastern Studies who sat on the first panel of experts this Saturday opened her remarks by noting that “Bahrainis are already free! It is important for all of us to realise at this stage. If Bahrain is struggling against tyranny and oppression its people are already free and such freedom can never be forfeited.”
Elaborating on Bahrain’s revolutionary movement and how media framed Bahrainis’ calls for liberation, Ms Shakdam warned that while most have attempted to reduce Bahrain’s struggle to a sectarian spat as to derail the narrative and somewhat infer illegitimacy, she made clear that whatever sectarianism in fact had permeated was coming directly from Saudi Arabia, and not Bahrainis.
“If Bahrain is majority Shia, this is not to say that this revolution is that of Shia Islam. Bahrainis’ religious identity cannot be used as an excuse or a tool to justify oppression on account Saudi Arabia look upon Shia Islam as an apostasy … that would be rationalising religious exclusionism and play directly into the hands of the likes of Daesh, al-Qaeda, the Taliban ….”
She added: “Whether now, in one year or ten years Bahrain will ultimately win its struggle and defeat tyranny.”