«3 - 3» Bahrain: The Cohesion of the Power and Religion Gave "Al-Qaeda Ideology" to the Country

 Abd Al-Rahman Al-Hamad
Abd Al-Rahman Al-Hamad

2013-07-10 - 11:33 م

BahrainMirror: The noticeable logistic activity of Bahrain Salafists in Syria is surprising and unprecedented, but it is difficult to prove that this activity is conducted without the control of the Bahrain governmental apparatuses. In fact, this is impossible. After king Hamad Bin Issa Al Khalifa assumed power in 1999, he developed “Hilf Fudul”  or “League of the Virtuous” with the groups of political-Sunni Islam including Salafism. Hamad made use of this league to set limits to the old aspirations of democracy and to instigate the continual sectarian discord with the opposition.

On the other hand, he enabled the Islamic Sunni groups to penetrate in the government apparatuses and to enjoy the advantages of the governmental resources.  It was not difficult to sense the complaints and anger in pro-government liberal groups (generally formed by the middle class of people) from the preferment that the Islamic movements enjoyed. They established a gathering under the name “we have a right” (2006) and “Al-Muntada Association” (2005) because those groups were fed up with being excluded and replaced by Islamists.

One of the control mechanisms adopted by the king was the replacement of the old liberal elite in power - by which his uncle, the old prime minister, used to rule during the earlier phase, after the parliament was disbanded in 1975 – with a new group of Sunni Islamists. Despite his attempt to present Bahrain as the base of openness in the region, he rather made it easier to give Bahrain a religious nature in the last ten years.


Features of the sacred league

The years from 2004 till 2013 have witnessed the execution of several measures showing the power of the “Sacred League” with Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood.

For the first time, from seventy years till now, the Marshal Khalifa Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa allowed the militant defense force to “grow their beards without being prohibited in the same way as before”.

Similar to this, the ministry of interior lifted the ban under a resolution from the minister Rashed Ben Abdullah Al Khalifa “allowing the members of the ministry to grow beards under specific conditions that is to organize the growing of beards (determining its length)”.

In 2006, the king interfered to stop traffic violation tickets for veiled women who wore Nikab when driving due to pressure from Salafists .Before the council of ministers agreed to the resolution, it “enabled a veiled woman, wearing Nikab to drive without being given any traffic ticket”.

Starting from 2007, complaints increased from cntractors of tourist facilities after the Bahraini ministry of media adopted a mechanism that allows periodical patrolling on hotels. Punitive measures affected about 90 hotels.

The ministry also issued a bundle of resolutions that abolished the “licenses of Arab and foreign art-show halls, hosting artists and artistic bands, licenses for bars and dance halls, serving alcoholic drinks in all one, two, three, or four star hotels and touristic restaurants”.

At the beginning of year 2009, the minister of media, May Al Khalifa, developed a set of decisions that allowed blocking websites in Bahrain. She specified two types of websites; “one of which are the pornographic and indecent sites”.

In response to objections from Salafist MPs, and those belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Bahraini authorities cancelled a license given to MBC that enables it to shoot one of its reality TV shows “The Big Brother” in one of the newly-built islands “Amwaj”, east of Manama.

The king’s sister (2006) intervened to arrange the residence of the Takfirist preacher Wajdi Ghneim on her guarantee, after he was banished from the United States of America due to his extremist speeches. He almost gained the Bahraini nationality, where he stated that: “the Salafists of Bahrain placed my name on top of the list specified to nationalise preachers”.

نجل وزير الديوان ناصر بن خالد (وسط) في مجلس للعائلة الحاكمة

Son Of The Minister Of Royal Court, Nasser Bin Khaled, (in the middle)

In A Union For The Ruling Family

That was before he was exiled because of a speech he delivered in which he attacked the ruling family in Kuwait.

Ever since 2010, the Bahraini king commenced a tradition of his own, in the religious field, that is to come out in public annually during Ramadan, under the title of “The Speech of the Last Ten Days

During a security campaign that accompanied the law of “national safety” on March 2011, the authorities allowed Azan to be called out in accordance with the Islamic law, in Salmaniya Medical Hospital, which is one of the biggest governmental medical facilities. As for the worst type of imprinting a religious or Islamic nature was the one practiced on the army.


The devil of the army

Recent studies (2013) indicate changes in the Bahraini military foundation after the events of 14 February 2011 manifested in “enriching the combat doctrine of the army with uni-religoious concepts that obviously tend to be more of Salafist views”.

This orientation is clear in the continuous sponsoring of Quran-Recitation contests for the members of Bahraini Defense Force. It also appears in the Salafist control over the Religious Guidance directorate related to them, and printed Salafist publications that glorify the ruler and prohibit disobeying him, in addition to jurisprudential laws regarding demonstrations and protests. Such fatwas are in conformity with those issued by Ifta Religious Institution in Saudi Arabia.

One of the striking examples of the extremist military doctrine occurs in the views of the Bahraini Army spokesperson, Khaled Al-Bu Ainain, on his twitter account @Al_Bu3inain. The account also shows that the whole Salafist, Takfirist lexicon he uses is identical in his attitude towards the west, the U.S.A., Shiites, Christians, Jews, and Nasiriya.

He expressed his objection to the government after it provided a license, in August 2012, to build a catholic church saying “how will Allah grant us victory if we build temples for infidelity and infidels, how will Allah grant us victory when the government supports infidelity in order not to be accused of being against human rights”.

In another context, he adds: “we were never aware of the plans of America until Saddam died, and then we handed Iraq to magus, and America wanted to hand us to them”.

Another model that represents the extent of Salafist penetration into the ruling family can be seen in the comments of the minister of royal court’s son, Naser Bin Khaled Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, who works as an officer in the Bahraini Army, in addition to being the chairman of the board of directors in east Rifa’ Club. His twitter account @Khalid_nasser is crowded with terrifying fundamentalist vocabulary towards the other parties; it is a vocabulary that collects its views from the same reference of the international ideology adopted from “Jihadist Salafism”.

In one of his comments, he says: “Bahrain is not for everyone, it is an Arab, Muslim country, as it is mentioned in the constitution”, adding “we don’t force magus (Shiites) to enter monotheism, but it is an obligation to deny their polytheism; helping them to go on with their polytheism is of great injustice”, adding that “the call

(no Sunni, no Shiites, just Bahraini), is a call of ignorance launched by the preachers of Polytheism”.

His page is one of the advertising outlets for the “Equipping Invaders” campaign that aims at equipping fighters to practice Jihad in Syria. In this context, he says: “it is still possible to arm Mujahidin in Syria, don’t miss the chance”, considering that “there is no benefit in the fortunes of Muslims or in their number if they don’t help their brothers in Islam everywhere on earth”.


Pawns of the marshal and his brother

Both the leader of the Bahraini army, Khalifa Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, and his brother, the minister of the Royal Court, Khaled Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, are responsible for running the political-Sunni Islam. Starting from the elections of the year 2002, they mutually reinforced the relationship between the government and the Sunni association, on the basis of “mutual interests”. Today, Salafists have a great power that sometimes may reach an extent of taking over more than an apparatus in the country, such as foreign affairs, the customs, the civil service bureau, the Sunni endowments, the ministry of education, the department of housing, and the Religious guidance device of the Bahraini Army. Whereas, the ministries of education, development, and human rights, are under the power of the Muslim Brotherhood.

This is not the only aspect of partnership. The repeated declarations of the leader of the army Khalifa Bin Ahmad, show complete compatibility with the Sunni radicalism towards several issues, such as Shiites, the American role, and the position from the Syrian revolution. Ever since the uprising in 2011, the marshal wrote a surrealist approach of the events that assumes a conspiracy by Iran and the U.S.A. This approach was soon adopted by the Sunni groups and became one of their moralities.

In an interview with him on 8 August 2011, he said “the events at Bahrain were a conspiracy at all terms, planned by Iran with an American support”, and in another interview, he added “they are paying them money and training them ever since Condoleezza Rice was the Secretary of State”.

He also indicated, in a declaration on 14 February 2012, that there are “22 NGOs working against the kingdom of Bahrain, 19 of them are in the USA and 3 are in one of the Gulf countries”, and that “all are sponsored by the USA and the gulf countries".

He alleged that “when Bahrain faced USA with these information and facts, the U.S. disclaimed saying that those are NGOs”.

Al-Watan governmental newspaper that is supported by his brother, the minister of Royal Court, Khaled Bin Ahmad, is considered as one of the largest media apparatuses in Bahrain, which is used to run a programmed offence policy against the USA. and the American ambassador at Manama, like no other public party.

A study conducted by “Carnegie” institute showed that “marshal Khaled Bin Ahmad, refused in March 2011 to allow USA to place its military air-craft on the Bahraini territories, so it was forced to move them to another Gulf Country.

During an interview on 16 June 2013, the marshal expressed his belief that the “Syrian revolution is the only one that can be called The Revolution of People”, considering that what happened in other Arab countries – Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain – were only a western conspiracy”.

The statements are somehow compatible with an important part of the moralities adopted by the Bahraini Salafist groups.


“Getting involved’ in Syria

On 21 March 2013, a member of the Gathering of National Unity, Lafi Al-Dhafeere, a Syrian holding the Bahraini nationality, who is close to the authorities, announced the death of his nephew Ahmad Shbat Al-Dhafeere, whom he described to be a Jihadist, during the battles in Syria. He pointed out in some of his comments on his twitter account @lafi_aldhafeer2 that his nephew visited Bahrain for a few days and met him despite that he was wanted by the Saudi authorities”.

عبدالعزيز العثمان

 Abd Al-Rahman Al Othman

It is hard to imagine the possibility that one of the Jihadists wanted by Saudi Arabia to enter through Bahraini customs apparatus without any interference. The customs apparatus is considered to be one of the apparatuses under the control of the Salafist group since several years ago. The Bahraini courts have convicted two persons, one holding the Bahraini nationality, and the other was a Bahraini who worked as an employee in the customs apparatus, after they were accused of smuggling two automatic weapons crossing king Fahed Bridge, aiming at bombing the American naval base in Jufair”

In fact, ever since it became clear that Bahraini Jihadist have penetrated in Syria, the government hasn't taken any measures to deny its “interference”. Its reaction was limited to “giving advice”.

The Bahraini ministry of development disclaimed its responsibility of what Al-Asalah Society delegation did by crossing the Syrian boarders and handing donations to the Jihadists (August 2012). It said that “Al-Asalah is a political society registered in the ministry of justice, and thus it gains its license for its activities from the ministry that approved its registration”.

The ministry of justice never made any declaration, but a high-ranking official in the ministry, Naser Abdullah, the head of Hajj and Umrah affaires (manager of  its religious affairs), talked about “the importance of giving money to support Jihad in Sham”.

On his twitter account @d71naser, he said that “our feelings, as we give money to support Jihad in Sham, shall be as an apology to Allah, fearing that our names may be written with the weak and the violators”.

While the Bahraini political association law prohibits contacting foreign organisations that aim at establishing military or semi-military formation, or holding violent trainings that has a goal of combat preparations” or “such communications may be so that the political society interferes in the internal affairs of another countries”. The Bahraini ministry of foreign affairs settled for giving advice to the citizens urging them “to avoid entering areas of armed conflicts for their own safety”.

Commenting on the death of a Bahraini citizen when fighting with Al-Nusra Front (28 May 2013), the Bahraini minister of interior, Rashed Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa restated his advice to the Bahraini youth to stay away from entering regional and international conflicts”. While the authorities did not comment on the death of Abd Al-Aziz Al-Othman and his brother Abd Al-Rahman Al Othman whom were proved to be members of the Bahraini Defense Force.

Pictures published for Abd Al-Aziz after he was killed showed his presence near fighters during the battles in Syria, wearing the outfit of the Bahraini army. On the 4th of March 2013, the radical Syrian preacher Adnan Al-Arour declared in public and valued “Bahrain’s government, king, and people for the great things they gave to the Syrian people and the Syrian revolution, whether it was moral or in material”. He also visited Manama on 29 May to participate in a campaign launched by Bahraini Salafists to gather donations that will be used to support Jihad in Syria. It was reported that Al-Arour sold his Abaya in an auction for the donations’ sake, to a rich Bahraini in return of 15 thousand Dinars (about 40 thousand U.S. dollars)

Behind the official silence regarding the ongoing appearance of such events, there lies the “plot” of Bahraini involvement in Syria!! 

Link to the Arabic copy

America’s Major non NATO Ally, Safe Haven for Al-Qaeda «1-3»

"2-3" America’s Major non NATO Ally, Safe Haven for Al-Qaeda 

"3-3" America’s Major non NATO Ally, Safe Haven for Al-Qaeda 


First Episode: Arabic copy 

Second Episode: Arabic copy 

التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع

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