Bahrain Constitution:

 

[Preamble] Foreword to the Constitution
In the name of God on high, and with His blessing, and with His help, we Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Sovereign of the Kingdom of Bahrain, in line with our determination, certainty, faith, and awareness of our national, pan-Arab and international responsibilities; and in acknowledgment of our obligations to God, our obligations to the homeland and the citizens, and our commitment to fundamental principles and our responsibility to Mankind,
And in implementation of the popular will expressed in the principles enshrined in the National Action Charter; pursuant to the authority entrusted to us by our great people to amend the Constitution; out of our desire to complete the requirements of the democratic system of government for our beloved nation; striving for a better future in which the homeland and the citizen will enjoy greater welfare, progress, development, stability and prosperity through earnest and constructive cooperation between government and citizens which will remove the obstacles to progress; and out of a conviction that the future and working for the future is what all of us seek in the coming stage; and in view of our belief that such an objective requires the exertion of efforts; and in order to complete the march, we have amended the existing Constitution.
This amendment has taken account of all the lofty values and the great human principles enshrined in the National Action Charter. These values and principles confirm that the people of Bahrain surge ahead in their triumphant march towards a bright future, God willing, a future in which the efforts of all parties and individuals unite, and the authorities in their new garb devote themselves to achieve the hopes and aspirations under his tolerant rule, declaring their adherence to Islam as a faith, a code of laws and a way of life, with their affiliation to the great Arab nation, and their association with the Gulf Cooperation Council now and in the future, and their striving for everything that will achieve justice, good and peace for the whole of Mankind.
The amendments to the Constitution proceed from the premise that the noble people of Bahrain believe that Islam brings salvation in this world and the next, and that Islam means neither inertness nor fanaticism but explicitly states that wisdom is the goal of the believer wherever he finds it he should take it, and that the Qur’an has been remiss in nothing.
In order to achieve this goal, it is essential that we listen and look to the whole of the human heritage in both East and West, adopting that which we consider to be beneficial and suitable and consistent with our religion, values and traditions and is appropriate to our circumstances, in the conviction that social and human systems are not inflexible tools and instruments which can be moved unchanged from place to place, but are messages conveyed to the mind, spirit and conscience of Man and are influenced by his reactions and the circumstances of his society.
Thus these constitutional amendments are representative of the advanced cultural thought of our beloved nation. They base our political system on a constitutional monarchy founded on counsel [shura], which in Islam is the highest model for governance, and on the people’s participation in the exercise of power, which is the foundation of modern political thought. The Ruler, with his perspicacity, chooses certain experienced people to constitute the Consultative Council (Majlis al-Shura), and the aware, free and loyal people choose through elections those who make up the Chamber of Deputies (Majlis al-Nuwwab), and thus the two chambers together achieve the popular will represented by the National Assembly (Al-Majlis al-Watani).
These constitutional amendments undoubtedly reflect the joint will of the King and the people, and achieve for everyone the lofty ideals and the great humanitarian principles contained in the National Action Charter, and ensure that the people will advance to the high position for which their ability and preparedness qualify them, and which accords with the greatness of their history, and allows them to occupy their appropriate place among the civilised nations of the world.
This constitution that we have promulgated contains the amendments that have been carried out in accordance with the provisions of the National Action Charter and that complement all the unamended texts.
We have attached an explanation memorandum which will be used to explain its judgement.
 

Chapter I The State

 
Article 1  [Sovereignty, Constitutional Monarchy]
a. The Kingdom of Bahrain is a fully sovereign, independent Islamic Arab State whose population is part of the Arab nation and whose territory is part of the great Arab homeland. Its sovereignty may not be assigned or any of its territory abandoned.
b. The regime of the Kingdom of Bahrain is that of a hereditary constitutional monarchy, which has been handed down by the late Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa to his eldest son Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King. Thenceforward it will pass to his eldest son, one generation after another, unless the King in his lifetime appoints a son other than his eldest son as successor, in accordance with the provisions of the Decree on inheritance stated in the following clause.
c. All provisions governing inheritance are regulated by a special Royal Decree that will have a constitutional character, and which can only be amended under the provisions of Article 120 of the Constitution.
d. The system of government in the Kingdom of Bahrain is democratic, sovereignty being in the hands of the people, the source of all powers. Sovereignty shall be exercised in the manner stated in this Constitution.
e. Citizens, both men and women, are entitled to participate in public affairs and may enjoy political rights, including the right to vote and to stand for elections, in accordance with this Constitution and the conditions and principles laid down by law. No citizen can be deprived of the right to vote or to nominate oneself for elections except by law.
f. This Constitution may be amended only partly, and in the manner provided herein.
 
Article 2  [State Religion, Shari'a, Official Language]
The religion of the State is Islam. The Islamic Shari’a is a principal source for legislation. The official language is Arabic.
 
Article 3  [Flag]
The State flag, emblem, logos, honours and national anthem are laid down by law.
 

Chapter II Basic Constituents of Society

 
Article 4  [State Principles]
Justice is the basis of government. Cooperation and mutual respect provide a firm bond between citizens. Freedom, equality, security, trust, knowledge, social solidarity and equality of opportunity for citizens are pillars of society guaranteed by the State.
 
Article 5  [Family]
a. The family is the basis of society, deriving its strength from religion, morality and love of the homeland. The law preserves its lawful entity, strengthens its bonds and values, under its aegis extends protection to mothers and children, tends the young and protects them from exploitation and safeguards them against moral, bodily and spiritual neglect. The State cares in particular for the physical, moral and intellectual development of the young.
b. The State guarantees reconciling the duties of women towards the family with their work in society, and their equality with men in political, social, cultural, and economic spheres without breaching the provisions of Islamic canon law (Shari’a).
c. The State guarantees the requisite social security for its citizens in old age, sickness, disability, orphanhood, widowhood or unemployment, and also provides them with social insurance and healthcare services. It strives to safeguard them against ignorance, fear and poverty.
d. Inheritance is a guaranteed right governed by the Islamic Shari’a.
 
Article 6  [Arab and Islamic Heritage]
The State safeguards the Arab and Islamic heritage. It contributes to the advancement of human civilization and strives to strengthen the bonds between the Islamic countries, and to achieve the aspirations of the Arab nation for unity and progress.
 
Article 7  [Education]
a. The State sponsors the sciences, humanities and the arts, and encourages scientific research. The State also guarantees educational and cultural services to its citizens. Education is compulsory and free in the early stages as specified and provided by law. The necessary plan to combat illiteracy is laid down by law.
b. The law regulates care for religious and national instruction in the various stages and forms of education, and at all stages is concerned to develop the citizen’s personality and his pride in his Arabism.
c. Individuals and bodies may establish private schools and universities under the supervision of the State and in accordance with the law.
d. The State guarantees the inviolability of the places of learning.
 
Article 8  [Health Care]
a. Every citizen is entitled to health care.  The State cares for public health and the State ensures the means of prevention and treatment by establishing a variety of hospitals and healthcare institutions.
b. Individuals and bodies may establish private hospitals, clinics or treatment centres under the supervision of the State and in accordance with the law.
 
Article 9  [Property]
a. Ownership, capital and work — in accordance with the principles of Islamic justice — are basic constituents of the social entity of the State and the national wealth, and are all individual rights with a social function regulated by law.
b. Public funds are inviolate, and it is the duty of every citizen to protect them.
c. Private ownership is protected. No one shall be prevented from disposing of his property within the limits of the law. No one shall be dispossessed of his property except for the public good in the cases specified and the manner stated by law and provided that he is fairly compensated.
d. Public expropriation of funds is prohibited, and private expropriation shall be a penalty only by judicial ruling in the cases prescribed by law.
e. The relationship between the owners of land and real estate and their tenants shall be regulated by law on economic principles while observing social justice.
f. The State shall endeavour to provide housing for citizens with limited income.
g. The State shall make the necessary arrangements to ensure the exploitation of land suitable for productive farming, and shall strive to raise the standards of farmers. The law lays down how small farmers are to be helped and how they can own their land.
h. The State shall take the necessary measures for the protection of the environment and the conservation of wildlife.
 
Article 10  [Economy]
a. The national economy is based on social justice, and it is strengthened by fair cooperation between public and private business. Its objective, within the limits of the law, is economic development according to a well-ordered plan and achievement of prosperity for the citizens, all within the bounds of the law.
b. The State endeavours to achieve the economic union of the Gulf Cooperation Council states and the states of the Arab League, and everything that leads to rapprochement, cooperation, coordination and mutual assistance among them.
 
Article 11  [Natural Resources]
All natural wealth and resources are State property. The State shall safeguard them and exploit them properly, while observing the requirements of the security of the State and of the national economy.
 
Article 12  [Compensation]
The State guarantees the common liability of society in bearing the burdens arising from public disasters and ordeals, and for compensating those affected by war damage or as a result of performing their military duties.
 
Article 13  [Work]
a. Work is the duty of every citizen, is required by personal dignity and is dictated by the public good. Every citizen has the right to work and to choose the type of work within the bounds of public order and decency.
b. The State guarantees the provision of job opportunities for its citizens and the fairness of work conditions.
c. Compulsory work cannot be imposed on any person except in the cases specified by law for national exigency and for a fair consideration, or pursuant to a judicial ruling.
d. The law regulates the relationship between employees and employers on economic basis while observing social justice.
 
Article 14  [Savings, Credit]
The State encourages cooperation and saving, and supervises the regulation of credit.
 
Article 15  [Taxes]
a. Taxes and public costs are based on social justice, and their payment is a duty under the law.
b. The law regulates exemption of low incomes from taxes in order to ensure that a minimum standard of living is safeguarded.
 
Article 16  [Public Jobs]
a. Public jobs are a national service entrusted to their incumbents, and State employees shall have the public interest in mind when performing their jobs. Foreigners shall not be entrusted with public posts except in those cases specified by law.
b. Citizens are equal in the assumption of public posts in accordance with the conditions specified by law.
 

Chapter III Public Rights and Duties

 
Article 17  [Citizenship]
a. Bahraini nationality shall be determined by law. A person inherently enjoying his Bahraini nationality cannot be stripped of his nationality except in case of treason, and such other cases as prescribed by law.
b. It is prohibited to banish a citizen from Bahrain or prevent him from returning to it.
 
Article 18  [Human Dignity, Equality]
People are equal in human dignity, and citizens are equal before the law in public rights and duties. There shall be no discrimination among them on the basis of sex, origin, language, religion or creed.
 
Article 19  [Personal Freedom]
a. Personal freedom is guaranteed under the law.
b. A person cannot be arrested, detained , imprisoned or searched, or his place of residence specified or his freedom of residence or movement restricted, except under the provisions of the law and under judicial supervision.
c. A person cannot be detained or imprisoned in  locations other than those designated in the prison regulations covered by health and social care and subject to control by the judicial authority.
d. No person shall be subjected to physical or mental torture, or inducement, or undignified treatment, and the penalty for so doing shall be specified by law. Any statement or confession proved to have been made under torture, inducement, or such treatment, or the threat thereof, shall be null and void.
 
Article 20  [Criminal Trials]
a. There shall be no crime and no punishment except under a law, and punishment only for acts committed subsequent to the effective date of the law providing for the same.
b. Punishment is personal.
c. An accused person is innocent until proved guilty in a legal trial in which he is assured of the necessary guarantees to exercise the right of defence at all stages of the investigation and trial in accordance with the law.
d. It is forbidden to harm an accused person physically or mentally.
e. Every person accused of an offence must have a lawyer to defend him with his consent.
f. The right to litigate is guaranteed under the law.
 
Article 21  [Asylum]
The extradition of political refugees is prohibited.
 
Article 22  [Conscience, Religion]
Freedom of conscience is absolute. The State guarantees the inviolability of worship, and the freedom to perform religious rites and hold religious parades and meetings in accordance with the customs observed in the country.
 
Article 23  [Expression]
Freedom of opinion and scientific research is guaranteed. Everyone has the right to express his opinion and publish it by word of mouth, in writing or otherwise under the rules and conditions laid down by law, provided that the fundamental beliefs of Islamic doctrine are not infringed, the unity of the people is not prejudiced, and discord or sectarianism is not aroused.
 
Article 24  [Press]
With due regard for the provisions of the preceding Article, the freedom of the press, printing and publishing is guaranteed under the rules and conditions laid down by law.
 
Article 25  [Home]
Dwellings are inviolate. They cannot be entered or searched without the permission of their occupants exception in cases of maximum necessity as laid down and in the manner provided by law.
 
Article 26  [Communication]
The freedom of postal, telegraphic, telephonic and electronic communication is safeguarded and its confidentiality is guaranteed. Communications shall not be censored or their confidentiality breached except in exigencies specified by law and in accordance with procedures and under guarantees prescribed by law.
 
Article 27  [Associations, Trade Unions]
The freedom to form associations and unions on national principles, for lawful objectives and by peaceful means is guaranteed under the rules and conditions laid down by law, provided that the fundamentals of the religion and public order are not infringed. No one can be forced to join any association or union or to continue as a member.
 
Article 28  [Assembly]
a. Individuals are entitled to assemble privately without a need for permission or prior notice, and no member of the security forces may attend their private meetings.
b. Public meetings, parades and assemblies are permitted under the rules and conditions laid down by law, but the purposes and means of the meeting must be peaceful and must not be prejudicial to public decency.
 
Article 29  [Petition]
Any individual may address the public authorities in writing over his signature. Group approaches to the authorities may only be made by statutory bodies and corporate persons.
 
Article 30  [Military Service]
a. Peace is the objective of the State. The safety of the nation is part of the safety of the Arab homeland as a whole, and its defence is a sacred duty of every citizen. Performance of military service is an honour for citizens and is regulated by law.
b. Only the State may establish the Defence Force, National Guard, and Public Security services. Non-citizens are assigned such tasks only in case of maximum necessity and in the manner prescribed by
c. General or partial mobilisation shall be regulated by law.
 
Article 31  [Restrictions]
The public rights and freedoms stated in this Constitution may only be regulated or limited by or in accordance with the law, and such regulation or limitation may not prejudice the essence of the right or freedom.
 

Chapter IV Public Authorities General Provisions

 

[Section 0 General Provision]

 
Article 32  [Separation of Powers]
a. The system of government rests on a separation of the legislative, executive and judicial authorities while maintaining cooperation between them in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. None of the three authorities may assign all or part of its powers stated in this Constitution. However, limited legislative delegation for a particular period and specific subject(s) is permissible, whereupon the powers shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of the Delegation Law.
b. Legislative authority is vested in the King and the National Assembly in accordance with the Constitution. Executive authority is vested in the King together with the Council of Ministers and Ministers, and judicial rulings are issued in his name, the whole being in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
 

Section 1 The King

 
Article 33  [Head of State, Powers]
a. The King is Head of State, and its nominal representative, and his person is inviolate. He is the loyal protector of the religion and the homeland, and the symbol of national unity.
b. The King safeguards the legitimacy of the government and the supremacy of the constitution and the law, and cares for the rights and freedoms of individuals and organisations.
c. The King exercises his powers directly and through his Ministers. Ministers are jointly answerable to him for general government policy, and each Minister is answerable for the business of his Ministry.
d. The King appoints and dismisses the Prime Minister by Royal Order, and appoints and dismisses Ministers by Royal Decree as proposed by the Prime Minister.
e. The Cabinet shall be re-formed as aforesaid in this article at the start of each legislative season of the National Assembly.
f. The King appoints and dismisses members of the Consultative Council by Royal Order.
g. The King is the Supreme Commander of the Defence Force. He commands it and charges it with national tasks within the homeland and outside it. The Defence Force is directly linked to the King, and maintains the necessary secrecy in its affairs.
h. The King chairs the Higher Judicial Council. The King appoints judges by Royal Orders, as proposed by the Higher Judicial Council.
i. The King awards honours and decorations in accordance with the law.
j. The King establishes, grants and withdraws civilian and military ranks and other honourary titles by Royal Order, and can delegate others to carry out these functions on his behalf.
k. The currency is issued in the name of the King in accordance with the law.
1. On ascending the throne, the King  takes the following oath at a special meeting of the National Assembly:
“I swear by Almighty God that I shall respect the Constitution and the laws of the State, that I shall defend the freedoms, interests and assets of the people, and that I shall safeguard the independence of the nation and the integrity of its territories.”
m. The Royal Court is attached to the King.  A Royal Order shall be issued to regulate it. Its budget and the rules for the budget’s control are set by a special Royal Decree.
 
Article 34  [Deputy Head of State]
a. In the event of his absence abroad and the inability of the Crown Prince to act for him, the King shall appoint a Deputy by Royal Order to exercise his powers during his period of absence. This Order may include a special regulation for the exercise of these powers on his behalf or may limit their scope.
b. The conditions and provisions of Clause (b) of Article 48 of this Constitution shall apply to the King’s Deputy. If he is a Minister or a member of the Consultative Council or the Chamber of Deputies, he shall not participate in ministerial or parliamentary business during the period he deputises for the King.
c. Before exercising his powers, the King’s Deputy shall take the oath prescribed in the preceding Article, including the phrase : “and I shall be loyal to the King”.  The oath shall be taken in the National Assembly if in session, and if not it shall be taken before the King. The Crown Prince shall take this oath once, even if he deputises for the King a number of times.
 
Article 35  [Legislative Powers]
a. The King may amend the Constitution, propose laws, and is the authority for their ratification and promulgation.
b. A law shall be deemed ratified and the King shall promulgate it if six months have elapsed from the date on which it was submitted to him by the Consultative Council and Chamber of Deputies without it being returned to these Chambers for reconsideration.
c. With due regard for the provisions pertaining to amendment of the Constitution, if within the interval prescribed in the preceding clause the King returns to the Consultative Council and the Chamber of Deputies for reconsideration the draft of any law by way of a Decree in justification, he shall state whether it should be reconsidered in that same session or the next.
d. If the Consultative Council and the Chamber of Deputies, or the National Assembly, re-approve the draft by a majority of two-thirds of their members, the King shall ratify it, and shall promulgate it within one month of its approval for the second time.
 
Article 36  [Declaration of War]
a. Aggressive war is forbidden. A defensive war is declared by a Decree which shall be presented to the National Assembly immediately upon its declaration, for a decision on the conduct of the war.
b. A state of national safety or martial law shall be proclaimed only by Decree. In all cases, martial law cannot be proclaimed for a period exceeding three months. This period may not be renewed except with the consent of the majority of the members of the National Assembly present.
 
Article 37  [Treaties]
(1) The King shall conclude treaties by Decree, and shall communicate them to the Consultative Council and the Chamber of Deputies forthwith accompanied by the appropriate statement. A treaty shall have the force of law once it has been concluded and ratified and published in the Official Gazette.
(2) However, peace treaties and treaties of alliance, treaties relating to State territory, natural resources, rights of sovereignty, the public and private rights of citizens, treaties pertaining to commerce, shipping and residence, and treaties which involve the State Exchequer in non-budget expenditure or which entail amendment of the laws of Bahrain, must be promulgated by law to be valid.
(3) Under no circumstances may a treaty include secret clauses which conflict with those openly declared.
 
Article 38  [Decrees]
(1) If between the convening of both the Consultative Council and the Chamber of Deputies sessions, or during the period in which the National Assembly is in recess, any event should occur that requires expediting the adoption of measures that brook no delay, the King may issue relevant Decrees that have the force of law, provided they do not contravene the Constitution.
(2) Such Decrees must be referred to both the Consultative Council and the Chamber of Deputies within one month from their promulgation if the two chambers are in session, or within a month of the first meeting of each of the two new chambers in the event of dissolution or if the legislative term had ended. If the Decrees are not so referred, their legal force shall abate retrospectively without a need to issue a relevant ruling. If they are referred to the two chambers but are not confirmed by them their legal force shall also abate retrospectively.
 
Article 39  [Administrative Decrees]
a. The King shall lay down the regulations for implementation of the laws, by Decrees which shall not include amendment or suspension of those laws or exemption from their implementation. The law may prescribe a lower instrument than a Decree for promulgation of the regulations necessary for their implementation.
b. The King shall lay down the control regulations and the regulations necessary for the organization of public directorates and departments, by Decrees in a manner which does not conflict with the laws.
 
Article 40  [Officers]
The King shall appoint and dismiss civil servants, military personnel, and political representatives in foreign States and with international organizations, within the bounds and on the conditions prescribed by law, and shall accredit the representatives of foreign States and organizations.
 
Article 41  [Pardon, Amnesty]
The King may abate or commute a sentence by Decree. A total amnesty may be granted only by law, and shall apply to offences committed before the amnesty was proposed.
 
Article 42  [Electoral Orders]
a. The King shall issue the Orders for elections to the Chamber of Deputies in accordance with the provisions of the law.
b. The King shall invite the National Assembly to convene by Royal Order, and shall open its proceedings and bring them to a close in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
c. The King is entitled to dissolve the Chamber of Deputies by a Decree that states the reasons for the dissolution. The Chamber cannot be dissolved for the same reasons once again.
 
Article 43  [Popular Referendum]
The King may conduct a popular referendum on important laws and issues connected with the interests of the State. The issue on which the referendum has been held is considered to have been agreed upon if approved by a majority of those who cast their votes. The result of the referendum shall be binding on all and effective from the date it is declared, and it shall be published in the Official Gazette.
 

Section 2 The Executive Authority

 
Article 44  [Composition]
The Council of Ministers shall consist of the Prime Minister and a number of Ministers.
 
Article 45  [Eligibility]
a. The incumbent of a Ministry must be a Bahraini, aged not less than 30 years by the Gregorian Calendar and must enjoy full political and civil rights. Unless otherwise provided, the provisions pertaining to Ministers apply also to the Prime Minister.
b. The salaries of the Prime Minister and Ministers shall be laid down by law.
 
Article 46  [Oath of Office]
Before exercising their powers, the Prime Minister and Ministers shall take the oath prescribed in Article 78 of this Constitution before the King.
 
Article 47  [Powers]
a. The Council of Ministers shall oversee State interests, lay down and follow through the implementation of general government policy, and supervise the course of business in the Government apparatus.
b. The King shall chair those meetings of the Council of Ministers which he attends.
c. The Prime Minister shall supervise performance of the tasks of the Council of Ministers and the course of its business, implement its decisions and coordinate between the various Ministries and integrate their business.
d. Relinquishment by the Prime Minister of his position for any reason shall entail removal of all Ministers from their posts.
e. The deliberations of the Council of Ministers shall be confidential. Its decisions shall be adopted when a majority of its members attend and there is a majority of those attending in favour. In the event of a tied vote, the side on which the Prime Minister’s vote is cast shall prevail. The minority shall abide by the opinion of the majority unless they resign. Council decisions shall be submitted to the King for approval in cases where issue of a relevant Decree is required.
 
Article 48  [Departments, Incompatibilities]
a. Each minister shall supervise the affairs of his Ministry and implement the general government policy in that Ministry. He shall also decide the orientation of the Ministry and supervise the putting of it into practice.
b. While in charge of his Ministry, a Minister may not assume any other public office, nor may he even indirectly practise a profession or conduct industrial, commercial or financial business, nor may he participate in contracts concluded by the Government or public institutions, or combine his ministerial position with the membership of the board of directors of any company except as a non-remunerated Government representative. Also during this period the Minister may not purchase or rent a State asset even by way of public auction, nor may he lease, sell, or barter any of his assets to the State.
 
Article 49  [Succession]
If the Prime Minister or the Minister relinquishes his position for any reason, he shall continue to discharge urgent business of his function until a successor is appointed.
 
Article 50  [Supervision of Self-Government]
a. The law shall regulate public institutions and municipal departmental bodies so as to ensure their independence under State direction and supervision. The law shall ensure the municipal departmental bodies can administer and oversee the services that have a local character and are within their area.
b. The State shall direct public welfare institutions for the public good in a manner consistent with general State policy and the interest of its citizens.
 

Section 3  The Legislative Authority National Assembly

 

[Part 0 General Provision]

 
Article 51  [Chambers]
The National Assembly consists of two Chambers: the Consultative Council and the Chamber of Deputies.
 

Part 1 The Consultative Council

 
Article 52  [Composition]
The Consultative Council is composed of forty members appointed by Royal Order.
 
Article 53  [Eligibility]
A member of the Consultative Council must be a Bahraini, enjoy full political and civil rights, be on an electoral list, must not be less than a full thirty five years of age by the Gregorian Calendar on the day of appointment, and must be experienced or have rendered distinguished services to the Nation.
 
Article 54  [Term]
a. The term of membership of the Consultative Council is four years, and members may be reappointed when their term has expired.
b. If for any reason the place of a member of the Consultative Council becomes vacant before his term is due to expire, the King shall appoint a replacement to serve until the end of the term of his predecessor.
c. Any member of the Consultative Council may ask to be exempted from membership of the Council by applying to the President of the Council, and the President is to submit the request to the King. Membership shall not terminate until the date on which the King accedes to the request.
d. The King shall appoint the President of the Consultative Council for the same period as the Council, and the Council shall elect two Vice-Presidents for each convening period.
 
Article 55  [Sessions]
a. The Consultative Council shall meet when the Chamber of Deputies meets, and the convening period for both Chambers shall be the same.
b. If the Chamber of Deputies is dissolved, sessions of the Consultative Council shall be halted.
 

Part 2 The Chamber of Deputies

 
Article 56  [Composition]
The Chamber of Deputies comprises forty members elected by direct, secret general ballot in accordance with the provisions of the law.
 
Article 57  [Eligibility]
A member of the Chamber of Deputies must meet the following requirements:
a. He must be a Bahraini enjoying his full civil and political rights, and his name must be on an electoral list.
b. On the day of his election he must be not less than thirty years of age by the Gregorian Calendar.
c. He must read and write Arabic fluently.
d. His membership of the Consultative Council or the Chamber of Deputies must not have been abrogated by decision of the Chamber to which he belonged due to loss of confidence and esteem or for being in breach of duties of membership. However, a person whose membership has been abrogated may put himself forward as a candidate if the legislative season during which the decision to abrogate his membership was taken has elapsed, or if the chamber of which he was a member adopts a decision to cancel the impediment to candidature entailed by abrogation of membership upon expiry of the convening period during which the decision to abrogate his membership was taken.
 
Article 58  [Term]
(1) The term of the Chamber of Deputies is four years by the Gregorian Calendar from the date of its first session. Elections for a new Chamber of Deputies shall be held during the last four months of that term, while observing the provisions of Article 64 of the Constitution. A person whose period of membership has ended may be re-elected.
(2) The King may, when necessary, extend the legislative season of the Chamber of Deputies by Royal Order for a period not exceeding two years.
 
Article 59  [Vacancies]
(1) If for any reason the place of a member of the Chamber of Deputies becomes vacant before his term is due to expire, his replacement shall be elected within two months from the date of announcement of the vacancy by the Chamber, and the new member shall serve until the end of term of his predecessor.
(2) If the vacancy occurs within the six months that precede the end of the legislative season of the Chamber, there shall be no election of a replacement member.
 
Article 60  [Presidency]
(1) At its first session the Chamber of Deputies shall choose from among its members a President and two Vice Presidents for the same duration as the Chamber’s term. If the place of any of them falls vacant, the Chamber shall choose a replacement to serve out his term.
(2) In all cases election shall be by an absolute majority of those present. If there is no such majority on the first ballot, the election shall be conducted again between the two who secured the most votes. If a third party tied with the second of the two, he shall participate with them both in the election in the second ballot, and in this case the election shall be by proportional majority. If this proportional majority results in a tie, the Chamber shall choose by lot.
(3) The first session shall be chaired by the eldest member until such time as a President of the Chamber of Deputies is elected.
 
Article 61  [Committees]
The Chamber shall form the committees necessary for its business during the first week of its annual assembly. These committees may exercise their powers while the chamber is in recess.
 
Article 62  [Electoral Jurisdiction]
The Court of Cassation shall have jurisdiction to rule on challenges relating to elections to the Chamber of Deputies, in accordance with the relevant law.
 
Article 63  [Resignation]
The Chamber of Deputies is the authority competent to accept a resignation from its membership. The resignation shall be deemed final only from when the Chamber decides to accept it, and the place shall become vacant from the date ofthat acceptance.
 
Article 64  [Dissolution]
a. If the Chamber of Deputies is dissolved, elections for a new Chamber of Deputies must be held not later than four months from the date of dissolution. If elections are not held during that period the dissolved Chamber of Deputies shall regain its full constitutional powers, and meets immediately as though the dissolution never occurred, and shall continue its business until a new Chamber is elected.
b. Notwithstanding the preceding clause, the King may defer election of the Chamber of Deputies if there are compelling circumstances whereby the Council of Ministers considers holding elections is not possible.
c. If the compelling circumstances mentioned in the preceding clause continue, the King, taking the opinion of the Council of Ministers, may restore the dissolved Chamber of Deputies and invite it to convene. This Chamber of Deputies shall be regarded as extant from the date of promulgation of the Royal Decree restoring it. It shall exercise its full constitutional powers. The provisions of this Constitution shall apply to it including those pertaining to completion of the Chamber’s term and dissolution. The session the Chamber holds in such a case shall be regarded as its first session irrespective of the date of its commencement.
 
Article 65  [Interpellation]
(1) Upon an application signed by at least five members of the Chamber of Deputies, any Minister may be questioned on matters coming within his sphere of competence.
(2) The question must not pertain to a private interest of the questioner or his relatives to the fourth degree, or be made by his proxy.
(3) The question shall not be debated until at least eight days after the day on which the question was posed, unless the Minister agrees to bring the debate forward.
(4) The question may lead to the matter of confidence in the Minister being put to the Chamber of Deputies under the provisions of Article 66 of this Constitution.
 
Article 66  [Responsibility, Vote of No-Confidence]
a. Each Minister shall be responsible to the Chamber of Deputies for the business of his Ministry.
b. A question of confidence in a Minister may be put forward only at his own wish or upon an application signed by at least ten members of the Chamber of Deputies following the debate of the question put to him, and the Chamber may not give its decision on the application until seven days after its submission.
c. If the Chamber of Deputies decides by a majority of two-thirds of its members to give a vote of no-confidence in a Minister, he shall be regarded as having withdrawn from the Ministry from the date of the no-confidence vote, and he shall submit his resignation forthwith.
 
Article 67  [Limitations]
a. The subject of confidence in the Prime Minister shall not be raised in the Chamber of Deputies.
b. If, two-thirds of members of the Chamber of Deputies consider it not possible to cooperate with the Prime Minister, the matter will be referred to the National Assembly to consider it.
c. The National Assembly cannot issue its decision on the lack of possibility of cooperating with the Prime Minister prior to seven days from the date the matter was referred to it.
d. If the National Assembly decides by a majority of two thirds of its members that it is not possible to cooperate with the Prime Minister, the matter is submitted to the King for a decision, either by relieving the Prime Minister of his post and appointing a new Government, or by dissolving the Chamber of Deputies.
 
Article 68  [Wishes]
The Chamber of Deputies may express its wishes in writing to the Government on public matters. If the Government finds itself unable to meet these wishes, it must give its reasons in writing to the Chamber.
 
Article 69  [Commissions of Inquiry]
(1) The Chamber of Deputies may at any time form commissions of inquiry or delegate one or more of its members to investigate any matter coming within the powers of the Chamber stated in the Constitution, and the commission or member is to present the findings of the inquiry not later than four months from the date of commencement of the inquiry.
(2) Ministers and all State employees are to provide such testimony, documents and statements as are asked of them.
 

Part 3 Provisions Common to Both Chambers

 
Article 70  [Legislation]
No law shall be promulgated unless approved by both the Consultative Council and the Chamber of Deputies, or the National Assembly as the situation demands, and ratified by the King.
 
Article 71  [Sessions]
The National Assembly shall convene on the second Saturday in the month of October unless the King decides to invite it to convene before this date. If that day is an official holiday, it shall convene on the first working day following that holiday.
 
Article 72  [Length of Sessions]
The normal convening period for both the Consultative Council and the Chamber of Deputies shall last for at least seven months, and this convening period may not be closed before the budget is approved.
 
Article 73  [Convening Period]
(1) As an exception to the provisions of the two foregoing Articles, the National Assembly shall convene on the day following the expiry of one month from the date of appointment of the Consultative Council or election of the Chamber of Deputies whichever occurs later, unless the King decides to invite it to convene before that date.
(2) If the date of convening the National Assembly in that period is later than the annual date prescribed in Article 71 of the Constitution, the convening period prescribed in Article 72 of the Constitution shall be reduced by the amount of the difference between the two aforesaid dates.
 
Article 74  [King's Address and Reply]
The King shall inaugurate the ordinary convening period of the National Assembly with a royal address. He may delegate the Crown Prince or whomever he decides to inaugurate the convening period and deliver the royal address on his behalf. Each of the two chambers shall choose a committee from among its members to prepare the draft reply to the address, and each chamber shall submit its reply to the King after it is approved.
 
Article 75  [Extraordinary Sessions]
(1) Both the Consultative Council and the Chamber of Deputies shall be called, by Royal Decree, to meet in extraordinary session if the King deems it necessary, or if so requested by a majority of members of either chamber.
(2) When in extraordinary session the two chambers may not consider matters other than those for which it has been called to convene.
 
Article 76  [Closing of Sessions]
The King shall declare ordinary and extraordinary convening periods closed by Royal Order.
 
Article 77  [Place and Time]
Any meeting of the Consultative Council or the Chamber of Deputies which is not held at the prescribed time and place shall be null and void and decisions taken thereat shall be invalid.
 
Article 78  [Oath of Office]
Every member of the Consultative Council or the Chamber of Deputies shall take the following oath in public session, prior to pursuing their work in the Chamber or its committees:
“I swear by Almighty God that I shall be loyal to the country and the King, shall respect the Constitution and the laws of the State, shall defend the freedoms, interests and assets of the people, and shall perform my work honestly and sincerely.”
 
Article 79  [Publicity]
Sessions of the Consultative Council and the Chamber of Deputies shall be open to the public. They may be held in secret at the request of the Government, the President of the Chamber, or ten members, and the request shall be debated in secret session.
 
Article 80  [Quorum]
(1) For a meeting of both the Consultative Council or the Chamber of Deputies to be valid, a quorum of more than half the members of each chamber must be present. Decisions shall be taken on an absolute majority of members present, except in cases where a special majority is stipulated. In the event of a tied vote, the matter shall be decided in favour of the side that includes the President of the chamber. If the voting relates to the Constitution, voting shall be conducted by calling upon members by name.
(2) If there is a lack of quorum for either chamber to convene on two successive occasions, the meeting of the chamber shall be deemed valid provided that the number of members attending is not less than one quarter of the chamber’s members.
 
Article 81  [Initiative]
The Prime Minister shall present bills to the Chamber of Deputies, which is entitled to pass, amend or reject the bill. In all cases the bill shall be referred to the Consultative Council, which is entitled to pass, amend or reject the bill or to accept any amendments which the Chamber of Deputies had introduced to the bill, or had rejected or amended them. However, priority of debate shall always be given to bills and proposals put forward by the Government.
 
Article 82  [Reconsideration]
If the Consultative Council does not approve a bill passed by the Chamber of Deputies, whether the Consultative Council’s decision involves rejection, amendment, deletion or addition, the President of the Council shall return it to the Chamber of Deputies for reconsideration.
 
Article 83  [Submission]
If the Chamber of Deputies accepts the bill as it receives it from the Consultative Council, the President of the Consultative Council shall refer it to the Prime Minister who will submit it to the King.
 
Article 84  [Amendments]
The Chamber of Deputies may reject any amendment made to a bill by the Consultative Council, and may insist on its previous decision without introducing any new amendments to the bill. In such a case the bill shall be returned to the Consultative Council for reconsideration. The Consultative Council may accept the decision of the Chamber of Deputies or insist on its previous decision.
 
Article 85  [Disputes, Joint Session]
If the two Chambers differ twice over any bill, the National Assembly shall convene in joint session under the chairmanship of the President of the Consultative Council to discuss those clauses in dispute. For the bill to be accepted, the decision of the National Assembly must be taken on a majority of members present, and when the bill is rejected in this manner it shall not be presented to the National Assembly again in the same convening period.
 
Article 86  [Approved Bill]
In all cases in which a bill is approved, the President of the Consultative Council shall refer the approved bill to the Prime Minister so that he submits it to the King.
 
Article 87  [Budget]
Every bill that regulates economic or financial matters, and the Government requests its urgent consideration, shall first be submitted to the Chamber of Deputies so that it takes a decision on it within fifteen days. When that period elapses, the bill is presented to the Consultative Council with the opinion of the Chamber of Deputies if there is such an opinion, so that the Consultative Council decides on it within a further period of fifteen days. If the two Chambers should disagree on the bill in question, the matter is referred to the National Assembly for a vote on it within fifteen days. If the National Assembly does not reach a decision on it within that period, the King may issue the bill as a Decree that has the force of a law.
 
Article 88  [Governmental Program]
As soon as it is formed, each Government shall submit its program to the National Assembly which may put forward any observations it deems appropriate regarding the program.
 
Article 89  [Representation, Immunity]
(1) a. A member of either the Consultative Council or the Chamber of Deputies represents the people and cares for public interest. He shall not come under the sway of any authority in his work in the either chamber or its committees.
b. No member of the Consultative Council or the Chamber of Deputies shall be called to account for expressing his opinions or ideas in the Council or its committees unless the opinion expressed is prejudicial to the fundamentals of the religion or the unity of the nation, or the mandatory respect for the King, or is defamatory of the personal life of any person.
c. Other than in a case of flagrante delicto, it shall be impermissible during the convening period for any detention, investigation, search, arrest or custodial procedures or any other penal action to be taken against a member except with the permission of the chamber of which he is a member. Outside the convening period, permission must be sought from the President of the relevant chamber.
(2) The non-issue of a decision by the chamber or its President on the permission which is being sought within one month from the date of receipt of the request shall be regarded as permission.
(3) The chamber must be informed of any measures which may be taken under the preceding paragraph while it is convened, and it must invariably be informed at its first session of any action taken against a member during the chamber’s annual recess.
 
Article 90  [Postponement]
The King may by Royal Order postpone the convening of the National Assembly for not more than two months, and such postponement shall not be repeated more than once in any one convening period. The period of postponement shall not be counted within the convening period provided by Article 72 of this Constitution.
 
Article 91  [Questions]
(1) Any member of the Consultative Council or the Chamber of Deputies may direct written questions at Ministers to clarify matters coming within their sphere of competence, and only the questioner may comment once on the reply. If the Minister adds anything new, the member shall be further entitled to comment.
(2) The question may not relate to an interest of the questioner or his relatives to the fourth degree, or be made by proxy.
 
Article 92  [Initiatives]
a. Fifteen members of the Consultative Council or the Chamber of Deputies are entitled to request proposing an amendment to the Constitution. Any member of the two chambers is entitled to propose laws. Each proposal shall be referred to the relevant committee in the chamber in which the proposal was made for an opinion. If the chamber sees fit to accept the proposal, it shall refer it to the Government to formulate it as a draft amendment of the Constitution or as a draft law and present it to the Chamber of Deputies during the same or succeeding period.
b. Any proposal for a law which has been presented in accordance with the preceding paragraph and rejected by the chamber to which it was presented may not be re-represented during the same convening period.
 
Article 93  [Ministerial Right to Speak, Duty to Attend]
(1) The Prime Minister and Ministers may attend sessions of the Consultative Council and Chamber of Deputies, and both chambers shall listen to the Prime Minister and Ministers whenever they ask to speak. They may co-opt such senior officials or their deputies as they may wish.
(2) A chamber may require the competent Minister to attend when a matter relating to his Ministry is being debated.
 
Article 94  [Regulations]
a. The regulations for the course of business in both the Consultative Council and the Chamber of Deputies and their committees, and the principles governing debate, voting, questioning, cross-examination and all the powers prescribed in the Constitution shall be prescribed by law, and similarly the penalties for a member being in breach of the regulations or failing to attend chamber or committee sessions without acceptable excuse.
b. Each chamber may add to the law that regulates it such supplementary provisions as it sees fit.
 
Article 95  [Order]
(1) Maintenance of order within the Consultative Council and Chamber of Deputies is a matter for its President. Guards shall be allocated to each chamber and they will receive their orders from the chamber’s President.
(2) No armed force may enter either chamber of the National Assembly or remain in the vicinity of its doors unless so requested by its President.
 
Article 96  [Remuneration]
The remuneration of members of the Consultative Council and Chamber of Deputies shall be laid down by law. If this remuneration is amended, such amendment shall not take effect until the start of the next legislative season.
 
Article 97  [Incompatibilities]
Membership of the Consultative Council and Chamber of Deputies may not be combined, nor may membership of either chamber be combined with the assumption of public office.
Other cases of non-combination shall be prescribed by law.
 
Article 98  [Economic Incompatibilities]
(1) During his period of membership a member of the Consultative Council or the Chamber of Deputies may not be appointed to the board of directors of a company or participate in contracts concluded by the Government or public institutions except in those cases prescribed by law.
(2) Nor during that period may he purchase or rent a State asset, or lease, sell or barter any of his assets to the State, unless by way of public auction or invitation to tender or application of the regulations governing expropriation in the public interest.
 
Article 99  [Incompetence]
If a state of incompetence arises with respect to a member of Consultative Council and Chamber of Deputies during his membership, his membership shall be abrogated, and his place become vacant on a decision taken by two-thirds of the members of the chamber of which he is a member. The membership of a member of the Consultative Council or Chamber of Deputies may also be abrogated for loss of confidence or esteem or for being in breach of the duties of membership. A decision to abrogate membership must secure a two-thirds majority of the members of the chamber of which he is a member. If taken by the Consultative Council, the decision shall be submitted to the King for approval.
 
Article 100  [Decorations]
Members of the Consultative Council and Chamber of Deputies shall not be awarded medals or decorations during their term of membership.
 

Part 4 Provisions on the Convening of the National Assembly

 
Article 101  [Sessions]
In addition to the occasions when both chambers of Consultative Council and Chamber of Deputies, that is the National Assembly, convene as a congress under the Constitution, the King may call such a meeting of his own initiative or at the request of the Prime Minister.
 
Article 102  [Chairmanship]
The joint National Assembly meeting shall be chaired respectively by the President of the Consultative Council, or in his absence by the President of the Chamber of Deputies, followed by the First Vice-President of the Consultative Council, followed by the First Vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies.
 
Article 103  [Quorum]
In the cases other than those in which the Constitution requires a special majority, joint sessions of the two chambers of the National Assembly shall not be deemed legally valid unless they are attended by the majority of the members of each individual chamber. Decisions shall be taken by a majority of the votes of members present with the exception of the President, who is to cast the decisive vote in the event of a tie.
 

Section 4 The Judicial Authority

 
Article 104  [Independence, Public Prosecutor]
a. The honour of the judiciary, and the probity and impartiality of judges, is the basis of government and the guarantee of rights and freedoms.
b. No authority shall prevail over the judgment of a judge, and under no circumstances may the course of justice be interfered with. The law guarantees the independence of the judiciary, and the law shall lay down the guarantees of judges and the provisions pertaining to them.
c. The law shall lay down the provisions pertaining to the Public Prosecution Office, the tasks of the office for delivery of formal legal opinions, the preparation of legislation, State representation before the law, and personnel employed on such matters.
d. The provisions governing advocacy shall be regulated by law.
 
Article 105  [Courts]
a. The various types and degrees of the courts shall be regulated by law, and the law shall state their functions and jurisdiction.
b. The jurisdiction of military courts shall be confined to military offences committed by members of the Defence Force, the National Guard, and the Security Forces. It does not extend to other persons except when martial law is declared and within the bounds prescribed by law.
c. Court hearings shall be held in public except in exceptional cases prescribed by law.
d. A Higher Judicial Council shall be established by law to supervise the smooth running of work in the courts and their supporting organs. The powers of the Higher Judicial Council in the functional affairs of judicial personnel and the Public Prosecution Office shall be prescribed by law.
 
Article 106  [Constitutional Court]
(1) A Constitutional Court shall be established, and shall comprise a President and six members, all of whom are appointed by a Royal Order for a period specified by the law. The court’s area of competence is to watch over the constitutionality of laws and statutes.
(2) The law shall state the regulations that ensure that the members of the Court are not liable to dismissal, and specifies the procedures that are followed before the Court. The law shall guarantee the right of the Government, Consultative Council, the Chamber of Deputies and notable individuals and others to challenge before the Court the constitutionality of laws and statutes. A ruling by the Court that a text in a law or a statute is unconstitutional shall have a direct effect, unless the Court specifies a subsequent date for the purpose. Thus if the Court’s rule on unconstitutionality is related to a text in the penal code then the convictions made on the basis of such a text are deemed null and void.
(3) The King may refer to the Court any draft laws before they are adopted to determine the extent of their agreement with the Constitution. The Court’s determination is binding on all State authorities and on everyone.
 

Chapter V Financial Affairs

 
Article 107  [Taxes]
a. Public taxes shall only be established, amended and abolished by law, and persons shall only be exempted from paying them wholly or in part in those cases prescribed by law. A person may only be instructed to pay other taxes, duties and costs within the bounds of the law.
b. The provisions governing the collection of taxes, duties and other public monies, and the procedures for their disbursement, shall be prescribed by law.
c. The provisions governing the maintenance and management and the terms for the disposition of State property, and the limits within which any part of such property may be assigned, shall be prescribed by law.
 
Article 108  [Public Loans]
a. Public loans shall be contracted by law. The State may lend or guarantee a loan by law within the credit limits prescribed for the purpose in the Budget Law.
b. Local bodies such as municipalities or public institutions may lend, borrow or guarantee a loan in accordance with the laws relevant to them.
 
Article 109  [Budget]
a. The financial year shall be prescribed by law.
b. The Government shall prepare the draft overall annual budget of State revenue and expenditure and present it to the Chamber of Deputies at least two months before the end of the financial year, for debate and referral to the Consultative Council to consider it in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Any amendment can be introduced into the budget with the agreement of the Government.
c. The budget shall be debated on the basis of the classification of its contents. The budget may be prepared for more than one financial year. No public revenue may be allocated for a particular expenditure except by law.
d. The State general budget shall be promulgated by law.
e. If the Budget Law is not promulgated before the beginning of the financial year, the previous budget shall be adhered to until the law’s promulgation, and revenue shall be collected and expenditure disbursed in accordance with the laws in force at the end ofthat year.
f. Under no circumstances may the maximum estimates of expenditure stated in the Budget Law and laws in amendment thereof be exceeded.
 
Article 110  [Ex-Budgetary Disbursement]
Any disbursement which is ex-budget or in excess of the budget estimates must be made by operation of law.
 
Article 111  [Funds]
a. Particular sums of money may be allocated to more than one financial year by law if the nature of the disbursement so requires. The approbations for each, as decided by the aforesaid law, shall be tabled in the successive annual budgets of the State.
b. An exceptional budget running for more than one financial year may also be allocated for the disbursement referred to in the preceding clause.
 
Article 112  [Budget Law]
The Budget Law may not contain any wording establishing a new tax, increasing an existing tax, or amending an existing law, or avoiding the promulgation of a law on a matter for which the Constitution provides that it shall be regulated by law.
 
Article 113  [Final Account]
The final account of the financial affairs of the State for the year elapsed shall be submitted firstly to the Chamber of Deputies during the five months following the end of the financial year. It shall be approved by a decision rendered by both the Consultative Council and Chamber of Deputies, accompanied by their observations, and shall be published in the Official Gazette.
 
Article 114  [Accounting Procedures]
The provisions pertaining to independent public budgets, their appendices, and their final accounts, shall be laid down by law, and they shall be subject to the provisions governing the State budget and its final account. The provisions governing the budgets and final accounts of municipalities and local public institutions shall also be laid down by law.
 
Article 115  [Budget Bill]
Together with the draft annual budget the Government shall present the Chamber of Deputies with a statement on the financial and economic condition of the State, the measures taken to implement the budget approbations in force, and the effect of the whole thereof on the new draft budget.
 
Article 116  [Financial Control Office]
A Financial Control Office shall be established by law, and the law shall guarantee its independence. It shall assist the Government and the Chamber of Deputies in controlling the collection of State revenues and the disbursement of its expenditure within the budget limits. The Office shall submit an annual report on its business, with its observations, to both the Government and the Chamber of Deputies.
 
Article 117  [Concessions, Monopolies]
a. Any commitment to exploit a natural resource or a public utility shall be only by operation of law and for a limited time. The preliminary procedures shall ensure that the search and exploration work are facilitated and that openness and competition are realized.
b. Any monopoly shall only be awarded by law and for a limited time.
 
Article 118  [Currency, Banking, Standards]
The law shall regulate cash and the banks, and shall regulate weight, measures and standards.
 
Article 119  [Public Salaries]
The law shall regulate emoluments, pensions, compensation, relief and remuneration being a charge on the State Treasury.
 

Chapter VI General and Final Provisions

 
Article 120  [Constitutional Amendments]
a. Exceptionally to clauses b, c and d of Article 35 of this Constitution, for any provision of this Constitution to be amended the amendment must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the members of whom both the Consultative Council and Chamber of Deputies are composed, and the amendment must be approved by the King.
b. If an amendment to the Constitution is refused, it may not be re-submitted earlier than one year from that refusal.
c. It is not permissible to propose an amendment to Article 2 of this Constitution, and it is not permissible under any circumstances to propose the amendment of the constitutional monarchy and the principle of inherited rule in Bahrain, as well as the bi-cameral system and the principles of freedom and equality established in this Constitution.
d. The powers of the King stated in this Constitution may not be proposed for amendment in an interval during which another person is acting for him.
 
Article 121  [Former Treaties and Laws]
a. The application of this Constitution does not breach the treaties and agreements which Bahrain has concluded with states and international organisations.
b. Exceptionally to the provision of the second clause of Article 38 of this Constitution, all laws, laws by Decree, Decrees, statutes, orders, edicts and circulars that have been issued and are in force prior to the first meeting convened by the National Assembly remain proper and valid, unless amended or rescinded in accordance with the regulations prescribed in this Constitution.
 
Article 122  [Promulgation of Laws]
Laws are published in the Official Gazette within two weeks of their issue, and are enforced one month after the date of their publication, and this period may be shortened or prolonged if the law specifically prescribed it.
 
Article 123  [Martial Law]
It is impermissible to suspend any provision of this Constitution except during the proclamation of martial law, and within the limits prescribed by the law. It is not permissible under any circumstances to suspend the convening of the Consultative Council or the Chamber of Deputies during that period or to infringe upon the immunity of their members, or during the proclamation of a state of national safety.
 
Article 124  [Coming Into Force]
The provisions of the laws apply only to what occurs from the date the laws came into force, and have no retroactive effect. The law may state, in articles other than those pertaining to the penal code, that its provisions have a retroactive effect, with the agreement of the majority of the members of both the Consultative Council and the Chamber of Deputies, or if circumstances require it, the National Assembly.
 
Article 125  [Promulgation of this Constitution]
This amended Constitution shall be published in the Official Gazette, and shall be effective from the date of its publication.

 

 

http://servat.unibe.ch/icl/ba00000_.html

 

 

This is just an observation. I am a Muslim. I am not attacking Islam. I am not insulting Islam. Islam teaches us to think. To discover. To use our minds.. To observe..

So here’s an interesting observation.,

 

The Kaaba, is a cube. It wasn’t a cube before. It was rectangular in shape (as shown in the below drawing). But it was supposedly damaged many many years ago and then it was rebuilt. For some reason, the builders decided to rebuild it into a cube. And not back into its complete whole rectangular shape.

 

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Speaking of cube’s, this is the proper diagram of a cube. Which almost shows the cube in a 3D drawing.

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Keep that in mind. Notice that it looks like a hexagon. Do you know a place where there’s a huge shape like that with a constant orbit around it?

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This is Saturn’s North Pole. It’s a hexagon. It has unknown small circular objects revolving around it constantly. Anti Clockwise. Like how the pilgrims revolve around the Kaaba.

Saturn is also known as the black sun. There are those who worship the black sun. They take the cube as a symbol of the black sun. Research this part for yourselves.

Black. Cube. Kaaba means Cube. Kaaba is close to the word Kaabala.. Kabbalah ..(Kaaba-Allah)?

Tefllin is associated with Kabbalah. What is a Tefllin? This is a Tefllin..

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It is worn on the top of the head. Just like the beautiful planet, Saturn. The Tefflin reminds me of something.. Oh right,

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Quiet a coincidence. People always assume this to be illuminati or Masonic conspiracy talk. But how can we talk about the illuminati without mentioning the mentioning the illuminati needle?

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Cleopatra’s needle some call it. Goes back to ancient Egypt. Where they used to pray to “Ra”.. the Sun God.. Some write it as Son God.. Now read that the other way around.. But that’s a whole different topic. You’d be fascinated to do some research on that too.

Back to our observations.. Now, this needle. What does it have to do with Kaaba? Well, you see, we have such a needle.

Remember the jamarat? The “stoning wall”? Well, it used to look like this..

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Almost like people stoning the illuminati.. Or Ra..

But this was removed. And replaced with something that.. Almost resembles like a huge boat.

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So, anyway, then we can safely say that the “needle” is no longer there.. But. There’s another needle. Somewhere where is does not get stoned. Somewhere where its high and people embrace it.

Mount Arafat.

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Well, its all conspiracy therories and internet brain freaks. But still good “observations” don’t you think?

I hope to visit the Kaaba soon. Last time I was there they were doing some heavy construction on it. I like the new “ring” around the Kaaba. Almost reminds me of Saturn.

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Have a good observant day.

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Written by @TheArabianNazi.. A former Twitter user.

“Islam’s borders are bloody and so are its innards.” (Huntington, 1996, p. 258)Huntington reasserts in his book “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order” three years after the release of his controversial “Clash of Civilizations?” thesis which was widely criticized for its misconceptions about the Muslim identity and the nature of relations between the West and Islam. Huntington bases his thesis on the assumption that civilizational grouping is a legitimate paradigm of world politics that replaces the paradigms that were advanced after the Cold War such as the economic division between the Global North and the Global South and the cultural division between the West and the East. His identification of seven distinct civilizations (Western, Latin American, Islamic, Chinese, Japanese, Orthodox and Hindu) is followed by the hypothesis that world politics will no longer revolve around ideology or economy but rather civilizational differences and conflicts, especially between the West and Islam. His emphasis on the volatility of relations between the two civilizations stems from his understanding of Islam as a dominant source of cultural identification to Muslims around the world; “Muslims in massive numbers [are] simultaneously shifting towards Islam as a source of identity, meaning, stability, legitimacy, development, power and hope, hope epitomized in the slogan ‘Islam is the solution’” (Huntington, 1996, p. 109). However, it is not the characteristics that Huntington generalized to be true of Muslim populations alone that make their relations with the West troublesome, it is rather Muslim states acting along civilizational lines because their interests are shaped by their Islamic culture, values and aspirations that, to him, are a source of conflict with the West. This paper aims to challenge Huntington’s understanding of the ‘Islamic civilization’ by providing an analysis of the extent to which Islam constitutes the identity of Muslims and dictates the actions of Muslim states and their attitudes towards the West.

 

Interest in Huntington’s Clash of Civilization has climaxed after 9/11 because it was perceived in the eyes of many as a prophecy come true. Whether this is true or not lies beyond the scope of this paper, however, I will focus on some of the concepts Huntington assumed to be defining features of the Islamic civilization and of which relevance to the horrific incident were overemphasized; Jihad and inherent hostility in particular, to assert that the nature of relations between the West and Islam can hardly be associated with what Huntington perceives Muslims to adhere to. But before that, I will critically assess the vague notion of “civilization identity” upon which Huntington bases the majority of his argument. There is no such thing as one Ummah (Islamic nation) and there is definitely no such thing as one Islam for diversity of schools of thoughts within Islam is not only remarkable in degrees of difference but has also triggered a significant number of conflicts between people of the Quran that, to many Muslims, raise concerns prior to the Western ‘threat’. I also aim to assess the claim that Western values such as democracy, civil rights and liberty that the West seeks to promote are incompatible with the nature of Islam. The absence of a common ground in those respects, according to Huntington and other theorists of the Clash of Civilization paradigm, constitutes a source of clash between the West and Islam for the former is determinant to spread these values and the latter is determinant to resist them. Naturally, therefore, I will argue that that since there is no ‘Muslim identity’, and no fundamental differences over values that the West promotes as ‘universal’, there are also no civilizational lines along which both Muslim people and states act in defiance to the West. Empirical evidence suggests that conflicts between the West and Islam are better understood in nationalist terms; it is pan-Arabism, not Pan-Islamism, as Huntington suggests, that mainly influences Muslim nations’ attitudes towards the West.

 

When Huntington identified the Islamic civilization as a singular entity and emphasized the central role of religion in his theory of a civilizational ‘clash’, he overlooked the internal dynamics and plurality of the Islamic world (Said, 2006, p.2). It cannot be denied that Islam is an important ideological and sociological factor in Middle Eastern politics. However, the Identity of 1.57 billion Muslims cannot be constructed through religion alone. If we assume for the sake of argument, that all Muslims do abide by Islamic teachings, and identify themselves as religious, the religiosity of each individual differs in terms of degree, expression, and doctrine that in turn translates into various forms of identities, that is assuming that religion indeed constitutes identity. The culturalist approach Huntington adopts in his understanding of Muslim culture, perceived as a fairly homogenous set of values that represents the ultimate explanatory model of any Muslim society, focuses on the wrong question; “[it] is not what the Quran actually says, but what Muslims say the Quran says” (Roy, 2005, p.10). As the answer most certainly differs from a Muslim to another, so does the degree to which one allows his identity to be expressed through Islam. Tariq Ramadan notes: “As Arab and Muslim societies have entered into a phase of renewal, an understanding of how unity and diversity function within the Islamic reference is a matter of vital importance” (Ramadan, 2012, p. 73). It is legitimate to speak of one Islam on a primary religious level, which all traditions and schools of law agree upon and it includes the six pillars that constitute the creed, the five pillars of Islam that detail the rituals like prayer, fasting and pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca and some obligations and prohibitions such as abstinence from alcohol and drugs (Ramadan, 2012, p.73). None of the pillars can account to the constitution of identity because they belong to the private sphere in an individual’s life and do not influence or direct his conduct and interactions; they serve spiritual purposes like hope, optimism, empathy, etc. It is differences in interpreting the Quran that produce different Islamic practices and ideals. It is best observed through religious grouping of Muslim states; those that are geographically approximate to each other more often than not follow similar schools of thought and vice versa which indicates that Islam did not produce a homogenous culture in Muslim countries; it is rather the dominant culture in those countries that produced fairly different forms of Islam compatible with local values and aspirations. The Saudi ‘version’ of Islam is almost identical in other GCC countries like Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar and is significantly different than that of Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. For example, it is entrenched in the Gulf social conduct, that handshaking a person of the opposite sex is unacceptable. This belief stems from the Shafi’i Islamic doctrine, which restricts cross-gender interactions to a minimum. Whereas in Lebanon, not only are handshakes acceptable; they are often followed by a hug, even amongst people who would identify themselves as “religious”.

 

Olivier Roy in “Globalized Islam” describes this diversity in adherence to religion across Muslim countries through what he refers to as ‘new forms of religiosity’ that imply “the predominance of religiosity (self-formulation and self-expression of a personal faith) over religion (a coherent corpus of beliefs and dogmas collectively managed by a body of legitimate holders of knowledge)” (Roy, 2005, p. 5). It is important to distinguish religiosity from religion in any attempt to link the identity of Muslims to Islam because even if we assume that Islam is a fixed, ‘timeless’ doctrine, the degree to which it represents Muslims is a personal choice subjected to various influences, of which creed per se constitutes a small part when compared to history, experience, family, social status and literacy, etc. It is a clear simplification, therefore, to perceive Islam as such a source of identity, explanation, and moral code for all actions undertaken by Muslims (Halliday, 2003, p. 114).

 

Despite that the Islamic vision of a singular unified Islam is desirable to the majority of Muslims; it is nevertheless a myth that to this day had not been realized and advanced as an actual goal; in simple, harsh words, it is merely the product of wishful thinking. Islamist movements, whether it is Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, or the Salafi Noor party, all share the generic goal of establishing a reformed, unified social structure, of which foundation is Sharia law. Muslims and Westerners alike understand Sharia law – the source of legislation and moral conduct in Islam- as the ultimate, unaltered expression of God that theoretically, despite the environment in which it is adapted, is capable of producing a homogenous social and political structure. On practical grounds however, it is a legal system that adapts and changes in accordance to the social structure of states that adopts it (Rehman, 2005, p.16). Take the case of Saudi, a kingdom that adapts the Quran and its derived Sharia law as its sole constitution; a constitution that obligates the state to unify Muslims everywhere and contain conflicts within the Islamic world in various explicit texts. Saudi has a complicated relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood; it was a refuge for members of the Brotherhood during the days of Ba’athist secular president Gamal Abdul-Nasser, a period of time that witnessed infusion of the Brother political thought with Saudi Salafism. From the 1990s onwards, religious satellite television has increased in popularity and thus came to be “one of the most strategic entry points to spreading the Wahabi-Salafi ideology” (Tadros, 2012, p.11). As technology advanced, government censorship became no longer an obstacle to the Brotherhood whom Islamic brand significantly differs from that of Saudi, and they were free to spread it. Gradually, the dynamics of political Islam have changed and more dramatically so, when the Arab Spring broke through. To Saudi, the Brothers were no longer citizens; but parasites, no longer men of God; but men of Satan. What has changed was not the religious discourse of Saudi that derives from a holy book written over 1400 years ago, or that of the Brotherhood that derives from writings of Hassan Al-Banna and Sayyed Qutb; it was the political discourse. Both Saudi and the Brotherhood promote unification of the Ummah, but as I stated earlier, this did not translate into any action because ironically, the Ummah today is more divided than it ever was as both Saudi and the Brotherhood compete through media to win support from the Muslim public. This is especially evident after the recent Saudi-Qatar rivalry at which center lies Saudi’s objection against Qatar’s pro-Brotherhood policies. According to Saudi officials, the Brothers run a “terrorist organization” that is jeopardizing security and stability in the Gulf region and was often described as hypocritical entity that demands Sharia as a way to delegitimize the long-established governments; a stand both Bahrain and UAE supported and was followed by withdrawal of their ambassadors from Qatar (Al-Jazeera, 2014).

 

A bigger division that further weakens Huntington’s notion of one Islamic civilization and outweighs the emerging division between sectors within Sunni Islam, is the Sunni-Shiite conflict that has been ongoing since the death of prophet Mohammed in the 7th century. To Arab policy makers, it is Iran, not the West or Israel, that compose the biggest threat to security. Rivalry with Israel, after the Naksa, did not exceed occasional boycott campaigns and local speeches by religious figures; not state officials. King Abdulla of Saudi Arabia coined the politically motivated concept of a “Shiite Crescent”, a rival discourse that generated ‘Shiaphobia’ in the Arab world for many reasons on top of which is the nationalist affiliation of Shias in the Arab world to Iran rather than their home countries (Ismael & Perry, 2013, p. 161). In this context, Islam is very effective in the cultural imagination where identity tends to take refuge “as long as it is grafted onto the pan-Arab ideal” (Roy, 2008, p.87). Examples of inter-civilizational conflicts in the Muslim world are numerous and in many cases had generated bigger threats than cross-civilizational differences, suggesting that by no means can Islam be regarded as representative of a singular cultural identity; this Muslim “world” envisioned to be at war with the West does not exist.

 

As for the rise of fundamentalism in Muslim societies that alarms Huntington, a closer look into the dynamics of the modernizing social structure in the Middle East would suggest that fundamentalism is a short-lived movement that lost support in a significantly less time than it took to gain it. In his analysis of the Muslim culture, Huntington detects a trend in the Muslim world of spreading faith through conversion and reproduction, and predicts that the number of Muslims would amount to 30 percent of the world’s population by 2025 (Huntington, 1996, p. 66). Now, this becomes problematic to the West in the Huntingtonian prophecy of world affairs because he associates the rising numbers of Muslim youth to the rise of fundamentalism for a number of reasons, most alarming of which is the failure of Muslim states to deliver economically which is especially the case in Egypt where “Islamic organizations had developed an extensive network of organizations which, filling a vacuum left by the government, provided health, welfare, educational and other services to a large number of Egypt’s poor” (Huntington, 1996, p. 112). These efforts by Islamist organizations have helped bring about the Islamic Resurgence amongst the youth, especially through the establishment of Islamic schools and targeting young intellectuals and university students. Modernization too, was an instrument utilized by fundamentalist movements because it provided means of direct communication, especially through Facebook and Twitter without censorship from the government as stated earlier. Popularity of Islamist movements had peaked in 2011 when they presented themselves –aside from being the guardians of faith- as capable of replacing current dictatorships and transforming the political structure into a democratic civil society.

 

However, as my following case study of post-Spring Egyptian politics reveals, political Islam’s place in hearts and minds is highly contingent on Islamist parties’ real world performance, not on religious irrationality (Masoud, 2014). Promises of wealth redistribution and state reform in compliance with Sharia law were behind the Brotherhood’s success in capturing power in Egypt especially that the alternative was Ahmed Shafiq; an upper class right-wing former prime minister. It is religiosity of the Brotherhood indeed that was a desirable factor to the Egyptian public. However, it was not due to the ‘Islamic Resurgence’ that worries Huntington, but because it is ‘common sense’, in the generic Muslim mentality, to trust Men of God to be men of their words. This is because in Islam, there are many texts conveying the meaning that betrayal of Muslims (and non-Muslims alike) is strictly forbidden and excruciatingly punishable in the afterlife. Therefore, needless to say, in a welfare state where twice as many people moved into poverty as moved out of it under the former dictatorship, it was easier to trust promises of economic reform from a party that affiliates itself with a glorified Islam than a political figure affiliated with the old neo-liberal regime, especially that efficiency of political Islam was yet to be put on trial and seemed promising. However, as the Brothers failed to deliver their reformist promises, public support was severely in decline. Other factors that account to the loss of support and consequently the ousting of president Morsi close to a year after his election include restoration of diplomatic ties with Iran and a newly formed constitutional declaration that grants the president far-reaching powers. Again, it was the political discourse, not religion that dictated Muslims’ attitude towards the Brotherhood despite that religion was a factor behind their electoral success. The same trend is present in the Gulf, where opposition most dominantly either comes from Islamists, as is the case in Kuwait and UAE or Shiites in both Bahrain and Saudi. Shiaphobia stirs public opinion in most parts of the Middle East in any political direction where the influence of Shias can be contained, which in the case of Gulf States, implies political loyalty to the established Sunni governments as opposed to the Brotherhood who demonstrated friendly attitudes towards Iran that discredited their doctrine and therefore somewhat alleviated domestic concerns regarding the rise in influence of the Brotherhood’s rival brand of Islam.

 

After illustrating how the notion of a singular Islamic civilization is false through an analysis of diversity within Islamic schools of thought, its role in segregating the ‘Ummah’ that never was and the political fragility of islamist movements that counterproductively aim to unify it, I shall now discuss the characteristics Huntington assumes to be true of Muslims, and which according to his theory, are the foundation of conflicts with the West. The rapid growth of Muslim populations is to Huntington, “a major contributing factor to the conflicts along the borders of the Islamic world between Muslims and other peoples” (Huntington, 1996, p. 119). The reason demographic expansion is problematic when it is Muslims who are expanding has less to do with the often-discussed consequences of overpopulation and more to do with the way Muslims are characterized as hostile and and less adaptable to modernization.

 

Huntington refers to the number of intergroup violent conflicts that Muslims have engaged in during the early 1990s in comparison to non-Muslims to arrive at his infamous conclusion that Islam borders are bloody. He further asserts it with reference to the number of conflicts involving Muslims in which violence was a dominant feature concluding that Muslim states have a higher propensity to resort to violence in international crises (Huntington, 1996, p. 258). These statistics, to Huntington, derive from the violent nature of Islam, and reflect the hostility of its adherents; in engineering the ‘clash’, he assumes that “Islam has from the start been a religion of the sword and […] it glorifies military virtues. […] Violent origin is stamped in the foundation of Islam” (Huntington, 1996, p. 263). The image of Jihad as an endorsed instrument against non-Muslims is “relished by those who claim fundamentally divergent positions between the Islamic legal order and the non-Muslim world” (Rehman, 2005, p. 57) and it forms the basis for the claimed clash between Islam and the ‘others’. However, this monolithic, essentialist view of Islam gives no justice to ordinary non-absolutist Muslims, who compose the vast majority of Muslims and underestimates the relevance of the defensive psychology of many Muslims in response to colonization. The attempt by some Western scholars like Huntington to explain what some Muslims do by reference to Islam as the legislator of their actions is as misleading in understanding dynamics of the culture as the attempt by these Muslims to justify their actions by reference to Islam, which was often denounced and challenged by the majority of Muslims (Halliday, 2003, p.114). First of all, the spread of Islam by sword (aggression in this sense) is not synonymous to Jihad, which literally translates into “struggle” and refers to the act of self-defense that every Muslim is obligated to when his life, property, and honor are at stake. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, efforts to expand Muslim territories by sword were not only absent, but also incompatible with the international system. These violent tendencies of Islam Huntington speaks of, are limited in scope of adherence to a minority that is although relatively more present in the current political scene in countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, remains highly unrepresentative. Ordinary Muslims dare not speak against the absolutists in public for a number of reasons, amongst which is the lack of necessary confidence to take a critical attitude towards the absolutists for their ideas are expressed through a religious language that makes its less religiously literate opponent appear to be either a ‘liberal’ or an ‘infidel; both of which are equally stigmatized labels.

 

Another reason as to why ordinary Muslims are subordinated in the political scene in comparison to absolutists whom voices are not only loud, but followed by actions that are misconceived by Huntington and his proponents as being representative of Islam’s nature, is the prevalence of the victim mentality amongst many Muslims as consequence of colonization. For many hundred years prior to the consolidation of western colonial rule, Muslims and Christians have engaged in a “prolonged and fruitful mutual intellectual and artistic collaboration and influence” and both cultures were “feudal and pastoral, and despite local difference in religious doctrine […] there were shared intellectual premises that governed these differences” (Bilgrami, 2012, p. 478). What Huntington refers to, as a ‘clash’ between Western Christendom and Islam, in this context is best defined as ‘Western conquest’ and a resulting Muslim defensive cast of mind. I emphasize here that it is a mindset and not a practical approach, because the former results in no action in response to conquest but merely produces generic negative notions that are not exclusive to the Muslim world, but the majority of former colonies in the world. Where this becomes relevant to the temporary prevalence of fundamentalism over moderation in the political scene stems from the very definition of fundamentalism and its implications. It refers to “holding defensive attitudes toward one’s religious beliefs and is associated with strong boundaries between in-groups and out-groups” (Paloutzian & Kalayjian, 2009, p. 61). Colonization enforced negative notions towards Christianity in the Muslim mind that are although expressed in religious terms, its source remains nationalist. Alliance of Arab regimes to their former colonialists gives power to fundamentalists who exploit feelings of inferiority generated in the Muslim mind from colonization, to defy their governments and portray them as ‘sell-outs’ to the ‘infidel’ West. The now-godless West is not an enemy of the Muslim public who gradually shares more and more in common with the West due to globalization as I will discuss below, but until the conflict within the psychology of ordinary Muslims is resolved and the defensive mentality of victim status is overcome, the conflict between the fundamentalist minority and the moderate majority will not be addressed for the former will continue to use the victim card and the majority will continue to find themselves in a dilemma where the voices that dare speak their nationalist concerns, share little in common with them in terms of political methodology and aspirations. Therefore, contrary to Huntington’s statement about the nature of absolutism, and in assertion to what Muslim communities in some western countries find themselves forced to prove; absolutism is an extreme and not the mainstream.

 

The solution to this dilemma is democracy because “representative institutions should then be able to reveal that there absolutists are an unrepresentative group within Muslim populations” (Bilgrami, 2012, p.481) and it would allow voices of the majority to be expressed in their correct moderate context, without mediation from outspoken right-wing parties that exploit the public’s desperation to be heard for their political gains, which contradict political aspirations of the Muslim public. I use the term contradiction here because absolutism in both its revolutionary and reformist forms, fails to represent what politically matters to the public and that is modernity through democracy, not restoration of the early Islamic political system through Sharia law. Huntington stresses out that the failure of Muslim societies to achieve democracy results from “the inhospitable nature of Islamic culture and society to Western liberal concepts” and predicted the likelihood of Islamism to be “the functional substitute for the democratic opposition to authoritarianism in Christian societies” (Huntington, 1996, p. 114).

 

I argue here that opposition to western values of democracy is not inherent in Islam, but is rather a product of a long history of autocratic tribalism in the Arab culture. Theoretically, the Islamic Shura system is democratic if it were to be established according to the teachings of Islam. Historically, upon Mohammed’s death, Muslims collectively voted for Abu Baker to be the prophet’s successor the same way they voted on the following caliphates until a political dispute over the successor of the third caliphate that generated the ongoing conflict between Sunnis and Shias took place. Shura by definition literally translates into ‘democracy’ and shares many commonalities with the Western democratic system according to moderate Muslim clerics, including Imam Ghazali, who described democracy to be “the Shura there” (in Western countries) (Shavit, 2013, p. 86). Authoritarianism in the Middle East region is not very different from that of Africa in the sense that both are influenced by a complex set of factors, most dominant of which is the tribal culture and the lack of development. Tribes lost significance in many parts of the world, however, both in the Arab culture and some cultures in Africa, the tribe still plays a central role in society. Islam’s attempt to unify tribes into a singular Ummah since the early days of Mohammed did not result in eliminating tribalism that was present before Islam. In fact, the Egyptian scholar Mohammed Amara states: “since the earliest period of Islamic history, the state has tended to resort to tribalism as a means of balancing society’s conflicting forces” (Barakat, 1993, p. 39). However, in a globalized world where Muslims are increasingly interacting with other cultures, they have imported numerous elements from these cultures and integrated them into society, which had ultimately invoked protests throughout the Middle East against the political ‘norm’; a regional movement that was known as the Arab Spring. The religious as well as the secular; men as well as women in participating countries held slogans calling for same rights the West long promoted as ‘universal’. They didn’t call for an Islamist state; they called for democracy, civil rights, equality and liberty. These protests were extracted from the social context they were found within in terms of the nature of demands and aspirations. Modernity is not rejected in the Islamic world, nor does Islam oppose it. The rise of Islamists in some participating countries, which Huntington indeed anticipated, was as I stated earlier, conditioned to their real life performances that once deemed unsatisfactory, would result in their replacement because it is not their religiosity that is of prior interest to the public, but their reformist promises to which they made God a witness.

 

I have throughout my paper, demonstrated how politics of the Muslim world are dictated by political calculations rather than religious considerations despite the religious context in which many policies were promoted to the public. To further tackle Huntington’s theoretical misconstruction of the imaginary ‘civilizational fault-lines’, I will briefly refer to some historic interactions between the West and the Muslim world and their implications in discrediting his assumption that in the post Cold-war world, “states increasingly define their interests in civilizational terms” and “are more often in conflict with countries of different culture” (Huntington, 1996, p. 34). First of all, Islam, on practical grounds, only plays a part in the creation and diffusion of contemporary identities within multi-national states when linked to nationalism or communal identity (Halliday, 2003, p. 115). Just like other states, it is national interests that have significantly shaped the relations between Muslim states with the West, not religion. The often repeated phrase ‘Islam is both religion and state’ is but a myth. In many occasions, when the two have conflicted each other, state interests win over religious ideals. The same is true of Islamist movements that according to Halliday, are defined and determined in their political form by national states and rival political factions (Halliday, 2003, p. 119). Take Al-Qaeda for example, an extremist Islamist movement that did target the West militarily and continues to do so through proxy wars. For its political interests, Al-Qaeda did not mind taking refuge in a country that is an ally of the West, Pakistan (Olivier, 2005, p. 75). What is more, it has switched its primary target after the Syrian revolution and largely contributed to the opposition movement in Syria through its Nusra Front division. Islamist movements aside, I note here that the mere fact that current Muslim states define themselves as allies to the West directly contradicts a reoccurring Quranic rule that bans Muslims from allying with ‘disbelievers’: “Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers” (Quran: 3:28). However, history of international relations tells us that this never was the case for even Iran that had in the past describe the United States and other Western countries as the ‘Great Satan’ and long-sought leadership of the Muslim world through exportation of the Khomeini revolution has allied itself with atheist Russia and China instead of its Muslim neighbors, solely on the basis of shared political and economic interests. Moreover, all six Gulf States are historic allies to the West, with American militarily bases established in their soils. Bahrain for instance, is host to the United States’ Fifth Fleet that is responsible for naval forces and was named by the Bush administration as a major non-NATO ally. The Muslim conflict with Israel, too, can be understood in a nationalist context rather than a religious one given the territorial nature of the dispute, and reluctance of Muslim states to take firm actions against Israel to preserve their national security and interests with the West. If Huntington’s imaginary Muslim ‘world’ exists, the states shaping its map are most certainly not at war with the West.

 

The fading territorial borders between great civilizations, reinvented mental borders that gave a second life to the ghosts of lost civilizations, be it multiculturalism, minority groups or the alleged clash of civilizations (Olivier, 2003, p. 20). The study of a great civilization like Islam through its religious textbooks comes with various limitations that cannot be overlooked in the process of constructing generalizations about its people’s identity, through which Huntington theorized the mental borders he called civilizational fault lines. In my critique of Huntington, I do not deny Islam’s role in shaping cultures and politics of states endorsing it, I do however find the extent to which Huntington assumes Islam constitutes the cultural identity of Muslims and dictates the political discourse of Muslim states overemphasized. The cultural identity of Muslims is not homogenous nor is it fixed, even if that is true of the Quran that supposedly forms the basis of Muslims moral conduct. On the contrary, cultures tended to produce different forms of Islam that have historically triggered inter-civilizational conflicts that are of prior concern to those cultures than conflicts with the West. The political impacts of diversity within Islam therefore denounce Huntington’s claim that Islam constitutes a singular cultural and political entity. As modern history reveals, the frontier between Islam and the West is less civilizational and more political because the problems facing the two cultures are not inherent in their social structure nor do they constitute a foundation for this ‘clash’. Huntington undermines the role of colonization, national interests and absence of democracy in shaping contemporary Muslim societies in his claim that Islam and Western values are incompatible and that hostility towards the West has religion to blame. Despite religion as such being the language through which these problems are expressed, it does not play a central role in their formation because in many occasions when national interests conflicted with religion, it did not present an obstacle in preserving these interests. Last but not least, the long history of cooperation and alliance between the West and Muslim countries reinforces the prevalence of national interests and the quest for modernity over civilizational differences in shaping interactions between the West and Islam and more so does the nature of political demands expressed in the recent Arab Spring the demonstrate how increasingly similar to the West, the East is becoming.

 

Works Cited:

Huntington, Samuel P. (1993) The Clash of Civilizations?, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20045621

Croft, Stuart. (2006) Culture, Crisis and America’s War on Terror. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rehman, Javaid. (2005) Islamic States Practices, International Law and the threat from Terrorism. Oregon: Hart Publishing.

Bilgrami, Akeel. (2011) Islam and the West: Conflict, Democracy and Identity.   http://psc.sagepub.com/content/38/4-5/477

Huntington, Samuel P. (1996)The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.London: Simon & Schuster UK Ltd.

Said, Edward W. (2001) The Clash of Ignorance. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20011022/said

Roy, Olivier (2005) Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah. New Delhi: Rupa & Co.

Ramadan, Tariq (2012) The Arab Awakening: Islam and the New Middle East. New York: Oxford University Press.

Halliday, Fred (2003) Islam and the Myth of Confrontation. London: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd.

Tadros, Mariz (2012) The Muslim Brotherhood in Contemporary Egypt: Democracy Redefined or Confined?. New York: Routledge.

Al-Jazeera (2014) Will the GCC survive Qatar-Saudi Rivalry?. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/03/will-gcc-survive-qatar-saudi-rivalry-201431864034267256.html

Ismael, Tariq Y. & Perry, Glenn E. The International Relations of the Contemporary Middle East: Subordination and After. New York: Routledge.

Roy, Olivier (2008) The Politics of Chaos in the Middle East. New York: Colombia University Press.

Masoud, Tariq (2014) Rethinking Political Islam? Think Again. http://pomeps.org/2014/02/05/rethinking-political-islam-think-again/

Kalayjian, Ani & Paloutzian, Raymond F. (2009) Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Psychological Pathways to Conflict Transformation and Peace Building. New York: Springer Science & Business Media LLC.

Shavit, Uriya (2013) Islamism and the West: From ‘Cultural Attack’ to ‘Missionary Migrant’. New York: Routledge.

Barakat, Haleem (1993) The Arab World: Society, Culture and State. California: University of California Press.

 

2013 in review

Posted: December 31, 2013 in Others

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

What do Bahrainis really want?

 That’s a tough question I get asked all the time by journalists. I would say Bahrain is divided into three significant groups. We have the Shia opposition on one side (namely Wefaq and its followers). The other section are comprised of mainly Sunnis who are tremendously loyal to the ruling Al Khalifa family (those who’ve been known as “drummers” in the Bahrain community, and who obsessively defend the government no matter what) , and the third, and largest group, are the people in between (Sunnis and Shias who don’t support either factions, accept and respect Al Khalifa as the ruling family, and demand better living standards and reforms).

The first two are not of an interest to me anymore. They are playing an endless cat and mouse game. The people are fed up with this theater.

In my opinion, in order to truly fix what’s broken we need to do the following:

1)      Allocate a specific “square” for legal protesting. Such protests must be peaceful in nature of course.

2)      Immediate stop of excessive use of tear gas in residential areas.

3)      Bring corrupt officials to justice. And I’m not talking about the little fish only.

4)      Bring all those who incite hate and support riots/terrorism to justice and suspend all such political groups. Strike with an iron hammer to show them that such actions will not be tolerated. Take Britain as an example during the Tottenham riots.

5)      Name and shame all those who are caught in acts of sabotage, rioting and terrorism.

6)      A RESPECTABLE increase in public and private sector salaries (Bahrainis only. And yes, private sector salaries can be increased through a government subsidy). It was once reported that Indian migrants were snubbing Bahrain due to low income, despite being offered the same salary as Bahrainis. Think about that for a second.*

7)      Remove the 1% TAX being forced on Bahrainis’ salaries. This unemployment tax should be paid none Bahrainis only as they are the ones who are taken up the available jobs. No disrespect to none Bahrainis.

8)      Decent housing. The ones previously offered are an insult to the people. And having to wait decades to get an accommodation is utterly disgraceful. The housing loan provided by the government is laughable & not sufficient to even buy a small decent flat.

9)      Return all stolen land. People have Google Earth you know. They can see the available lands.

10)   A change in government is needed. The previous one didn’t work. We need young blood with new ideas. New visions. New Hope.

After all, a country’s strongest pillars is its people.

Peace Out.

ATEEKSTER

*Random ATM salary slips collected on the day after salaries were deposited into the accounts. Notice the balances.

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Careful when opposition demand a 100% elected government. And when I say “opposition” I mean the current shia movement in Bahrain. Nobody can deny it is a Shia movement. Also, think.. If its a movement for “Rights” then how come its only the shia in Bahrain who are complaining and protesting? How the other half, the Sunnis, are not protesting?
Many Bahrain shias are not free to choose who to vote for. By their religion, they believe that they have to follow every order given by their religious clerics. They believe their clerics (like isa qasim) are divine & free from error. Keep in mind that these same clerics (in Bahrain, iraq, kuwait, saudi arabia..) all obey the orders & instructions of the iranian ayatullah. They believe the ayatulla speaks the words of God, via the Mahdi. (They believe the Mahdi will always do & say what’s right, without question). Hence, whatever they are told by their religious leaders has to be obeyed, as at the end, they believe it to be the words & instruction of the Mahdi.

So you see, if we had 100% elections for government, most shias will vote for whoever iran wants to win. That’s a fact. Shias will defend this fact by saying (clerics don’t interfere with politics) well we all know that’s not true. Look at isa qasim now and all his speeches. Also look at what khomini did (iranian revolution against the shah). So you see, by their religion, they have no freedom of choice. Also, keep in mind, that as per the shia religion, they believe they are destined to feel suppressed & injustice until the coming of the (Mahdi) who will rescue them. So in essence, no matter what they have or what they get, they will never feel justified. What I said may sound strange to you, but its true.. Ask any shia.

So, unless there is a so called “fatwa” denying any clerics from recommending anyone in elections, then Shias would always vote for the ones chosen by their clerics.. That doesn’t apply to all shias of course, but to a huge majority of shias. They don’t have freedom of choice.

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Does Iran or hizbulla have anything to do with what’s going on in Bahrain?

Well, let’s take a look at some facts and you can later decide for yourself:

Before February 14th 2011 we Bahrainis used to see many Shias (who represent 99.9% of the Bahrain opposition) proudly displaying the flags and pictures of Iran and hizbulla on their cars, locker rooms, outside their homes and even in their places of work. When the so called February 14th “revolution” began, all of a sudden, and quite astonishingly, all those pictures and displays disappeared. This was probably for media advantage. I mean, the world would never support anyone waving a hizbulla flag for example… right?

Even when Bahrain football team played against the Iranian team in Bahrain you used to see the ‘Away’ side packed with Bahraini Shias cheering the Iranian team. Imagine the USA playing against Iran and you see thousands of Americans on the ‘away’ side cheering on Iran.. Quite a sight huh?

One might say this is true because the Shia faith demands its followers to respect and obey the Iranian Ayatulla.. Think about that for a second. This bring up another subject, but I don’t want to stray off course, If interested, here is a link to that http://www.twitlonger.com/show/f6krsv

Answer this for me. How come Iranian & hizbulla media (Press TV, Manar, Al Alam.. just to name a few) dedicated their time to covering the Bahrain events? In addition, most of the Bahrain opposition figures dedicated their time to be on those channels to give their interviews and speeches. One does not have to question if iran and hizbulla are “friends” of Bahrain so why would they continuously contact such channels?

Here is something strange (to some of you) how come most supporters of the Bahrain Shia protesters and rioters do not condemn the violent atrocities of the Syrian regime? Rarely, you would find them only saying “We condemn the violence on both sides”. But they would never condemn Bashar Al Assad. Is it because Iran and Hizbulla support the Syrian regime?This is also worth noting.. Wefaq National Islamic Society (which appears to represent this Shia movement in Bahrain) never uses the world “Arabian Gulf”. Ok, historically, most records show the actual name to be “Persian Gulf” however, to the Arabian Gulf Countries, its known as the “Arabian Gulf” and they take pride in naming it so. The only country in the Gulf who calls it “Persian” is Iran. So why would Wefaq, who claim to be loyal to Bahrain, not use the term “Arabian Gulf”? Their response to this question when asked is “We don’t want to upset anyone, so we simply call it The Gulf”.. Excuse me, you don’t want to upset anyone? Aren’t you upsetting the Arabian Countries by this? Maybe that’s irrelevant, but it’s still something worth mentioning.

Also, just recently, some members of the “Bahrain Opposition” met in Iran for their Provinces meeting. Keep in mind that Iran considers (Maybe unofficially) Bahrain as part of its province. So why would a Bahrain opposition figure meet in Iran for such a thing? Wouldn’t anyone question their motives? Or loyalty?

This movement failed to gain the support of most Shias in Bahrain, and failed miserably in gaining the support of Bahrain’s Sunnis, Christians and Jews. But Iranians and members/supporters of hizbulla continuously protested in their respective countries in support of the Bahrain Shia protests. They have also slightly succeeded in gaining support from outside of Bahrain by playing on the emotions of some human rights campaigners and sympathizers who have never even been to Bahrain and/or rely only on one side (the Shia opposition) for news sources.

Finally, if this was a real revolution for actual legitimate demands, then how come all the protesters and rioters are Shia? Even the political group leading this movement is a Shia Islamic society. How come Sunnis are not protesting for such “demands”? You could falsely argue that Shia are oppressed in Bahrain (which is not accurate at all) but if you do argue with that, then you are confirming this is a sectarian Shia movement aren’t you?

Of course, with all the above, there still is no “Hard Concrete Evidence” that links Iran with what’s happening in Bahrain.. So I’ve heard.

P.S: The below picture shows Qassim al Hashimi, a key figure in Bahrain’s Shia opposition movement, kissing the forehead of Iranian president, Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

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Freedom of Expression or Insult?

Posted: September 22, 2012 in Others
Tags:

When you attack black people, They call it ” Racism”. , when you attack #Jewish people , they call it : Anti – semetism ” when you attack #Woman. they call it ” Gender discrimination” , when you attack #Homosexuality,They call it “Intolerance” when you attack a country,They call it “Terrorism ” when you attack Religious sect, they call it “Hate Speech” But when they attack the dignity of our Beloved Prophet #MUHAMMAD (P.B.U.H) they call it “Freedom of Expression”.

A video made by @BahrainRiffai on twitter. Showing what most of the international Media didn’t see. It may offend some of you but it also has some crucial elements that deserves to be shared. It’s worth saying that this video also seems to anger some of the people in the Bahrain “government” as they Appearantly want to hide the past and never remember what happened.. Foolish thinking..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUJOmnl1Sh0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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I was satisfied with the overall Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report and its findings. I thought it was fair and relatively accurate. However, I was very disappointed at how some groups & media “cherry pick”. They like to emphasize only on the negatives of the Bahrain Government while totally disregarding the mistakes of protesters. Well, since they “Cherry Pick” I decided to do the same. See how things look when one merely selects only certain parts of the entire report and disregards the rest.

 

 

Some important Information mentioned in the BICI report about Bahrain:

 

Total number of persons residing in Bahrain is 1,234,571. Of

these, 568,399 are Bahraini citizens (46%) and 666,172 are expatriates

(54%). Of the total population of Bahrain, 70% are Muslim, while the

remaining 30% are Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish or followers of other

faiths.

A census undertaken in 1941 prior

to Bahrain‘s independence placed the percentage of Sunnis at 48% and Shia at

52% of the Muslim population.

43. BICI Report. Chapter II — Historical Background: A. Basic Information about Bahrain: Page 11

 

 

Unemployment rates were below 4% at the beginning of

2011, and subsequently rose to around 4% in the following months.

59. BICI Report. Chapter II — Historical Background:D. Economic and Social Issue: Page 16

 

According to the United Nations Development Programme Human

Development Index, Bahrain ranks above the Arab regional average.

Education is not compulsory, but all levels of education,

including higher education, are free to Bahrainis.

61. BICI Report. Chapter II — Historical Background:D. Economic and Social Issue: Page 17-18

 

Many (Bahrain Shias) follow the guidance of Iran‘s Grand Ayatollah

Ali Khamenei..

Politically, the Grand Ayatollah espouses

the doctrine of Wilayat al-Faqih, which grants the religious establishment

supreme authority over matters of both faith and state.

67. BICI Report. Chapter II — Historical Background: E. Religious and Sectarian Composition of the

Population: Page 20

 

Many Sunnis have continuously expressed concern at calls by some

politically active Shia religious figures, community leaders and groups to

replace the existing political order with an Islamic State based on the Wilayat

al Faqih system analogous to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

69. BICI Report. Chapter II — Historical Background: E. Religious and Sectarian Composition of the

Population: Page 22

 

Number of licensed Sunni mosques as of 2008 is 360, while the

number of licensed Shia places of worship stands at 863 mosques and 589

ma‟atams (Total= 1,452)

70. BICI Report. Chapter II — Historical Background: E. Religious and Sectarian Composition of the

Population: Page 23

 

 

Some important BICI Findings regarding the recent Bahrain Unrest in SMC (Salmaniya Hospital):

 

During the period from 14 February to 16 March 2011, protesters

gathered at the entry and exit of SMC (Salmaniya Medical Complex, the largest Hospital

 in the country).

The Commission received video footage showing a Shia cleric calling on strong young

men to control the entrance and exit of SMC (Basically taking over the hospital)..

..Some (Doctors) had political ties with the opposition and pursued a political agenda.

 

Among them were some who were seen leading demonstrations and chants

against the regime both outside and inside SMC. These persons moved in and

out of their roles as political activists and medical personnel, the latter being

expected to carry out their professional, ethical and legal duties and

responsibilities.

 

Concerning the (Government of  Bahrain) claims that the accused medical staff

intentionally spread false rumours and information about the events at SMC,

there is evidence supporting these claims with respect to some.

 

At least one individual impersonated an SMC medical staff member. Video footage

was received showing an individual who was not a staff member at SMC giving false

information to an unknown news agency.

 

The medical staff… did not attempt to prevent the media from filming inside the

emergency Section and on the ground floor of SMC in general, thus contravening

the Code of Ethics in terms of patientconfidentiality.

 

Unauthorised marches and protests did take place inside and outside SMC.

 

A number of injured expatriates who were brought to SMC were first attacked by

protesters in different locations in the city and that they were also assaulted by the

protesters in front of the Emergency Section.

 

Video tapes and witness statements show cases of mistreatment against patients because they

were Sunni expatriate workers and thought to be part of the security forces.

 

Such conduct, which is on tape and supported by the statements is in contravention

of the Bahrain Code of Medical Ethics.

 

Further, statements by witnesses suggest that the manner in which some of the doctors treated

some injured expatriate persons rises to a level of human insensitivity and professional

disregard for medical ethics.

 

Commission received one video recording showing a Sunni carrying an infant and being denied

access to SMC by three medical staff. In the video, he alleges that this was because of

his sect. Several witness statements presented to the Commission also support

allegations of discrimination and denial of medical care.

 

It is well established that the open areas outside the SMC buildings were occupied by protesters,

who controlled the entrances and exits.

 

The Commission finds that the occupation and control of the area by protesters hampered general access

to the hospital and created a perception of an unsecure environment for those requiring medical

care.

 

Some Sunni patients seeking to gain access to SMC for medical

treatment were turned away. Most of SMC‘s ground floor level, including the

Emergency Section, the ICU and the administrative section, were taken over

and controlled by medical personnel, resulting in difficulties for the

Emergency Section.

833-847 BICI Report: Chapter V — Events at Salmaniya Medical Complex: Page 209-213

 

The Commission received video footage recording protesters at SMC

chanting discriminatory slogans such as, ―”Naturalised citizens get out”. Other

video footage records protesters chanting, ―”Death to Al Khalifa” outside the

emergency room.

738. BICI Report: Chapter V — Events at Salmaniya Medical Complex: Page 185

 

The Commission received video footage showing an interview given

by one of the accused doctors to the media in which he stated that not all

patients were protesters, but that some were expatriates who worked for the

security forces. He shows a table housing the identification of patients,

making no attempt to hide the identities of the patients. Other video footage

depicts an SMC nurse treating a patient of Asian origin. While treating the

patient she was asking him why he was hurting the Bahraini people.

745. BICI Report: Chapter V — Events at Salmaniya Medical Complex: Page 187

 

One account of a patient unable to reach SMC was provided by a

woman who was three months pregnant at the time.She reported that due

to road closures and protesters on the street, it took her approximately three or

four hours to drive to her routine appointment at BDF Hospital. Once there,

her physician noticed that she had uterine bleeding. He told her that she

should go home and rest, but that if the bleeding continued she should call an

ambulance or go to a hospital immediately. On 15 and 16 March 2011, she

continued to bleed but was unable to go to a hospital because of road closures

and chaos on the streets. She did not go to SMC because she had heard

television reports that armed opposition protesters had occupied the hospital.

She stated that she felt she could not go to SMC because, being Sunni, she did

not think she would be safe or receive proper medical treatment there. On 17

March, she miscarried. She called BDF Hospital for an ambulance but they

were unable to send an ambulance because of the security situation. Her

husband drove her to a private clinic but after being admitted she found that

she would not be able to afford treatment there and so she left. She was

eventually admitted to Muharraq Hospital, where the attending physician told

her that she had lost her baby and that this was because she had been unable to

receive medical treatment during the two days of bleeding.

746. BICI Report: Chapter V — Events at Salmaniya Medical Complex: Page 187

 

Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society presented a file to the

Commission that included cases of three individuals who claimed that they

were refused treatment or were verbally abused by medical staff at SMC

because they were Pakistani.

747. BICI Report: Chapter V — Events at Salmaniya Medical Complex: Page 187

 

One doctor stated that one accused doctor gave her attention to

injured Shia patients rather than Sunnis.

748. BICI Report: Chapter V — Events at Salmaniya Medical Complex: Page 187

 

The Commission received several complaints alleging discrimination

against Sunni patients by medical staff at SMC. These included accusations

of medical negligence and denial of medical care.

749. BICI Report: Chapter V — Events at Salmaniya Medical Complex: Page 187

 

 

 

Some important BICI Reports regarding Attack on Civilians by Bahrain Anti-Government Protesters:

 

Shop owners in the Sheikh Abdulla Street in the Manama market (Near GCC Roundabout) stated that unidentified

masked individuals entered their property and demanded that they close their

shops.

216. BICI Report: Chapter IV — Narrative of Events of February and March 2011: Page 68

 

Many of the attacks reported during the day were against expatriates

residing in Bahrain, especially those of Asian descent. At 21:50, for example,

reports were filed by a person of Asian descent that a large group of people

was assaulting foreign workers in the areas surrounding the Bahrain Hotel.

Similarly, groups of unidentified individuals bearing sticks, wooden planks

and metal rods set up a road block in the vicinity of the Manama Police

Department and attacked a person of Asian descent.

458. BICI Report: Chapter IV — Narrative of Events of February and March 2011: Page 121

 

As in previous days, a number of expatriate workers, most of whom

were of South Asian origin, were attacked and harassed by groups of

unidentified individuals. At approximately midday, a Bangladeshi national

named Mr Mohammad Ikhlas Tozzomul Ali was killed when he was run over

by a car in Sitra. Three other Bangladeshi workers were also injured in that

incident.

521. BICI Report: Chapter IV — Narrative of Events of February and March 2011: Page 138

 

The Commission finds sufficient evidence to support the finding that

Sunnis were targeted by some demonstrators… The Sunni community was seen as a target due to the perception that all

Sunnis are agents or supporters of the GoB and the ruling family. The

Commission also finds support for the claim of denial of medical care and

intentional negligence of Sunni patients during the events of February/March.

 

The Commission also finds sufficient evidence to establish that some

expatriates, particularly South Asian workers, were the targets of attacks

during the events of February/March 2011…

Various neighbourhoods where

expatriates lived in Bahrain were the subject of sporadic violent attacks

creating an environment of fear, resulting in many expatriates leaving their

homes and living in shelters. Because of this atmosphere of fear some foreign

nationals were afraid of returning to work or places of business. The

Commission notes that four expatriates were killed and many were injured by

mobs as a result of these attacks.

1710-1711. BICI Report: Chapter XII — General Observations and Recommendations: Page 410

 

 

 

Some important BICI Reports regarding Actions of Police and Security Forces:

 

 

The Commission acknowledges that there were periods during which

the police exercised restraint and no deaths or injuries occurred. At other

times, there were a limited number of deaths or injuries, which, if viewed in

the context of a chaotic and potentially violent crowd control situation, could

arise from a reasonable use of force producing unintended consequences.

866. BICI Report: Chapter VI — Allegations of Human Rights Violations Against the Person: Page 219

 

The Commission concludes that in general the BDF (Bahrain Defense Force “Army”) did not use

excessive force.

871. BICI Report: Chapter VI — Allegations of Human Rights Violations Against the Person: Page 219

 

Four police officers and one BDF officer died during the

relevant period. The deaths of three police officers are attributable to

demonstrators.

Police officer Ahmed Rashid Al Muraysi was run over by a vehicle

at the GCC Roundabout on 15 March 2011.Two individuals have been

convicted of this murder. A trial took place before the National Safety Court.

One individual received a life sentence while the other received the death

sentence.

Police officers Kashif Ahmed Mandour and Mohamed Farooq

Abdul Samad were run over by a vehicle near the GCC Roundabout on 16

March 2011. Seven individuals have been charged with these murders. Three

of the accused have allegedly confessed to the crime

884-886. BICI Report: Chapter VI — Allegations of Human Rights Violations Against the Person: Page 222

 

 

 

BICI Findings regarding Demolishing Mosques:

 

The Commission inspected 30 places of worship and found that only

five of them had both the requisite royal deed and building permit. (The other

places of worship were illegal)

1329. BICI Report: Chapter VII — Other Human Rights Issues: Page 320

 

 

 

Attacks by Anti-Government Rioters on Civilians:

 

The Commission found sufficient evidence to establish that some

expatriates, in particular South Asian workers, were the targets of attacks

during the events of February/March 2011. The Commission finds that four

expatriates were killed by mob attacks during the events and many were

injured.

 

Pakistanis, in particular, were the target of attacks owing to their

membership of some of them in the BDF and police force. Various

neighourhoods where expatriates live in Bahrain were the subject of sporadic

attacks. The attacks on expatriates created an environment of fear, resulting in

many of them leaving their homes and living in shelters. Other foreign

nationals relayed to the Commission that they feared leaving their homes,

attending services at their places of worship, or going to work. This caused

many foreign nationals economic loss because they were fearful of returning

to work and opening their businesses. The attacks on South Asian expatriates

also resulted in hundreds of Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Indians fleeing the

country.

 

There is a high degree of mistrust of immigrants by the Shia

Community…. Racial and sectarian strife and sometimes xenophobic sentiments towards foreigners.

1525-1527. BICI Report: Chapter VIII — Allegations of Violence by Non-Governmental Actors: Page 364

 

The Commission found sufficient evidence to support the finding that

Sunnis were targeted by some groups of demonstrators, either because they

professed loyalty to the regime or on the basis of their sect. Sunnis were

subjected to physical attacks and attacks on their property as well as

harassment. Many of these incidents occurred at schools and makeshift

checkpoints operated by civilians. These attacks were sufficient to create an

environment of fear and mistrust that exacerbated tensions in a country

already polarised.

 

The Commission found that members of the Sunni community were

subjected to verbal harassment during the protests. Such verbal abuse took

place in the streets, in the workplace and in schools and universities, and

mainly focused on the perceived loyalty of Sunnis to the regime and the

Khalifa family. The Sunni community was seen as a target due to the

perception that all Sunnis are agents or supporters of the GoB and the ruling

Al Khalifa family.

 

It appears that the Sunni community was threatened and targeted

throughout the protests. In some cases there were direct threats to the lives

and welfare of Sunnis. In addition, the Commission recorded evidence

supporting the claims that Sunni residences were marked during the protests.

 

The complaints by Sunnis alleging denial of medical care and

intentional negligence were supported by a number of witness statements from

doctors, patients and members of the patients‘ families.

1557-1560. BICI Report: Chapter VIII — Allegations of Violence by Non-Governmental Actors: Page 364

 

 

Allegations Against Bahrain Television (BTV):

 

Commission did not find any evidence of media

coverage that constituted hate speech or incitement to violence.

1629. BICI Report: Chapter X — Allegations of Media Harassment: Page 389