Iran's Gang in Bahrain |
Al Hayat - 07 September, 2012
Author: Jihad Al Khazen
Sheikh Ali Salman, leader of al-Wifaq in Bahrain, has called on his supporters to boycott the official media in Bahrain, which he described as "one-eyed".
Salman’s call coincided with the speech delivered by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi at the Non-Aligned Summit in Tehran, where the Iranian media deliberately mistranslated the speech, replacing Syria with Bahrain in what is yet another media scandal for the Iranian regime.
If the Bahraini official media is indeed “one-eyed” -and I do not defend it because the Arab media everywhere is shortsighted-, then the Iranian official media is blind. But Sheikh Ali Salman did not address it with criticism, and could have even addressed it with praise, because he owes his allegiance to Iran which he places above all other allegiances, including to Bahrain.
If he, Sheikh Issam Qassem and their supporters had succeeded in their coup attempt, Bahrain today would have been a satellite of the clerical regime in Tehran, i.e. the regime that has almost destroyed Iran – a major country with a longstanding history that has enough oil resources for its citizens to live in affluence, instead of the hardship of sanctions and the embargo.
The leader of al-Wifaq claimed that the Bahraini government is corrupt and called for change in government. But I say that there is nothing in the world more corrupt than the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (save for Israel). Ali Salman wants to establish a regime that resembles Iranian corruption, and all claims to the contrary are lies of an Israeli level.
He also said that the sole function of the official and semi-official media is to insult citizens demanding freedom and democracy, but my answer is that the supporters of Iran themselves are an insult against Bahrain.
Once again, I am not defending the official Bahraini media or government here. I am just saying that there are patriotic members of the opposition in Bahrain, and the latter has legitimate demands, while reforms are indeed needed at many levels. But Issa Qassem, Ali Salman and their supporters are not of this patriotic opposition, and they demand neither freedom nor democracy because they are the furthest possible people from these principles, and their sources of help and support are well-known.
The court of appeals in Bahrain upheld prison sentences against the leaders of the pro-Iranian opposition in Bahrain. The court of cassation will be the last step for a case that has moved from the military tribunal to civilian courts, where life sentences were upheld against defendants including Hassan Ali Mushaima, the leader of al-Haq who returned from London to Bahrain with the sole aim of overthrowing the regime, and Ali Abdul-Hadi al-Khawaja, who went on hunger strike only after a global uproar was stirred following the hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. If the court of cassation exonerates the defendants, then they are innocent, but if it convicts them again, then they are criminals against Bahrain.
In the meantime, I denunciate the liberal Western press, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, along with the group Physicians for Human Rights. I have been a liberal before all of those were, and I have spent my entire life in the center-left. However, I am an open-eyed liberal and skepticism is a second nature to me. For this reason, I always try to seek out the truth, and I do not believe everything I hear only because it strikes a chord with me, as someone who champions freedom and democracy.
Brian Dooley, a director at Human Rights Watch, said that the verdict of the court of appeals was a “charade”. In other words, this American in New York knows more than a court at the scene of the event. Human Rights Watch also called for the release of the “prisoners of conscience”, but they are not that at all. The human rights watchdog also criticized the delay in issuing the verdict, failing to appreciate that the judges need to check the facts in front of them before they convict or exonerate.
Physicians for Human Rights then said that the use of tear gas by the Bahraini police is a form of torture. Every country in the world uses tear gas to break up demonstrations, but only Bahrain is being accused of torture for using it.
The liberal media and international human rights groups are not evil, like Iran’s gang in Bahrain is, and I accuse them of nothing more than ignorance, naivety and detachment from reality in dealing with the Bahraini issue.