Bahrain: Sunni mobs misunderstand Islam, attack Shia villages

Condoleezza Rice said it in January 2007: “There’s still a tendency to see these things in Sunni-Shia terms. But the Middle East is going to have to overcome that.” Five years and counting, Dr. Rice.

“Sunni mobs ‘attack Shia villages in Bahrain,'” from Al-Jazeera, April 11 (thanks to Twostellas):

Bahrainis wielding knives and sticks attacked Shia villagers overnight, witnesses have said, as pressure grew for this month’s Formula One race in the Sunni-ruled state to be cancelled over the unrest.

A day after a gasoline pipe bomb injured seven policemen, men from Sunni neighbourhoods who answered an internet call to avenge the attack converged on Shia-populated villages near Manama late on Tuesday, according to witnesses.

“I saw hundreds of men carrying knives, sticks and other sharp objects,” on the outskirts of several Shia villages, said one man who identified himself only as Hussein.

“They were stopping cars and asking passengers where they lived in order to determine what sect they belonged to,” he said by telephone, referring to the Sunni and Shia communities in Bahrain.

Al-Wefaq, the Gulf kingdom’s largest Shia opposition group, said the attackers were in civilian clothes and “beat up” the residents of Shia villages.

A statement by the group accused security forces of failing to stop the attacks.

“The security forces did not carry out their duty. They did not disperse the [assailants] or prevent them from attacking citizens,” the statement said, adding that the authorities must “deal with these militias”….

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  1. says

    we keep stressing this, pilgrims at shia holy sights killed by sunni suicide bombers and vice versa.. all over the midddle east and subcontinent. i like it, don’t get me wrong. but this is such a great first argument for anyone trying to tell you how good islam is. this will never end, ever.

  2. says

    If only Condoleeza Rice would’ve taken a good look at Islam’s history, she would’ve known that:

    1) the traditional enmity between Sunni and Shia Islam is insurmountable

    2) it will be insurmountable as long as Islam exists

    3) it will always remain a weighty issue in ME politics and internecine violence within Islam

    Therefore, it is NOT an ‘academical’ issue that can be resolved by Western government goody two shoes leaders projecting naive assumptions on the topic to find a diplomatic solution for it by way of moralizing speeches. Muslims don’t want a solution for it. They won’t get cosy with one another because we want them to. Quite simple: just forget about it.

    If only Western leaders would read a few well-chosen books on the subject now and again, they may just stop this ridiculous rabbiting on about Sunni-Shia reconciliation.

    If only…Says a lot about the intelligence of Western leaders in general…

  3. says

    One can hope or even dream that shia increase in number so moslems get busy with each other and leave the rest of the world to live in peace

  4. says

    This is the same person that said “I could not imagine [the hijacking of the planes 9/11]” during the televised hearings.

    It was her job to imagine it!

    I could not grasp why she was not fired then and there.

    Yet she kept her job and continued to give her opinion. Like this one. Thanks, Robert. Precisely.

  5. says

    Absolutely true. Breathtakingly naive for Western public figures to think that a conflict that had its roots in the period following the death of Mohammed can be resolved, let alone by non-Islamic powers.

    So the Arab Spring movements failed to get hold of Bahrein? I recall catching a BBC report on that where this uprising was reported as different from the ones in Tunisia and Egypt, at the time. Well, guess what – so is Syria. The reason Bahrein won’t get the Arab Spring democracy is that they are Shias, and the Saudis don’t want one more Iraq on their borders. And Bahrein is even more Shia than Iraq – 75%

    Hope there is a Shia uprising in Bahrein that’s backed by Iraq and Iran. The Saudis have occupying troops there, but have more Saudis diverted b/w Bahrein, Iraq and Syria – that should keep them busy.