Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Let's Get Nuts

A few days after Sh. 'Abd al-Latif Al Mahmud called for a "change" in Bahrain's Shi'a political leadership as a precondition for reconciliation, there are unconfirmed reports from multiple sources that several high-profile al-Wifaq figures--including Sh. 'Ali Salman, 'Abd al-Jalil Khalil, and Khalil al-Marzuq--have just been summoned for investigation by the military prosecutor. (Update: now Nabil Rajab as well.)

Even in isolation, of course, such a move would be notable. Yet it is all the more interesting as it comes a day before the planned mass rallies--which al-Wifaq has been vocal in supporting--to coincide with the lifting of martial law.

So, in the words of George Costanza, "You wanna get nuts? Let's get nuts!"

Update: just hours before June 1, King Hamad (coincidentally, I'm sure) is now ready for dialogue (Ar.). Or so he says. The question, given the summons of the al-Wifaq figures, is whom the dialogue will include.

Update 2: it's now officially June 1 in Bahrain. Please check the official demonstration guidance below and proceed to your local rally point!

And don't forget the instructions:

Update 3: it seems that protests did not materialize today to the extent hoped/planned by the opposition, though clearly the bigger test of strength will be Friday, deemed the "Friday of Loyalty to the Martyrs." Those protesters that did get out today were met unsurprisingly with rubber bullets, tear gas, and buckshot.


  1. "We need a rational, practical leader who doesn't look for religious blessings before he can embark on a political reform initiative," he said. "We didn't see leadership emerging from their side and they didn't let themselves loose from radical elements or come to the negotiating table."
    - said Sheikh Abdul-Aziz bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, Senior International Counselor at the Information Affairs Authority.


  2. Sadly for Sh. 'Abd al-Aziz, Bahrain's entire political system (below the ruling family level) is premised on religious affiliation, not just among Shi'is.

    Even 'Adel al-Ma'awdah sought a fatwa to compel Salafis to vote in 2002.


    Hell, ALL THREE of Bahrain's political societies represented in parliament are based on religion, so let's not act as though it's only the Shi'a that "look for religious blessings."

  3. Thought this might interest you. There is a new satellite channel called Tetro or Al-lulu in arabic which has been created specifically for Bahrain and hopes of showing "both sides".


  4. Yes, I'd seen this. I'm sure it will be "showing both sides" about as much as BTV does. I think neutrality has long gone out the window.

    Relatedly, there is also a new English-language newsletter, "Pearl," prepared by the opposition:





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