Friday, August 5, 2011

Commentary on AJE's Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark

If you still haven’t seen Al Jazeera English’s latest documentary on Bahrain, here is your chance to watch it now:
In this post, I have attempted a detailed analysis of this video which has done Bahrain a great injustice by showing one side of events and neglecting the other side in which I and many people like me belong. The side that is not here to blindly defend the government but has come to dedicate its existence to bettering the tarnished image of Bahrain and bringing some modicum of truth to the world.
As a disclaimer, I do not deny that excessive violence has occurred by the security forces and I wish for all to be held accountable for acting against the laws of the country and the laws of humanity. In the same context, I am a firm believer that actions warrant consequences, and while the  police used excessive force we must not completely discount the possibility, however small, that there was a cause for it. If a policeman in the UK or US shouts at a suspected criminal to “STOP OR I’LL SHOOT”, you better be damned sure that he will shoot if you do not stop. Anyway, I will not dwell on this because I do not condone violence in any shape or form nor do I excuse it.
Following are a few stops that I took throughout the video and my personal commentaries on them backed with information that I have obtained either through videos that have been released or statements that I have obtained from people who have trusted me enough to speak out against the lies and fabrications.
From the video’s opening statement: “Shia muslim majority are being ruled by a family from a sunni  minority” a complete fallacy considering the latest statistics put Sunnis as a slight majority. However, I do not want to make this the focus of this commentary but I would like to settle on the assumption that there is a 50/50 split.
“pearl roundabout” is GCC roundabout. The six pillars holding the pearl symbolize every state in the Gulf Cooperation Council. AJE should be a little more thorough with their research and use its official name rather than the name people have given it.
Blacked out speaker “the whole of Bahrain are there [at the roundabout]”. No, I was not there, neither was my family, my friends, nor the hundreds of thousands in Bahrain who disagree with the revolution.
The army “Locked down the capital”. So how come there are clearly cars on the highway just above?
The part after the video of the funeral procession turned protest is the same one where bags of blood were used to show wounds were worse that they really were. There is no denying the pictorial evidence of the bags of blood used to show more blood than there actually was. There was even a video of a protester who was about to get off the ground but when he saw he was being filmed he lay back down and faked being in pain.
Now they’re saying the hospital gave humanitarian refuge?? What about patients who were unable to get any medical treatment because of that so-called refuge?? I personally have stories of two family members who suffered because of the situation at Salmaniya: one of them was a cancer patient who needed fluids drained from his body every two weeks or he would die. When he went there they made him wait for hours and then told him there was nothing wrong with him and sent him home. Later on his condition got worse and his family took him to a private hospital where he died days later. The other story was of a lady who collapsed at her home in Galali, when the ambulance finally got there the driver took her to the rounadabout and made her wait while he was there and then he finally took her to the hospital.
Police retreating after the “flower” protest: the protesters were shouting “hopefully you leave from here to the airport” indicating their disdain for the nationalities of the policemen and the amount of racism these people carry in their hearts.
“we are asking our minimum basic rights as a humans in this country” since when is it a minimum basic right to topple a whole government? Erratic demands were always the case with these protests. What started as reform escalated to calls for the death of a family.
Unemployment?? I have worked with the unemployed in a national program dedicated to subsidizing the upskilling of Bahrainis and their salaries in the private sector (funnily enough with the man who stands behind Hassan Mushaima later on in the video) and I have seen how jobs are rejected by many people who choose to be less educated in a country that gives equal free education for all. Jobs came from everywhere  from drivers to security guards to clerks and yes even construction workers and yet they believe themselves to be above these jobs with their less than secondary level education. NOW they demand the government give them jobs while calling for democracy? Democracies that guarantee NOTHING to their people and no special privileges?
Poverty: is the queen of England not living in a palace while some people are on the streets? The president of the united states? All the heads of any type of state? We have no homeless people in Bahrain. And if you apply to the right program, a house like the one shown in the video would be on top of the lists of houses to be renovated by the government. Tell me which democracy provides that?
Feb 23rd largest march in the history of Bahrain? What happened to Al Fateh? In fact, what happened to the rest of Bahrain? Why has AJE completely neglected to mention them save for a small part where they are carrying makeshift weapons to defend their neighborhoods?
Peaceful secular democracy movement? What do you call the demand for an Islamic Republic by Hassan Mushaima? What does it mean when my mother, brother and his wife are met with a group of protesters shouting, “get out Sunnis, Bahrain is for the Shia” in Juffair following the second rally at Al Fateh Mosque where more than 400,000 people AJE failed to mention have gathered in support of reform?
Armed groups were NOT to put an end to the protests! They were to stop rogue protesters from attacking their neighborhoods. Where AJE mentions towards the end that Asian expats were target of “punishment” by the protesters, that was the time people were terrified of leaving their houses and neighborhood watches formed to protect neighborhoods. Right next to my house in Hidd is an abandoned house whose construction has stopped. Following reports that there was a prison break at the Dry Dock prison there was strong suspicion that these convicts have occupied it and the throngs of people coming to catch them were overwhelming. What would we have done if these people did not dedicate their days and nights to protect us?
Why hasn’t AJE mentioned anything about the road blocks and the chaos that caused the police to step in to maintain law and order?? The only mention is of the dismantling of a freedom movement but the truth remains that these freedoms have been abused and have started to encroach on other people’s freedoms and the police HAD to step in to control the situation. The second half of Bahrain was suffering at the hands of the rogue few thousands (not all protesters) and the laws were being completely neglected and ignored.
Why has AJE not questioned how these police being treated at salmaniya got injured in the first place?? Who hurt them badly enough that they had to be taken to Salmaniya and not the BDF hospital where they are usually treated?
The Saudis would not allow one [revolution] in their own back yard??? WE ASKED FOR THE PENINSULA SHIELD TO STEP IN!!! Allegations of Saudi occupying Bahrain are completely unfounded. Further allegations that Saudi troops have killed and demolished are not only ridiculous (because we have yet to see a single picture of a Saudi soldier or tank on the streets of Bahrain) they are clear attempts to put Saudi in a sectarian light because of its known stance against the Shia creed. The opposition would like to see Saudi go down and they have mentioned that very blatantly on the social networks we don’t even need to elaborate further. Therefore, it is quite understandable why they would want to show Saudi as the “bad guy” that is spear heading the whole “repression” movement.
I know doctors who were there and all the allegations of hostility towards them are 100% true.
“Salmaniya opened its operating theaters to Al Jazeera” one doctor told me that many of the deaths and exacerbated injuries occurred because of the constant camera crews coming in and out of the operating rooms. These doctors allowed themselves to contaminate an operating room where there were open wounds and as a result people’s conditions have worsened and some have even died as a result.
The clearing of the roundabout on March 16th was to put an end to the chaos these protests have caused in Bahrain and not to crush unfounded democratic dreams. The 3 weeks that preceded were utter chaos and have inconvenienced the whole nation. Illegal marches, road blocks, people facing hostility because they put up the Prime Minister’s posters on their cars, others being beaten up in their neighborhoods, expats terrorized and threatened and many more.  My cousin lives in an apartment in Isa Town, he is the only Sunni in the building. People went banging on his door asking him to “leave this neighborhood you Sunni!”
In the footage of the final clearing of the roundabout AJE mentions that they “ran” out of the protest sites while the footage shows them walking away and maybe doing a little jogging but there is definitely no running. The BTV footage was clear and could not possibly be fabricated everyone was walking away calmly. The fires make it seem like they were caused by the security forces, please show the footage of who set fire to the tents AJE!
Wow! Respect to AJE for finally acknowledging the murder of the policemen. Now it’s your turn opposition, still insist they were dummies planted by the government?
Nobody got killed when Salmaniya was cleared. It was just as organized as the roundabout so allegations of devastation there are completely false. They just took the opportunity of there NOT being any video footage to add in their own versions of the story.
The alleged village attacks are being taken out of context. Once the state of national safety is announced no protests or gatherings are allowed and the military have warned against them. When you break the law you should expect some consequences. Oh but alas, consequences have not once been acknowledged by the opposition and they don’t seem to believe that wrongdoing warrants any kind of consequence.
The protests and chaos happen to be in Shia villages is that a coincendence or do you still insist that the security forces were targeting them just because they are Shia? The security forces know exactly where these originate and it is their job to ensure measures are taken to contain the protests at the source and away from the busy financial district. I wonder how come the protests in the streets stopped when the police controlled the villages..? No one is targeting anyone.
Mass arrests for the thousands who have disobeyed the laws of Bahrain. There have been many who have committed acts outside of the law. Yes people have been arrested for just being at the roundabout but they were released if exonerate from any criminal act. The country has a responsibility to investigate if it has reason to believe an outside conspiracy is in the making and if it means questioning each and every individual who has appeared at the roundabout then so be it. Let’s not kid ourselves, the US does it only it does not get public scrutiny because it controls all the world’s media. I know some detainees friends or acquaintances and none of them have suffered from any abuse inside the prisons.
Abdulrasool Al Hujairy (RIP): his case still remains a mystery. He has submitted photo evidence to the government incriminating many people from the opposition of criminal activity and suddenly he is found dead. However, the opposition is pinning it on the government using his Shia status as leverage.
“we are afraid to go out of our houses, we are afraid to go to our jobs”  is just another excuse to go through with the illegal strikes. I have seen blackberry broadcasts spread by the opposition telling them to say just that in order to get out of being punished for being absent from work. These broadcasts have detailed measures encouraging their readers to lie to their employers about their whereabouts and the reasons for their absence. And they still say they were unjustly terminated? And they cry unemployment? Who wants to employ someone who does not care for internal policies and with such kind of work ethic?
Yes national football stars deserve to be ridiculed because they neglected their responsibility in representing Bahrain and their responsibility to set good examples to future generations. But that is my personal opinion take it or leave it.
Ayat al Qormozi’s poem was not a mere criticism, it was a public slandering of a figure head using shameless vulgarity and this is a crime punishable by law. The video of her confession is not of someone who is under duress. She is calm and she knows what she is saying. She might have said it to get out of incarceration but her malicious intentions have translated into several contradicting interviews where in one she says the treatment she got was fine and in the other she  goes back to her story of torture and sexual violations:
(videos courtesy of ElaAlBahrain)
Somehow after all what happened, we’re supposed to believe everything Salmaniya doctors say about what happened there. Never mind the other doctors who have witnessed completely different events.
SALMANIYA DOCTORS WERE NOT ARRESTED FOR TREATING INJURED PEOPLE!!! Their crime was that they not only engaged but incited the unrest and were parties to the ill treatment of patients who were not part of the protests and who they believed to be pro-govertment as well as expats. They allowed for the hospital to become a protest ground blocking the parking lot and ER entrance. Do doctors not have a responsibility towards all patients regardless of race, creed or political stance? Are they not responsible for maintaining easy access to treatment for all people? What they did was unforgiveable.
Stories of doctors being charged for assault leading to death are confirmed by their colleagues who are now too afraid to speak up because they know they might suffer the fate of Abdulrasool Al Hujairy and others who spoke up against the protests.
It was the surgery itself that killed Abdulredha at Salmaniya because the surgeons failed to secure the operating room from the contaminations of people coming in and out taking photos and videotaping!
Yes the only gathering allowed for the people is a funeral because it is a religious rite and Bahrain respects those.
“shia mobs formed to punish the only people they could (as if that is ok) the impoverished Asian immigrants living among them” thank you AJE finally someone speaks some truth! However, don’t you think a whole story dedicated to this phenomenon is in order?
For decades, the Bahraini government has allowed the Shia community freedom to practice their rituals. The King himself has been more than accommodating and allowed the streets of Manama to be blocked off for Ashoorah and for private homes to be illegally turned into places of worship. Government property has been used to erect structures used for worship that are not necessarily mosques but can also be shrines and gravesites. But when you abuse the extra privileges that have been given to you the consequence is that you lose it. Cause and effect.
Ayat al Qormozi was not released due to international pressure. Her crime was a minor one and she was released awaiting her final sentencing.
Mushaima, Al Khawaja and Al Singaise have clear and strong affiliations with terrorist cells originating in Iran and targeting Bahrain for decades. Mushaima has actually called for the establishment of an Islamic Republic following Iran’s model and is a danger to society had he been allowed to stay in it.
I must say the video was very nicely filmed no wonder it took them so long to release it but I did feel that the over dramatization unnecessary. I must also admit the AJE is the only one who touched upon the violence of the protesters when they killed the policemen and “punished” the asian expats however I didn’t understand why these were mentioned fleetingly and not given more attention. I guess they just wanted it on the record that they gave an objective report.
AJE still did not give a cause/effect report on what happened in Bahrain blaming the government, Saudi, the “sunni so-called monirity” and anyone BUT the protesters for the violence and devastation. However, if AJE acknowledges those incidents of violence, why does it not shed more light on these? Why does it not doubt for a minute that the self proclaimed revolution was NOT a peaceful one and government intervention was an absolute necessity?
And who completely discount the whole theory of Iran’s involvement? It is not very farfetched if one takes a minute to consider the sudden interest of Al Alam TV and Al Manar, Ahlul Bait and many other Iranian news channels. It is not a coincidence that Iran’s leaders make official statements about the protests in Bahrain threatening action and sending flotillas and completely ignoring all the other countries. It is not a figment of anyone’s imagination that Iran has always threatened Bahrain in one way or another for decades claiming it to belong to Iran at some point. Why has the world ignored these signs and instead looked for physical evidence of such theories?
Too many questions left unanswered. If anything this movement in Bahrain has raised more questions than answers. It has shamed the REAL revolutions in Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia by trying to establish itself among them. The truth of the matter is that this movement was what triggered the sectarian divide in which we find ourselves now but hey why not blame THAT on the government along with everything else? It is not the government that releases reports and articles citing imaginary statistics about the division between Sunnis and Shia. I only saw those in news reports and articles by international news agencies and human rights organizations. And the rest speaks for itself…

(Note: please excuse the hurried narrative, if you feel it requires improvement please put your comment down as I intend it to be a working document)



  1. Among GCC Country only in Bahrain allowing the Shia community to perform the Ashoora. And it is such shame for Al Jazeera to air this documentary wherein the station is based in Qatar and there is no democracy their at all, it is such a hypocrite for them in doing it.

  2. Thanks Noaf very nicely said and organised I think it has everything in it

  3. Al Jazeera English’s latest documentary on Bahrain is full of wrong misleading information, and the order of events has obviously been changed for a dramatic affect.

    Nouf you have done a great job, that you for your efforts.

    World get you facts straight, click the following link:

  4. Thank you Nouf for analyzing and resounding in such professional style. I'm really proud of Bahraininpeople like you. God bless you. Majed Alhashili

  5. Thank u dear Nouf 4 ur outstanding analysis for AJE documentary and I believe that more bahraini should participate and spread the word all over the globe

  6. The basic rules of "Responsible Journalism"  is showing both sides of the conflict "if you call what happened in Bahrain is!!" and letting the viewer/reader/listener make their own mind, but this is a typical laser guided massage with a well known agenda.. It amazes me that AJE wasn't able to fine a single person to interview from the other 400'000 side that have a different view!!.. When a senior BBC employee i think it was their CEO  resigned only to join AJE in the early 2003'4'5 on the basis that BBC lost it's integrity during reporting the invation of Iraq, I really thought AJE was going to to tell the world the real story but the question is was it for real journalism or the money was too good to ignor!!?

    We all agree some reform is required and it is happening on the ground now at "tertle speed" but it's happening 

    but this has to be " made in Bahrain by Bahraini with BAHRAIN over and above over every single one living on it"

    well done Nouf and best of luck

  7. Not counting this year's invasion of troops from Saudi Arabia and UAE to shoot at unarmed Bahraini civilians, including women and children, the members of Bahrain's own security forces have been actively recruited for years from other (even farther away) countries as adults, not only to increase the Sunni headcount in Bahrain, but also to assist in the oppression of the Bahraini people. "Mercernaries" seems too good a word. Uneducated thugs granted Bahraini passports, government housing (when so many others are destitute), a uniform and a gun, along with instructions to shoot first and ask questions later. The majority of these policemen have no loyalty to the land or its people, but only to their employers who have opted to waste so much time, energy and resources on internal conflict, rather than spend it to build an inclusive, just, prosperous and harmonious society. This is not about Sunni and Shiite; this is about the haves and have-nots, the old "divide and conquer" strategy. The Bahraini people have merely fought for their rights, while the Government of Bahrain has rightly earned itself a place on the list of human rights abusers. Comparisons have increased to apartheid-era South Africa. Bahrain can do better than that. In the mean time, let's not blame the poor and oppressed for the country's troubles.

  8. Jazach allah khair :)

    Well said. Wish you mentioned two things however, and i don't blame you, I would have rushed to get this out there as well.
    1. The protestors had a right to go about on the streets and behaving the way they did, for democracy as they call it. Like Matar Matar said, "HRH Shaikh Salman needs to start taking action and proving things, not just announcing a National Dialogue." HYPOCRITES AJE. A National Dialogue has taken place since you are so up to date with what is going on in Bahrain. The protestors NEVER stated their reason for being on the streets (I mean, we all know why, but they never did say anything) neither did AJE report it. I mean for democracy, wouldn't you want better education and what have you? Or no, is being at the roundabout only for having big crowds with pathetic girls like Ayat saying poems disgracing the country she so called lives in? Yeah. You tell me.
    2. Obama's speech on the other countries? SERIOUSLY AJE? First of all, if he wanted to talk about BAHRAIN he would but he has nothing to say because even he knows the true agenda behind these protests. YES LET THIS BE TOLD.

    Nouf, again, great job, and just something I felt like sharing. You can add it if you so wish.

    Have a good day everyone.