Security forces of the Bahraini regime stormed the house of Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim in the town of Diraz, west of the capital Manama. They also stormed the sit-in in the area surrounding the house, using excessive force against unarmed civilians. This left one martyr and more than a hundred wounded, many of which injuries are critical, especially that they are not offered medical treatment and they cannot go to medical centers or hospitals because the security forces are waiting to arrest them there.
The timing of the raid on house of the Bahraini religious and national symbol is suspicious. It occurred after less than 48 hours on the regime’s verdict against Ayatollah Qassim which provided a suspended one year term, in addition to financial penalty of 100,000 Dinars (about $266000 US) and confiscating the Khums money and two real estates.
The Operation’s Timing after Trump’s Visit
The most significant, timing wise, is that the operation happened to be one day after US President Donald Trump left the Saudi capital of Riyadh, where several Arab leaders assembled, including the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah, with Trump lecturing on "The Principles of Democracy and Necessity to Fight Terrorism.” So, is what happened in Bahrain related to Trump’s regional visit? Did all this happen based on a green light given to Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies, including Bahrain, to mute every voice of opposition inside the country? Had the dictatorial regimes, including the Bahraini one, received a blank check with an American approval to eliminate the most prominent component in the country regardless of any human rights considerations and democracy which the White House boasts? Is what happened the first of Trump’s regional visit’s repercussions? What are the following outcomes of this visit as long as its primary ones have been on this level of violence and abuse against civilians? Doesn’t all this prove that the base of evil in the world and the region is the US administration and the conspiracies being plotted against peoples looking forward to independence, freedom and living peacefully?
The most important now is how the Bahraini people will deal with what the regime has committed in breaking all restrictions and breaching all redlines represented by Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim’s symbolism? What has been left of values and principles if the sanctity of religion and beliefs had been profaned, and the sanctity of symbols and scholars had been profaned and accused of alleged charges after trying them in a performance system rather than a legal and rights trial? How would the next phase look like especially that direct attack against Ayatollah Qassim has been conducted on both physical and moral levels? What is the stance the regional and international public opinion and different organizations will take, namely those operating in humanitarian and rights fields? In case some of those organizations would denounce it, would it be enough or should the countries supporting, covering and selling weapons to the Bahraini regime and its regional sponsor in Saudi Arabia be pressured?
The truth is that after the "verdict” of suspended one year term against Sheikh Qassim has been issued on Sunday May 21st, 2017, some believed that the Bahraini regime is trying to bargain this case to achieve political gains on the ground through blackmailing and procrastinating to reach its goal in putting an end to the peaceful protest in Bahrain. In this regard, some voices warned of the regime’s foxiness, noting that under the Bahraini law, the decided punishment means that the sentenced person won’t be jailed, but in case he repeated the crime within three years, the suspended punishment becomes applicable. This, however, excludes the financial penalty. Everybody has been waiting how the regime would resume this case after sentencing Sheikh Qassim. But the regime surprised everybody as it stormed and attacked the sit-in square and the house of Sheikh Qassim.
Mobilization to Defend Values, Symbols…
Bahrain’s "Opposition Revolutionary Forces” called for "resistance and holy defense in all available means,” asking "the people to paralyze all forms of life in Bahrain.” They further stressed on the "necessity of holy defense and resisting the Al Khalifah’s mercenaries’ terrorism in all possible means against the barbaric and brutal attack on the town of Diraz to protect the dignity, honor and values and protect His Eminence Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim.” The forces also urged "crowds to mobilize and paralyze the means of normal life in Bahrain, and disable life aspects in public streets, and the necessity of non-stopping massive protests in all areas.”
In this respect, sources of "al-Wafaa Islamic Movement”, one of the revolutionary forces of the aforementioned statement, noted that "tension today is dominating in Bahrain, and there would definitely be escalation in different areas by the authority as well as by the people and the opposition revolutionary forces.” The movement went on saying that "all convictions against leaderships, youths and women in Bahrain are rejected altogether as they are issued by illegitimate courts.” As long as the authorities’ decisions are rejected, then it is sure that the attacks based on those decisions are also denied, the movement added, stressing that "the weak verdict against Ayatollah Qassim proves the theory that people can prevail and disable the regime’s enterprises by unity, shoulder to shoulder, insistence and challenge to confront this regime and those backing it whether Gulf, Americans, British and Zionists.”
The sources noted that "all what happened expresses the Bahraini regime’s negligence to Ja’fari legal provisions,” stressing that "this is considered a bold violation of the doctrine’s privacy and is a series of violations committed by the authority against religion and beliefs.” The movement further mentioned that "the authority in Bahrain destroyed at least 38 mosques, burned copied of the Holy Quran, which is recorded in documented reports, tightened the grip on charity projects and their funding, and now wants to enact a law for religious speech.” Today, the authorities returned to use internationally banned weapons such as the shotgun and toxic gases, leaving dozens of victims.
In a related context, Bahraini scholars stressed that "had they wanted a Karbala battle, we are the sons of Karbala, and let the people of all regions stand up with their coffins, men, women and youngsters,” calling to "open squares of redemption in all areas, and that the major Fida’a Square in Diraz won’t be enough.”
Other opposition forces called for an urgent movement by the world, the international community, institutions, powers and figures to stop the ongoing massacre in Bahrain.
Accordingly, it is clear that the Bahraini regime instead of moving to calm down the people and contain them to regain their trust, it is still gambling on the country’s future, provoking and blackmailing its people through political trials with a judicial mask, giving it sectarian and doctrinal dimensions. For this, the coming days will reveal the real repercussions of all what is happening in Bahrain, and what would happen between the regime and the people amid criminalizing religious rituals and duties in one sect, in addition to continuing to violate the individual and general rights of people. Future will also reveal the real dimensions of Trump’s visit to the region through the behaviors of all countries, in particular those whose leaders attended the Riyadh summit and received the latest American instructions.