Thursday, February 15, 2007
The state's ingenious demographic engineering is not going unnoticed abroad however. The decision to import and naturalise a fleeing saddamist sunni tribe in Jordan seems to have touched a sensitive nerve with the Kuwaitis. In addition to the reported arrest of Asian criminals in Kuwait carrying Bahraini passports is of obvious concern. Hence the official flurry back and forth between the two countries earlier this month. As is Gulf politics, what settlement was reached in the royal courts is anyone's guess and probably comes too late to undo the damage.
This 'Tajnees' (naturalisaiton)is happening below the radar, officially denied and statistically unrecorded. Yet it is as clear as the blue sky to almost everyone. What began with the use of mercenaries for the ruling family's security now serve a new purpose as symbolic imports of the sectarian conflict in Iraq, signed, sealed and delivered to Bahrain to spread the hate. No doubt we share responsibility in the biggest refugee crisis to face the region since 1948, but as Albandar's exposé of state sponsored sectarian policy unfolds day by day, this latest development is yet another loosening of the strands that form Bahrain's social fabric. A moral cover of humanitarian responsibility could not even biggen to disguise this.