'45 holy sites attacked in Bahrain'

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Friday, 27 May 2011

jos_holy_sites_BahrainThe head of Bahrain's Ja'afari Endowments, Ahmed Hussein, has said that the regime forces attacked 45 holy sites over the past days.In a letter to Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Hussein said that the troops had demolished 28 mosques.He added that seven mosques, eight Hussainias and two tombs were also attacked and damaged in the country, Shiite News reported.

He expressed hope that the Bahraini regime would take necessary measures to reconstruct the destroyed mosques and compensate for the damage.The regime has begun destroying mosques as well as houses of some dissidents since dispatch of Saudi Arabia's military forces to the country.Anti-government protests against the rule of the Al Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain began in mid-February.

Since then, the Manama regime has unleashed a massive brutal crackdown on the protesters.

Scores of people have been killed and many more arrested in the Saudi-backed crackdown on peaceful protests in the Persian Gulf state -- a longtime ally of Washington and home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.

Bahrainis face violence by kingdom

Bahraini government has violently opposed demonstrators, asking for a constitutional kingdom as well as removing the US existence from Bahrain.

Press TV has conducted an interview with a former Lebanese Minister Essam Naaman in Beirut on the current uprising in Bahrain and how the US-Bahraini relationship has affected the situation. The following is a rush transcript of the talk:

Press TV: We were talking about poverty, we were talking about the lack of educational infrastructure. It does not very much marry with what we often hear about Bahrain. All was discovered in Bahrain in 1932 and brought rapid modernization to Bahrain and that modernization really turned up gears again in March 1999, when King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa succeeded his father, as the head of state. Then there was elections instituted for parliament. Then there was women given the right to vote and the release of political prisoners. So Mr. Hessam Naaman, how do you marry all this progress? From what we hear and what we understand, still there is poverty, still there is uprising, why?

Naaman: Well, there are so many slogans by the ruling class, the ruling autocracy. But in fact, Bahrain is suffering from oppression, from corruption, from poverty. Of course the youth of Bahrain was inspired by the youth of Egypt which were successful in bringing down their regime there. So the thing that it is a high time now for Bahrain to have a true constitutional state, a true constitutional government. That is why they are asking for regime change in the sense of having a constitutional kingdom. They are demanding to bring down the government and not necessarily the king. Yet the government, the ruling autocracy is using arms, using violence in opposition to them. They are trying to scatter them out of the main city center.

Press TV: This is not the first time that there has been protest in Bahrain and it will not be the first time the kingdom cracks down those protests and stays in power. Is there any indication that what we are seeing now is any different to those other protest movements? Is this more intense or is there any difference?

Naaman: Well, it is not the first time that Bahrain is having such demonstrations and protests. No, it is not the first time. But I think this is the first time it is so violent on the part of the government. As for the people, you can see that they were armless, peaceful and they were raising political peaceful slogans, asking for a constitutional government. But this is the first time I think the government is so hard on them, so violent on them. I think the government is afraid that the youth has been inspired by the Egyptian youth, which is carrying the matter too far. In fact, they are afraid that the system itself, the regime itself may be in danger of being changed. That is why they are retorting with most violence, unlike previous times, when demonstrations were peaceful and government was reasonable in opposing them.

Press TV: Of course there is that Navy base in Juffair about five miles south east of Manama and of course the military in Bahrain is basically equipped with US military goods weaponry. How important is the US-Bahraini relationship?

Namaan: Well, it is a very close political and military relationship. As you know, Bahrain has an American Navy base, which is the base of the American fifth fleet that is controlling the whole gulf area and the Southeast Asia as well. Of course, in the American crisis with Iran, the role of this American fleet is becoming more important. So it is very important for the Americans to keep Bahrain as a naval base. I think I have to say that one of the motives, one of the reasons for this Bahraini uprising or rather revolution, is opposition to the American existence and military existence in Bahrain. Bahrain is influenced by political opposition of the Americans that is sweeping over the Middle East. They are inspired by the Arab opposition in other countries. And of course, inspired by what is going on in Iran against the Americans. All of this, sort a very good reason for the Bahrainis to revolt against their government and the American existence and military existence in Bahrain.

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