Ebrahim Moosa – Cii News (29 August 2012)
PRETORIA – Despite managing to garner the support of upto 50% of the Bahraini population, global interest in the Bahraini revolution remains inexplicably low. Bahraini activist and vice-president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Maryam Al-Khawaja has expressed disappointment at being a representative of an uprising that still remains contentious and largely inconclusive.
Currently in South Africa as a guest of the Afro-Middle East Centre, Al Khawaja characterised her people’s struggle as an “inconvenient revolution,” for both the Arab World and the West. “A barrel of Saudi oil for the West is worth much more than tonnes of Bahraini blood,” she said hinting that Bahraini frustration with the West was growing steadily. “More and more you will see pictures in protest equating the Bahraini King with Obama and Cameron.” Al Khawaja added that she had personally warned senior decision makers in Washington that the outcome of continued Western silence would be heightened anti-Americanism.
She characterised the uprising as being non-sectarian in nature and alleged that the Bahraini monarchy was simply manipulating differences to demonise the protestors. “These regimes are trying to use these sects against us. Sectarianism didn’t really exist. It comes from the regimes – they are trying to make it spread so that they can benefit from it.”
Al Khawaja, whose father and sister are currently imprisoned by the regime, said her story was not unique amongst dispossessed Bahrainis. She said the regime had employed horrific torture including sexual violence against it opponents. 30 mosques had been destroyed and over 4000 people had lost their jobs for simply participating in public protests, she said.
The activist, who is currently based in Denmark, told Cii that she was savouring her visit to South Africa to interact widely with fellow activists and garner support from ordinary citizens, rather than governments.AMEC, Arab Spring, Bahrain, Ebrahim Moosa, Maryam al Khawaja