Analysts have expressed scepticism about previous Bahraini allegations of Iranian and Hizballah involvement. Bahrain’s attorney general charged nearly 170 people on Tuesday with forming a Shia “terrorist organisation” named for Lebanon’s famed militant group Hizballah.
The eruption of Bahrain’s political crisis seven-and-a-half years ago marked a watershed in Manama-Washington relations. It also transformed how both Bahrain’s regime and its Shia-dominated opposition viewed the United States. For decades, Bahrain’s leadership has seen the United States as the archipelago kingdom’s offshore security guarantor and a bastion against political ambitions from regional powers.
After generating some positive press earlier this summer by lifting the ban on women driving, Saudi Arabia is once more the target of reproach. In August, the country’s notorious terrorism court sought the death penalty against Israa al-Ghomgham, a female activist.
Saudi Vision 2030, the brainchild of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to reduce the kingdom’s dependence on oil income, is coming undone. The king has stripped away the central pillar of the project. The country is becoming more autocratic and repressive. The slide toward greater repression is prompting capital flight.
On April 28th, 2018, the Shia Muslim Council along with its partners, the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, CAIR, MPAC and Bayan Claremont presented a unique symposium to discuss Sunni and Shia relations.
Long satisfied to attempt to dominate pan-Arab media and battle it out with Qatar’s state-owned Al Jazeera television network, Saudi Arabia has now set its hegemonic sights on influencing the media landscape of the non-Arabic speaking greater Middle East.
A virulently anti-Shiite, Saudi-backed candidate for parliament in Pakistan’s July 25 election symbolizes the country’s effort to reconcile contradictory policy objectives in an all but impossible attempt to keep domestic forces and foreign allies happy. Ramzan Mengal’s candidacy highlights Pakistan’s convoluted relationship to Islamic militants at a time that the country risks being blacklisted by an international anti-money laundering and terrorism finance watchdog.
Imagine waking up in New York without the New York Times, newspaper kiosks shut down and hawkers off the streets. That is what many Pakistanis have been feeling for months as Dawn – Pakistan’s largest English-language newspaper – has disappeared from their breakfast tables.
The Pakistani government’s removal of a virulently anti-Shiite militant from its terrorism list at the very moment that an international money laundering and terrorism finance watchdog was deciding to put the country on a watchlist highlights Pakistan’s struggle to come to grips with militancy.