Earlier this week a Bahraini policeman, Majid Asghar Ali, 27, was killed after a patrol car was attacked and set on fire near a village called Karzakan. Bahrain's bloggers have been quick to comment.
SoulSearch is in shock:
What happened last night? What provoked a gang of 30 to 40 hooligans to do what they did last night? What's happening to Bahrain? When folks just want to get a good night's sleep to be able to go to work the next day and earn an honest living?
Does violence solve anything?
Majid Asghar Ali from the Police Force is dead. And for what? Does this help Bahrain in any way? Does this violence serve any cause?
It was a total shock to read the papers this morning. I almost choked on my coffee and sandwich!
God help us. Where are we going?
Peace people. You don't want to turn into another Lebanon. Trust me.
Peace for Bahrain.
So is Naz:
I am angry. Angry, shocked, Stunned that any kind of person find this kind of behaviour acceptable, or even worse, justifiable!
What is wrong with people?
Now I consider myself quite politically illiterate, and I’m happy to admit it, but surely there are better ways to make a point than throwing tantrums like 6 year olds? ways other than burning, hurting, sabotaging? better than violence?
Is it just me that wants home to remain home? To be able to see a happy future for my country and countrymen (and women)?
Butterfly remembers the death of a demonstrator, Ali Jassim Makki, in December, and blames both deaths on sectarianism:
اليوم ماجد أصغر علي وبالأمس علي جاسم مكي.
وكل ما يعني البعض هو اختلاق الذرائع وتوزيع الاتهامات .. اما بالنسبة لهم فلم يعد مهما من يدين من ومن يلصق التهمة بمن .. لم يعد مهما ان يشحذ بعضهم الهمم لإثبات ان كان الضحية خائن أم شهيد آخر من شهداء الوطن.
فهؤلاء من فقدوا ابنائهم بين ليلة وضحاها بسبب ذنب لم يقترفوه ولم يقترفه صغارهم هم من أصبحوا ثكلى وأرامل ويتامى .. هؤلاء من سيحتفظون بسرادق العزاء في ذاكرتهم لا لثلاثة أيام ولا لأسبوع بل الدهر كله .. هؤلاء هم من يدفعون ثمن جرائمكم .. طائفيتكم واحقادكم .. طائفية عنصرية تفرق حتى في الموت بين نفس ونفس وفقا لجنسيتها وعقيدتها!
Today it was Majed Asghar Ali and yesterday Ali Jassim Maki. And all that some are concerned with is making up excuses and hurling accusations. For those people, it is not important who to condemn and who accuses whom… It is not important for them to prove whether the victim was a traitor or another martyr of this nation. It is those who have lost one of their sons, between a nightfall and its dawn, because of a fault which they and their children did not commit, who will wake up to be distraught, widows and orphans. It is those who will save the details of the mourning gatherings, not for three days or a week – but for eternity. It is those who pay the price for your crimes, your sectarianism and your envy.. A racist sectarianism which distinguishes between souls even in death, categorising people according to their nationalities and sects.
Manama Republic compares the lives of the demonstrators in Karzakan to the policeman, who came originally from Balochistan:
أولئك الفتية ولدوا في مثل السنة التي ولد ماجد فيها، وذهبوا إلى مثل المدرسة الثانوية التي ذهب إليها. ولكنهم لم يسمح لهم يوما، حتى في أحلام يقظتهم، بأن يجدوا في الخدمة العسكرية والبزة العسكرية وحمل السلاح، إشباعا كافيا، ماديا أو معنويا. كان لماجد الذي ولد في بلوشستان شرف إرتداء زي القوة الخاصة. ولم يكن لأي من الذين ولدوا في كرزكان إلا إرتداء الصدر العاري والمولوتوف. ولم يكن زيهم هذا مختارا.
Those young men were born in the same year Majid was born in and went to a secondary school, similar to the one he went to. But they weren't allowed, even while they were day dreaming, to serve in the military, don the military costume or even carry arms, physically or even morally. The honour of wearing the Special Forces uniform was for Majid, who was born in Balochistan. For those born in Karzakan, they had to do with the bare chests and the Molotovs – which wasn't by choice.
However, not all Bahrainis are convinced by the official story of Majid Asghar Ali's death. Ebtihal Salman has her doubts:
…لا أحد يمكن أن يشهد على هذا القتل ويؤكد وجود الجثة بل ويؤكد انها لجندي كان متواجداً في مكان الحادث، لا أحد يشهد للعروسة غير أمها (وزارة الداخلية). قبل أن نندفع لمناقشة الأسباب والنتائج والمواقف.. من يؤكد حصول هذا القتل أصلاً؟
No one has witnessed this murder and can ascertain its presence and that it was for a soldier, who was at the scene of the accident. No one has anything to say about the bride, except her mother (The Ministry of Interior). Before we get carried away discussing the reasons, consequences and stances.. who can prove that this murder took place to begin with?
Haythoo, a political activist, also expresses his disbelief at the government's story:
مـسرحية جديدة من وزارة الـداخلية, لـجر الساحة البحرينية لـحرب أهلية, و إعتقال المزيد من الناشطين! … ما معنى أن تكون السيارة تحترق لوحدها و فردين من المخابرات واقفان و يطلقان الـنار؟ لماذا لم يصابا بأذى, و كيف لما يقومان بإنقاذ صديقهما؟
This is a new theatrical production by the Ministry of Interior to drag Bahrainis into a civil war and to justify further arrests of activists! What does it mean then that a vehicle burns on its own and two informants standing nearby, firing shots? And why weren't they hurt and how come did they not rescue their friend?
And in another post he says:
…لا أعتقد إن الشاب قد قتل في موقع الحادثة! لـيس هدفنا الـقتل, و لـيس من عاداتنا الـقتل, و لا نـريد لـدم أن يـسفك.. نريد حقوقنا لا أكثر.
I don't believe that this young man was killed at the scene of this incident! Murder is not our goal nor is it part of our traditions. We don't want to spill blood.. all we want is our rights .. nothing more.
But Mahmood is fed up of the conspiracy theorists:
Who benefits from violence? … And the thing that beggars belief is that we find people condoning this activity or are in complete and utter denial. Putting “their side” on a pedestal and who can do no wrong whatsoever; while on the other hand, they blame the government for all ills without recognising a single positive aspect of its creation. Yes, we do have problems, but the line must be drawn in our own psyche to ensure that we actually do recognise wrong when we see it, regardless of who perpetrates it. And we should also drop those continuous conspiracy theories which some use to justify wrongs. In this particular instance; can anyone come up with a valid scenario in which we see elements in our government would actually sponsor people to throw Molotov cocktails on their own occupied police vehicles and sacrifice a human life while putting others in jeopardy simply to score a point? What insanity is this? […] Enough is enough. On both sides. We want to live with a semblance of harmony for goodness’ sake. These vandalism and criminal acts are not helping one little bit. Everybody, even who are called the opposition should come out and unambiguously condemn these criminal acts.