(Reuters) – Protesters trying to march to the heart of Bahrain’s capital clashed with riot police on Friday, witnesses said, hours after a massive show of force by the mainstream Shi’ite Muslim opposition.
They said dozens of youths threw stones at police who used teargas and stun grenades to block the planned march to the Pearl roundabout, the centre of an uprising last year which the government suppressed with the help of troops from neighbors, including Saudi Arabia.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Bahrain, where the Sunni Muslim Al Khalifa family rules over a majority Shi’ite Muslim population, has been in turmoil since an uprising erupted last year demanding reforms after successful revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.
The protests escalated ahead of last week’s Formula One Grand Prix, drawing criticism of Bahrain from some governments, rights groups and media watchdogs who say police use excessive force and the government should find a political solution.
FULL ARTICLE FROM REUTERS
(Be sure to scroll down the page where you will find before and after pictures of mosques that the Bahraini government has destroyed in its ongoing effort to discredit and marginalize the majority Shi’a population of the country)
MANAMA, Bahrain: One can understand the dignity and honor of a Mosque by the fact that Allah (SWT) calls Mosques as His homes. There is a Hadith that states whoever comes to mosque; Allah (SWT) will make him His guest in Jannah (The Paradise). Allah (SWT) loves the people who take care of mosques.
Unfortunately, Saudi-backed Bahraini forces in their crackdown against civilians protesting for their rights in Bahrain have bulldozed several mosques.
According to McClatchy Newspapers report, in the ancient Bahraini village of Aali, where some graves date to 2000 B.C., the Amir Mohammed Braighi mosque had stood for more than 400 years — one of the handsomest Shiite Muslim mosques in this small island nation in the Persian Gulf.
Today, only bulldozer tracks remain.
FULL ARTICLE WITH PICTURES FROM JAFARIYA NEWS
The Mo’men mosque in Nwaidrat stood in the same location
for generations until it was bulldozed last month.
The Sunni-run government in Bahrain has destroyed
at least 47 Shiite mosques in recent weeks
June 7, 2011
The mass protest movement that swept Bahrain in February and March has since turned into a bitter sectarian confrontation. The tiny island nation — a key U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf — is mostly populated by Shiites, but it’s ruled by a Sunni royal family.
Analysts say the family is now pushing a sectarian agenda that might eventually be its undoing.
From the very beginning, it was no secret that most of the protesters in Bahrain were Shiites. They are the underdogs in Bahrain: They’re generally poorer than the average Bahraini, and they’re kept out of top positions in the government. Meanwhile, the government imports Sunnis from Pakistan, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere to tip the scales in favor of Sunnis.
FULL ARTICLE FROM NPR
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — In the fraught divide between Sunni and Shia Muslims of the Arab world, the tiny island state of Bahrain is the next crucible of combat.
Unprecedented pro-democracy protests there by the Shia community have had a longer reach than what would normally be the case in a country of only 738,000 for one simple reason: Bahrain’s close ties to its huge neighbor, Saudi Arabia.
The two countries are linked by a 16-mile, multi-lane causeway and by the shared commitment of their Sunni ruling royal families to remain in power. Oil-rich Riyadh also financially supports petroleum-poor Bahrain.
FULL ARTICLE FROM GLOBAL POST