Knowledge is power - ABC of civil society

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The benefits of civil society for Bahrain and for you

If civil society organizations want to have an influence concerning the issues which are central to them, they have to establish themselves as a centre of expertise on this issue. This is important and beneficial for a number of reasons:

Respect

By demonstrating your knowledge and expertise, you can expect to be taken seriously and listened to. Many organizations have almost no budget and may not have thousands of supporters, but they can still earn themselves a key place in conferences and events, or convince officials and the media to listen to them if they demonstrate that they know what they are talking about and earn respect.

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Bahraini views on the growth of radicalization

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With the current state of regional and global affairs, the greatest challenge facing many countries is the growth of radicalization. During recent years, Bahrain and neighbouring countries witnessed terror attacks as a result of youth radicalization across different communities.

Many attacks led to casualties and to the fear that such acts could lead Bahrain into turmoil. A number of Bahrainis found to have connections with extremist groups like ISIS have faced criminal measures, including revocation of nationality.

Below is a sample of some of the views expressed to Citizens for Bahrain concerning radicalization in Bahrain; whether Bahrainis see a growth in radicalization; and what is the level of concern towards extremist behaviour in the country.

Most Bahrainis recognize radicalization as a threat within both Sunni and Shia communities and acknowledge the need for action to address this. Several people point out how easy it is to radicalize frustrated young people; noting the role of mosques, communities and families in cultivating radical attitudes:

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Lobbying - ABC of civil society

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The benefits of civil society for Bahrain and for you

What is lobbying?

Lobbying means persuading individuals or groups with decision-making power to support a position which you believe is right.

Lobbying means attempting to influence business and government leaders to create legislation or conduct an activity that will help a particular organizations further its own interest or inhibit those of opponents; or arguing an individual’s or organization’s point of view.

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British support for upskilling Bahraini police

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On 13 August, the Observer newspaper published an article entitled “Role of UK police in training Bahrain’s forces ignores abuses”.

The Guardian, Observer and Independent newspapers have a long track record of condemning the British government for facilitating the training of security forces in other nations. These newspapers may give lip service to opposing most forms of discrimination; but still there is a strong underlying racist element in such reporting which is virulently against any sort of dealings with these nasty “Arab regimes”. Their hatred is particularly sharp for the GCC monarchies.

This readiness to attack the governments of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia at the smallest provocation rules out any consideration for how these “regimes” can improve their human rights record without support from the likes of the United Kingdom. In many case the facts of the reporting are taken in their entirety from London-based opposition sources with whom many of these journalists enjoy an uncomfortably close relationship.

These reports completely miss the point that over the past five years the Bahrain security forces have undergone a transformation unprecedented in almost any nation. In 2011 it was painfully clear to many of us here on the ground that the police were woefully unprepared for managing wide scale outbreaks of public disorder (and let’s not believe that this is simply an “Arab” phenomenon; in recent weeks and years we have seen major outbreaks of rioting and disorder in American cities, in European capitals and even in London in 2011).

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