19th May, 2013 –

Manama the Capital of Arab Tourism, Manama the Capital of Arab Culture, Bahrain the land of peace and tolerance is today being named by opposition elements as the “capital of torture”.

To criticize the government and to call for political and social reforms is a basic right that can help any country to move forward. Yet naming your own land, your own city, your own capital as a Capital of Torture – to ruin its image in this way is disgraceful, counter-productive and ridiculous.

Some opposition figures fail to understand – or simply don’t care – that by adopting this position they are damaging their country, the lives of the youth and their country’s social fabric. It is because of such insensible moves that the opposition is being strongly criticized for attempting to bring the country to a halt.

No one can deny the fact that individual cases of torture by policeman took place in Bahraini prisons during the 2011 unrest, as found by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. These acts are unacceptable and intolerable and a number of policemen were sentenced to prison and others are still being questioned for violating the law.

Bahrain is striving to move forward following a period of sectarian tension. Therefore, making a lot of fuss about torture allegations and injustice do nothing more than further harm our society.

If people on the other side want to disregard the damage they are doing with this anti-Bahrain propaganda and victimizing themselves in this way – then they might as well name Manama as the Capital of Terrorism due to the ongoing daily terror acts by misguided youth who are brainwashed by extremist elements of the opposition.

Here are a few reasons why would it be easy to name Manama as the Capital of Terror if we choose to disregard our country’s reputation: Daily road blocks, burning garbage and tyres resulting in hazardous black smoke, planting bombs on main streets and endangering the lives of the public, killing expat workers, home-made bomb factories, attacks on schools and private properties, masked thugs blocking roads and preventing people from going to work and many more.

Yet in spite all of the above, it would be senseless to portray Bahrain in such a negative manner and name our own capital as the Capital of Terror. As citizens it is our duty to develop our country and work together towards moving forward and not using our resources to ruin our society and cause further divisions.

Bahrain’s opposition is currently represented in the National Dialogue and hence should set aside its illegal and damaging activities and concentrate on one objective along with Bahrain’s leadership: Social, economic, political reforms and reconciliation – instead of pretending to talk, while delegating acts of violence to misled youth.

Let us not behave like those who declare Bahrain to be the Capital of Torture and who are turning Bahrain into the Capital of Terrorism. We have many reasons to be proud of our country – one of the most culturally developed centres in the region – so let us promote our country and work for the good of Bahrain, to counter those who seek to destroy all this.

The opposition along with the leadership carry a great responsibility towards the country. By continuing to stage illegal marches and boycotting the 2014 parliamentary elections, Al-Wefaq misses any opportunity to constructively benefit Bahrain.

Representing the people through the Parliament and practicing their constitutional rights as responsible Bahrainis will help the country move forward and could play a vital role in one day naming Manama ‘the Capital of Peace’.       

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