16th Apr, 2013 –

Bahrain has been once again condemned by human rights groups for cracking down on ‘peaceful activists’ ahead of the Grand Prix. According to the US Embassy’s website, the activities of these peaceful activists include:

“….attempts to disrupt traffic using construction material debris, burning vehicles, homemade tire spikes, tire fires, demonstrations near economic centers, the throwing of Molotov cocktails, the use of improvised explosive devices, and the use of improvised shotgun-like weapons and/or projectile launchers. Opposition groups have recently stolen cars and detonated explosive devices inside them…..”

The so-called “14 Feb Movement” has proudly declared responsibility for a recent wave of bombing attacks in the days leading up to the Grand Prix and they have stated their intention of escalating these. Should we be scared? Of course not.

It has been demonstrated that Hezbollah and the Iran Republican Guards have been training Bahraini militants in explosive techniques. These feeble attempts so far to spread death and terror across Bahrain indicate that these incompetent terrorists are wrong to put their faith in equally incompetent Iran which has notched up a very impressive record of failed assassination attempts in recent years.

When Iran tried to murder the Saudi Ambassador in Washington – many journalists were reluctant to blame Iran, because the whole affair was so hopelessly chaotic. However, when you look at these in the context of other Iranian spy-rings, plots and conspiracies around the region; incompetence seems to be the rule rather than the exception – except where Iran just hands over the cash and weapons and leaves Bashar Al-Assad to get on with the job of murdering the Syrian nation.

The recent explosions at the Boston Marathon which produced multiple casualties, shows that terrorist threats are not something particular to Bahrain and we certainly shouldn’t be cancelling the Formula One even as a result.

However, such incidents should silence groups like Human Rights Watch who condemn the Bahraini Government for taking action against those committed to perpetrating terrorist acts ahead of the Grand Prix. Does HRW not recognize the right of peaceful sporting spectators not to get murdered while watching their favourite racing drivers?

We may ridicule these ridiculous wannabe-terrorists, but we should not belittle the seriousness of their acts: When you put a large explosive device in a car in a crowded public area; or when you hide a bomb by the side of a road; then you clearly have the desire to kill indiscriminately – women, children, Sunnis, Shia, tourists and expats alike.

The bombs over the last few weeks may not even have ruffled the hair of passers-by; but several people were killed last year in similar circumstances; and if we give these misled youth the time and opportunity, then they will learn from their mistakes and they will set out to kill dozens of innocent people – with or without Iranian support.

Therefore, the terrorist threat in Bahrain is real, it isn’t new and without decisive action from the authorities it can grow.

We welcome that Al-Wefaq Islamic Society has condemned these explosions. But rather than a low-key statement to the English-language media, this condemnation should come from Ayatollah Isa Qassim himself during his Friday sermon. – Let’s see what the reaction of these terrorists is when their highest source of authority tells them to put their explosives away and go back to playing at home.

What is the most appropriate response from us – the public? Terrorists want to scare and demoralize us, to make us stay in our homes, to make us fear visiting public places.

Therefore, the most effective response is to demonstrate to these terrorists that they can’t win: To go about our lives unhindered, to ridicule them and their extremist aims – and to turn out in force to watch the Grand Prix and state that Bahrain is united and determined to enjoy itself – and to hell with the extremists!

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