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The legitimacy and justice of the demands of Bahrainis.Shaikh Ali Salman speach in ashura procession

ali salman“I did not come out seeking to do evil, nor seeking to have fun, nor seeking corruption nor oppression.
Rather, I came out seeking reform in the nation of my Grandfather. I want to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong”, Imam Hussain said during the epic of Karbala.

We didn’t come out to do evil, neither to oppress nor to cause disorder. We, as Bahrainis, came out demanding reforms in our country, to reclaim our rights back, to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.

We have raised our legitimate demands, which globally considered as intuitive rights that every nation must have.

Isn’t it the right of the nation to elect its government which will manage its affairs, administer its wealth, and influence every aspects of its life no matter how small they are?

Isn’t it the right for every nation to be fairly represented in a parliament that legislates its laws and monitors its government?

Doesn’t every modern state consider equality between citizens an intuitive right?

These are our demands which are legitimate, right, intuitive and indispensible for any modern state. In addition to their legitimacy, justice and intuitiveness, they have become necessity and immediate needs for the best interest of the nation, especially in the wake of the bitter experience of monopolized governance extended for decades.

Without these demands, Bahrain will lose and fall back, and the interests of this generation and the coming ones in housing, healthcare, better incomes and other descend living needs will stay trapped by illusionary promises.

The world has supported other Arab Spring nations in their demands for political change, and our circumstances and issues are similar to theirs, which concentrate in the absence of the popular will in decision-making, just as their demands were right and patriotic, our demands are also right and patriotic.

Nations never revolt through foreign directives and incitement. This is a ridiculous claim that only the ignorants, whom know nothing about the course of history, will believe. Nations revolt as a result of oppression and marginalization.

It has become very obvious that the path for economic progress and development is through an elected democratic government that is subject to parliamentary and popular accountability, and under a real constitutional monarchy. These are the demands of the people, and fighting them is injustice to this homeland and an outrageous encroachment trespass against the people’s rights.

3. Starting off from values and principles which are indisputable.

Let us all start off stable humane and Islamic deals, so that we articulate our reality on their basis.

Don’t we agree that equality in rights and duties between citizens is a positive matter?

Don’t we agree that fair distribution of national wealth among citizens is a positive matter?!

Don’t we agree that everyone has the right to enjoy freedom and security without fear or worries?!

Don’t we agree that the people of Bahrain are civilized educated, and politically mature since many years and deserves to manage their affairs?!

Don’t we agree that Allah has blessed this homeland with natural resources that are sufficient if used and invested properly, and if looting of national wealth is stopped, in order for all of us to enjoy more prosperous and stable life?

I think that the vast majority of Bahrainis from different segments and components agree to all what mentioned above, and are looking forward for the government that truly represents their will.

Our dear partners in homeland,
The normal and realistic entryway to achieve these values and principles, and that other nations have taken, is radical reforms in which citizens have the right to participate in managing their country’s affairs by practicing their right to elect a parliament that represents their aspiration in legislation and monitory, and to choose a government that represents their aspirations in building and developing this homeland.

These values and principles can only be achieved through radical reforms, and any other method will be nothing but illusion. The longstanding and ongoing struggles in non-democratic states such as Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Syria, Jordan and other states, have proved that these principles and values can only be achieved when the people are enabled to manage their affairs in a real democratic system.

As we have agreed on the values and principles we aim at, let us agree on the radical reform that will realize them, hand-in-hand for a better Bahrain for all Bahrainis.

4. Upholding National Unity

Our theses and programs always stem from, emphasize and aim at consolidating, maintaining and protecting national and Islamic unity. Whoever refuses reforms and democracy is vertically and horizontally divides the society, so as not to meet on its common interest.

5. Upholding Demands Whatever the Circumstances are

We as citizens have played our religious and patriotic role in this peaceful movement by demanding serious reforms to address all the corrupted and twisted conditions. We have set an example to the whole world, as a free Arabic nation that seeks freedom, democracy and justice in an outstanding civilized way. Every fair observer in the world would praise the revolution in Bahrain, and its legitimate demands, and its peacefulness.

Despite deep agonies caused by nonstop systematic abuses over the past 21 months, the peaceful reforming revolution has so far made important stride towards achieving the aspirations of the people of Bahrain.

Now, and in this year, our people are much closer to achieving their legitimate demands in comparison with the past. The killings, torture, thousands of arbitrary arrests of dissidents, escalation in sectarian discrimination in both security and civil jobs, revoking of nationalities, the excessive use of force and violence, attacking religious ritual and beliefs, all of these make the revolutionaries more insistent and convinced to continue their way whatever it takes.

Repressive measures will be counterproductive against whoever perpetrates them. They attempted to frighten the revolutionaries by killings, torture, dismissals and revoking nationalities, to find that the people en masse break the barrier of fear, more revolutionaries hit streets actively participating in the pro-democracy struggle, prepared more for sacrifices and more ready to be arrested among the revolutionary people of Bahrain.

The repression can’t silence the voice of truth, justice and democracy, whoever brutal it becomes.

Persistence to continue has entrenched until this movement achieves the legitimate demands which are necessary for development and maintaining the security and stability of Bahrain and interests of Bahrainis.
Yes, we have won morally and in terms of human rights and in media, and today we are ever closer to political victory.

6. The fate of the Bassiouni and Geneva recommendations

The world has declared that the authority has not seriously fulfilled implementation of the BICI recommendations, and that it had only partly and superficially implemented them.

This is what Amnesty said, so have Human Rights Watch and Human Rights First, this is the American and British viewpoint, and this is what Bassiouni himself said. And this is what the opposition had said when the BICI report was issued. After it welcomed the report, it said ” If we want this report to find its way to implementation, the first logical step would be the dismissal of this government that is involved in all these abuses, and thereof set up a transitional government and an independent committee as the first recommendation states.”

Today, we tell the world, if you do want find the BICI and Geneva recommendations implemented, then the way to that is to dismiss this government, otherwise you will only find more abuses and an entrenchment to the political and human right crisis.

Hence, I call on the international community to change its softy policy and pair words with actions to help Bahrain in democratic transition as soon as possible, through practical programs, and by using its influence with the authority in Bahrain to achieve this.

7 . The call for peacefulness and upholding the right to peaceful assembly

We have chosen our way since the first day of our non-violent movement to demand legitimate rights, and we have renewed this in the Nonviolence Principles Declaration a few days ago. We uphold our right to peaceful assembly based on international covenants, while the local laws in any country are limited to organize these rights, and not to prevent or harass rights in the name of local law.

We will exercise this right in the coming days in a peaceful manner based on the international covenants that Bahrain is part of, and its local law should be in accordance with these covenants, and this is what Mr. Bassiouni depended on in his report, and this what Bahrain was committed by in Geneva.

8 . The road passes through dialogue and negotiation

The international community understands that the way to solve the political crisis in Bahrain necessities a inclusive national dialogue and negotiation between the government and the opposition. Therefore, it continues to call for this dialogue and negotiation, and we, are ready. However, unilateral actions are rejected in advance for two reasons; first, they are superficial and second, they despise the popular will when unilateral official visions are imposed without the will of the people. And this further enhances the problem in Bahrain, as there is an absence of the will of the people. In order for any dialogue and negotiations to be successful, the approval of the people along with a constituent council or a referendum.

So I say to the authority and its loyalists, let us sit as sons of one homeland to agree on its best interest and future, and how to avoid more losses, how we can turn it into a free and democratic country that respects human rights and freedoms, a modern country capable of achieving sustainable development for all its citizens.

9. The direction of our compass

Today we are working for our right to peaceful assembly and association.

In order to defend our demolished mosques and freedom to practice our religious rituals and our prayers, freedom of belief and freedom of speech. And to work on the release of all prisoners detained for political reasons in this crisis, without exceptions. To work on returning citizenship to all those who had been stripped of their nationalities. To treat the wounded. To work on reinstating all dismissed, and the citizen’s right to work in civil and security ministries, public and private companies, without discrimination. And to stand in solidarity with all immigrants and demand their return to their homeland. To console families of the martyrs and the rest of our people that have been affected by the systematic repression campaigns.
All the mentioned is our duty and we will work on it.

But our compass is pointing to the direction of democracy and political reform which we insist on achieving through the right to choose our government and parliament with a fair judiciary, where all Bahrainis will enjoy security and stability.

This is the goal that we have come out for, and we will continue this struggle relying on Allah, and on the insistence and awareness of our heroic people, and our unity and presence in streets, and our adherence to peacefulness, until we get our legitimate rights, no matter how long, and whatever it takes.

My dear brothers and sisters, we may pass through difficult times, the repression may escalate to unprecedented levels, but with our strong trust in Allah, the almighty, I’m reassured that the fair demands of our people will be met in the foreseen future, and you and your children will all enjoy dignity, freedom and democracy.
May Allah bless this country

Ashura Speech
Shaikh Ali Salman
General secrtary of alwefaq nationa islamic society.
The eve of 10th Muharram 1434 AH, 24th November 2012
Manama – Bahrain


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