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Mahmood for Thought

A new addition to my blogroll is Mahmood from Bahrain, who first came to my attention when he elaborated on my post about the Bahrain ban on Israelis.

This is what he had to say:

The second quote actually comes for another honourable member of parliament, the effervescant Jassim Al-Saidi, who’s other claims to fame is pushing through legislation of the all important issue of allowing veiled women to drive, another one is allowing the public security and military personnel to grow their beards, and now he’s proposing Shari’a Law to be included in the penal system in Bahrain, ie, chop off the hands of theives.

He’s quite simply the laughing stock of the whole community, not just the parliament. Unfortunately we have a fledgling democracy here and he got the vote, hence we have to respect his position. Do we listen to him? No we don’t.

The reason he “will pick up our pens and start writing until we stop it” incidently is HIS way of saying that he – unlike the other Islamists in parliament – will not incite demonstrations. It’s his way of saying that he will demonstrate peacefully. So even within his bloc they’re already afraid of the repurcussions of their perceivable wins in other alteractions. Except that the honourable gentleman can’t write! Or if he can, then his writings will not be very intelligeable nor intelligent.

As you suggested, the F1 circus is an apolitical event. Period. If Israelies want to come to Bahrain to be part of the festivities and enjoy a nice weekend, as far as I’m concerned they’re more than welcome.

Will that irk the Islamists and traditionalists on the island? Sure. Will that result in demonstrations? Sure. Can they stop them? No. If the government of Bahrain gives them visas to enter the country – as they have done on several other occasions – then no one can stop them doing so, and their safety will be the country’s responsibility.

It might interest you to know however that Bahrain is the only country in the Arabian Gulf which has an indiginous Jewish population. They are a few for sure, but they have been living here for tens if not hundreds of years. They are full integrated within the society and some their businesses are right in the center of town. They do not suffer any intimidations, nor anti-semitisms. Likewise we also have christian and hindu Bahrainis and they too live in peace.

Bahrain has been and will continue to be a religious tolerant country. For instance the Jews do have their own Synagogue, the varioua sects of Christianity have their own churches and even a couple of cathedrals, and the hindus have their temples.

More important than the religious aspect however, Bahrain has the only Jewish MP in our parliament as well as the only lady Christian MP. This is the Bahraini parliament I’m talking about. This is a first in the Gulf. So you will see that we live quite happily together. To us, it is being a Bahraini first and its completely up to you to worship whichever god you choose.

Take it easy… the formula one race in Bahrain is going to be thrilling, testing and fun!

Mahmood also impressed the socks off all and sundry over at Tim Blair’s dig. Including Tim himself.

Given that the only comments on this site that I had previously received from Muslims were of the “Die zionazi pigs” variety, I decided to express my thanks to Mahmood on his blog.

Mahmood,

Very interesting blog. It is great to see a moderate Arab voice like yours.

Living in Israel, I mainly only hear about the Arabs who want us wiped off the planet. If there were more voices like yours, not only would we have peace, but perhaps all the countries in the region would enjoy prosperity.

I commend you for your rational approach. Feel free to pop in on my blog again and illuminate us all with your comments.

Enjoy the grand prix!

Mahmood responded in kind:

Thank you very much Dave. I hope, even in a miniscule way, that this will help us both understand each other better, and hope too that this will be a seed to finding peace.

I drink to that, Mahmood.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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