Friday, May 27, 2011

The role of the Islamic Republic in Bahrain

Iran's influence in Bahrain has nothing to do with sparking democratic uprising - but with the repression of revolution.


Hamid Dabashi

Hijacking revolution

The Arab Spring is the return of the Islamic Republic's repressed; the exposing of the universal euphoria more than thirty years ago in the magnificent Iranian Revolution of 1977-1979 - which the militant clergy hijacked and turned into a vindictive theocracy. So, yes the Islamic Republic does indeed have a direct influence in Bahrain - but not on the massive democratic uprising in the tiny archipelago, home of the US Fifth Fleet. It is this geo-strategic military asset which makes "the great advocate of democracy" turn a blind eye to the murderous regime in Bahrain, while the UK is in fact training the Saudi military how to crack down on the uprising. The influence of the Islamic Republic in Bahrain is on the ruling regime: teaching it, by example, how viciously to quell a democratic revolt....

The abuse of the Shia-Sunni divide also points yet again not just to the false sectarianism that seeks to discredit these democratic uprisings but also to the banal racialisation of these transnational, revolutionary movements that cross all such colonially manufactured hostilities. The fact remains that the Arab Spring cannot turn a blind eye to the brutalities of the Islamic Republic just because the US is its enemy. It is imperative that the criminal atrocities of the Islamic Republic be brought fully into the opening picture of the Arab Spring.

The Arab Spring will not fully blossom unless and until the green pastures of Iran are included in it. Labour unions, women's rights movements and student organisations are identical in their demands and aspirations for their civil liberties in both Iran and the Arab world. Enduring thirty years of a corrupt theocracy has given Iranians much to teach their Arab counterparts; these magnificent revolutionary uprisings from one end of the Arab world to the other has already galvanised the Green Movement in Iran. As the tyrannous regimes in both Bahrain and the Islamic Republic earn from each other how to suppress democratic uprisings, these democratic uprisings must also learn from each other how to topple their corrupt leadership - for in whatever language you learn it: al-Sha'b yurid isqat al-Nizam!"

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