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Saudi King's Concern for Bahrain

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TEHRAN, March 23 (ICANA) – The Saudi King Abdullah believes that by quelling the Shi'ite uprising in Bahrain, the Saudi officials would be able to save themselves from people's protests in their own country and continue to reign.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 8:58:36 PM
Saudi King's Concern for Bahrain

Although the current situation in Saudi Arabia is not in favor of King Abdullah, as a number of cities located in the east of the country witnessed people's demonstration, the Saudi King has been extremely worried about the situation of Bahrain.

It's possible that the protests extend to Saudi Arabia and create unrest in the country which could be out of the King's control, comments khabaronline.ir. As a result, the security forces of Saudi Arabia are secretly and constantly attend the places where demonstrations can be restaged and any gathering will be harshly cracked down.

Regardless of geopolitical features of the Middle East region and the rise of people's revolution it should be noted that from the time the state of Bahrain was founded and the country became independent, Saudi officials have particularly watched the situation of the small island.

Both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are monarchial countries. It almost 70 years that Al Khalifa family is actually ruling over the country based on hereditary monarchy, moreover Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman has held the post of prime minister of Bahrain for nearly 40 years and no transition of power has been taken place in the country.

But the most significant political challenge in Bahrain is that the majority of people in this country, more than 70 percent are Shi'ite. However it doesn't also mean that the Sunni minority enjoys the ruling power, but simply the tribe Al Khalifa generation after generation from some decades ago has taken up the reins. On the other hand, by depriving the majority of people from political participation, they have trampled the right of Shi'ites and have monopolized the structure of power.

Interestingly, the Saudi state has the same stance towards Shi'ite people in the country, but difference lies in the fact that unlike Bahrain, Saudi Arabia is mostly consisted of Sunnis. Nevertheless both they and Shi'ites are under the domination of totalitarian Al Saud rulers in a country where not only the majority Sunni but the minority Shi'ite rights have been violated within the structure of power. 

However there are two key issues which have turned to a source of mounting concern for the Saudi King, Abdullah in respect with the developments in Bahrain.

First, from a long time ago Saudi Arabia has adopted a "Big Brother" approach toward Bahrain and has treated the island as a colony. On the other hand, Bahrain King Hamed bin Isa Al Khalifa deems Saudi Arabia as a larger and more powerful country which the existence and stability of Al Khalifa relies upon. Saudi Arabia officials share the same opinion with their Bahraini counterparts.

The second problem which has made King Abdullah anxious is that if through their revolt Shi'ites in Bahrain revive and exercise their citizen rights,  they will be able to play a role in the structure of power and take steps to form a government and nation, thus it will be a potential threat for Saudi Arabian rulers.

If the Shi'ite uprising in Bahrain leads to the formation of a national government which is approved by the majority of people and regards the rights of the minority, such a victory will be a great motive for the Shiites of Saudi Arabia to demand their rights from Saudi government and even stage protests to stand their rights.

Accordingly Saudi Arabia witnessed people's protest in the region Ash-Sharqiah (Eastern), those who are to stand their rights. Unfortunately Saudi government announced that holding any demonstration is illegal and even against the religious law. By adopting such method, they tried to prevent Bahrain revolt to extend to Saudi Arabia. They are to follow the process of their anti-Islamic kingdom.

But the problem seems getting out of the control of Saudi King and through their peaceful protests, Shi'ite in Bahrain are still demanding their rights. However they do not seek to convert the structure of state in Bahrain entirely. They want a constitution state which would achieve their goal of establishing a national state and reclaiming the rights of the majority.

Therefore by staging peaceful demonstrations on the streets of Manama, they campaign to make changes in the cabinet and dismiss the incumbent Prime Minister and to form a national government in the country.

In the same vein, by limiting the authority of Bahrain King, they are to make the acts of the government subordinate to the decisions made in the Parliament.

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