The esteemed MP's of Bahrain have been working over time lately in coming up with more and more reasons for the general public to rue the day they elected them in the first place. They being other Bahrainis of course. While we expats or non Bahrain residents must suffer the same as Bahrainis (in our suffering we are side by side) we are apparently not allowed to complain and are given the freedom to "go home if we dont like it". (just check any local papers letters page for this debate raging on)
Besides trying to ban mannequins from store front windows, bachelors from living among civilized folk, said bachelors from hanging their laundry in plain sight and disturbing the delicate sensibilities of the viewing public and forbidding all homosexuals from even attempting to get past customs at the airport...recent trends have suggested our MP's have taken an even more sinister religious bent on their attempts to bring Bahrain back into the fold of an Islamic community...alcohol and pork are next on the list to be banned...now is the time to do some serious deep thinking.
Bahrainis are rather split on this proposed ban...some believe its a right step and good for the moral being of Bahrain...others think its taking us back into bygone centuries in which camels were the preferred mode of transportation and tent life was the rage....us expats and non Bahrain residents have opinions too...but as stated before...ours doesnt count.
Now heres a thought to any Bahraini that believes banning alcohol and pork are good things...what happens after that? Banning western attire as unIslamic...how about tearing down churches etc as no other religion can be practiced openly in an Islamic country? Or how about really getting down and dirty and ban women from driving and girls from receiving an education and enforcing strict veiling etc as that can lead to immoral behavior...which is unIslamic?(we shall pretend for a moment that all that is culture masquerading as Islam...but we are talking reality here right)
It may all sound ridiculous but really...is it? It sounds like a slippery slope to me...allow MP's, who btw are not hired as religious police for Bahrain but merely to lead us into a prosperous and productive future, to make one law or ban one thing because its deemed unIslamic...then where is the line drawn...who gets to decide what gets banned next...well the MP's of course...and what happens when they start pulling things out of their ass trying to emulate other Middle Eastern countries in an attempt to get back to the basics of Islam? Then will Bahrainis be so comfortable with these recent actions?
Yes alcohol is generally bad for us and we humans can very well live without it...and pork is just another meat product and chicken or beef will do in a pinch for any meal plan a non Muslim might wish to prepare...but really...banning those products does not an Islamic country make. If Islam is supposedly built on peace and tolerance...and the whole "there is no compulsion in religion" thing...and we all know that when something is banned it just gets shoved under ground and a whole new set of immoral behaviors takes root...then really...where is the benefit to the public?
Muslims consider it haram or forbidden to drink alcohol..so great...dont drink alcohol (maybe MP's should enforce alcohol serving establishments to put up those little signs similar to the ones in grocery stores that have a pork section-no Muslims past this point...or something like that just so a misguided Muslim doesnt wander in my accident...hmmm?) and Muslims consider pork a dietary no no...and so dont consume that either...so great...dont eat it (btw Im curious as to why some Muslims will drink alcohol even knowing they shouldnt but I have yet to come across a Muslim that admits to eating pork...considering it the ULTIMATE sin next to shirk/unbelief...another hmmm?).
What I mean is what is the point of having choice...Islam is all about choice...the choice to follow its ideology or not. To behave according to Islamic standards or dont...but the rest of the community are under no such obligations to follow your dietary habits etc...and shouldnt be forced to. I mean, seriously, it all just sounds so hypocritical from a layman/womans point of view. Let me put it this way...
MP's want to bring Bahrain back in to the so called Islamic fold...so they start with ridiculous things like mannequins and laundry...jump on over to gays and bachelors...and currently are taking aim at alcohol and pork...here is my question to any and all MP's...why did you choose to start in those places...with those topics and issues? Why not start with the unfair treatment of women in the Sharia courts...justice for Muslim women (all women really) is a deeply entrenched practice Prophet Mohammed taught his men and sanctioned by God...treating women with respect, giving them their God sanctioned rights and ensuring them a safe and accommodating environment in which to obtain a divorce and or keep their children in their lives seems a hell of alot more important then worrying about nonMuslims (ahem) drinking and eating forbidden items...just thinking out loud here.
Or how about ban the whole "sponsorship" system...oh I forgot...that doesnt exist. Cant ban something that doesnt actually exist...on paper...but does in practice...openly and barbarically and without any due respect towards Islam and moral principles. Foreign labour in Bahrain are treated like slaves...are paid slave wages (if at all) and are considered "runaways" and "escapees" if they, oh I dont know, get fed up with this barbaric treatment and decide to take their labour elsewhere. Why dont our esteemed MP's take a stab at banning inhumane treatment towards housemaids and labourers...seems like a truly worthwhile Islamic ideal to go after...still thinking out loud here.
And while they are at it...why not ban the security forces and govt from throwing those in jail that have the balls to speak up about all these issues and get the sheep (I mean public) all antagonized and worked up? Freedom of speech is a very Islamic ideal..yes? Why not spend some time earning your extravagant salaries on a subject like that? If you dont protect the right to freedom of speech from now...it might be your own right to freedom of speech you will sorely miss some day...Im just saying.
Now its very true...if us nonBahrainis dont like these "new and improved" living conditions being offered up to the public...we can pack our bags and hightail it out of here on a British Airways flight that does serve alcohol etc and shake the dust from our immoral western boot heels...but heres the really thought provoking thing about your request that "if we dont like it we can just leave"...we can leave...but what about you?
One day when and if Bahrain becomes another little Iran (a little tussle going on with Iran claiming ownership and all) or even just a poor step daughter to Saudi (never really belongs to the original family and all) just what will Bahrainis do then...pack their bags and get the hell out of dodge on a non alcohol serving Gulf Air flight and come live in the immoral decadent west where alcohol, pork, freedom of speech and free will...have not been banned...and people still manage to live a good and honest life.
If you dont stop it from now..you only have yourselves to blame.