Firm Stance in Confronting Sectarianism

  • 15 September 2010

The most dangerous threat to the unity of a nation, its security, stability and coexistence among its people is the emergence of sectarian conflict within its boundaries. Sowing the seeds of sectarianism on the basis of religious and ethnic identities is a destructive weapon against any nation and is often used by enemies because it spreads tension and promotes narrow-minded interests. Seen in this context, the firm decisions taken by Bahrain and Kuwait to confront sectarianism and deal firmly with those provoking hatred in their respective countries is a significant step. A decisive and strong stand is always needed against the sources of such threat whether they are in or outside the country. Notwithstanding the significance of the positions taken by the two governments, and their clear directives in this regard, the sectarian strife is a matter of great sensitivity and complexity.

Strong community contribution combining with efforts from the government and initiatives at various levels can together tackle this phenomenon. Therein lies the significance of the decision taken by His Majesty King Hamad bin Eisa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain to enlist all his countrymen to protect the country from such strife and to stand united against violence and terrorism. Another significant call was made by Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Sabah, Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, who urged his countrymen to act with wisdom, foresight and responsibility and not help those who seek to harm Kuwait and its people. He also urged the people to not give any opportunity to those who want to create friction and hatred within the one family of Kuwait.

Sectarian strife serves none besides those who fuel such activities to meet their evil objectives. Under these circumstances, citizens of all walks of life, without exception, are at a losing end as has been proved by the past experience in the Gulf and Arab region. While it is easy to inflame passions through irresponsible acts, preventing the situation from deteriorating further requires great effort. In some cases, the consequences might extend for years to come and even generations suffer as a result. That is why Bahrain and Kuwait are keen to stifle sedition in its infancy, give a clear warning to those behind such activities for whatever reasons. During the last ministerial conference, the GCC expressed solidarity with Bahrain and supported the efforts taken by the country to tackle such acts of terrorism. This reflects the public’s awareness of the dangers of sectarianism and the impact it is likely to have on the security and stability of the entire region, besides negating the spirit of cooperation that exists against it.