Crown Prince Salman: Zero tolerance for divisions, exclusions

April 8, 2011

Prince Salman

Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa on Thursday pledged a zero-tolerance towards attempts to split the nation and insisted that no Bahraini should feel excluded.

“I stress that there will be no tolerance for whoever wants to divide our society,” Prince Salman said in a televised address. “We will not accept that any citizen feels excluded from the country. Bahrain is for all its people and the bright future is to be made by all its people and for all its people. There are ample opportunities for all and we will move forward thanks to our values,” he said.

Unprecedented deep divisions along sectarian faults have marked Bahraini society in the last seven weeks when a protest movement was launched on February 14. A string of internal and external political and social factors have forced thousands of people to resort to their sects and neighbourhoods for a sense of physical and moral belonging and security.

Efforts to overcome the rift have been coy and have not succeeded in reversing a formidable trend exacerbated by massive street pressure where the spectre of intolerant tendencies has loomed large.

Prince Salman who launched a call for a national dialogue three days after the start of the crisis now wants the various segments of the Bahraini society to shun narrow-mindedness and come together once more.

“We have been pained when we saw our young people being pushed, alongside the nation, towards doom. We have tried out of our responsibilities to do everything to preserve lives and people’s destinies and interests,” Prince Salman said. “At the other end, the issue reached unfathomable levels and freedom was abused. Extremists led people and pushed them to intimidate and terrorize innocent people, deprive them of their income, block roads, call for a rejection of everything, harm and kill people and tear at the social fabric. Millions of dinars have been lost,” he said.

However, Prince Salman harshly criticised those who through weakness and inaction, allowed extremists to direct the people of Bahrain.

“This was the result of a misreading of the political, social and economic balance of our society and of our status within the Gulf Cooperation Council which binds us as one people with a common history and a common destiny,” he said.

Prince Salman paid rich tribute to those who helped “overcome the dangerous situation” and open new opportunities for the people of Bahrain.

“Today, we stress the values of the reforms launched by HM King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa and emphasize that citizenship is measured by the degree of loyalty and the sense of common destiny with fellow citizens, and not by the sect or the area. Today we need to foster the concept of respect for the rule of law and co-existence and to emphasize the value of justice and work towards development and progress … Today, we look forward with determination to adopting an integrated pluralistic mobility away from all forms of alignment and extremism,” Prince Salman said.

According to the crown prince, the major challenge is to work together to continue the nation-building process.

“We need to support one another in order to move forward in the building of this country and achieving a brighter future for all. This can be achieved only if we preserve our pluralism and tolerance, reinforce our national cohesion, shun violence, divisions and sectarianism and promote the values of work, advancement and creativity,” he said.

For Prince Salman, “Bahrain’s success story cannot be spoiled by a small group of people who wanted it to fail.

“There is no way to allow despair and frustration to replace hope and achievement. All the people of Bahrain attested to the birth of the reforms through the National Action Charter which clearly states that all of them are royalists, democratic and eager for a better tomorrow for their children,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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