Bahraini Muslim Brotherhood Boycotts National Dialog


A Middle Eastern news portal is reporting that the Muslim Brotherhood in Bahrain is boycotting a session of the national dialogue. According to a Middle East Online report:

MANAMA –The National Islamic Forum, the local arm of the Muslim Brotherhood organisation in Bahrain said it will boycott Wednesday’s session of national dialogue to protest the ‘silence’ of the opposition following the latest violence. Bahrain has seen two years of political upheaval linked to opposition demands for a real constitutional monarchy, with the unrest claiming at least 80 lives, according to international rights groups. 

A UK media report  provides more information about the Muslim Brotherhood of Bahrain whose political arm is known as Menbar:

The problem for absolute monarchies is that they do not create conditions in which civil society is able to flourish. In 2002, the results of the first parliamentary elections in Bahrain were ominous for secular politicians: the elected lower house was immediately dominated by Islamist parties and not a single woman candidate was elected. The same thing happened in 2006, when the Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society took almost half of the 40 seats, although on that occasion one woman was successful. Among the most influential politicians in Bahrain is Dr Salah Ali, a former political exile who now chairs the Al-Menbar Islamic Society, a Sunni group which has seven seats in the lower house and is widely believed to have close links with the Muslim Brotherhood. Dr Ali is a smart politician who talks fluently about the importance of developing Bahrain’s democratic experiment “step by step”, and his party is expected to endorse female candidates in the elections due to take place this autumn. But to outsiders there are more intimations of the influence of political Islam in Bahrain than the government might like to admit. An MP from one of the Islamist parties flinched and refused to shake my hand, and there has been a ferocious campaign by Islamists in the lower house to ban alcohol in Bahrain. A leading light in the campaign is Mohammed Khalid, an outspoken MP from the Al-Menbar Society, who has made a name for himself as an opponent of anything he regards as un-Islamic. Mr Khalid embarrassed the government when he hailed terrorists fighting American forces in Iraq as “heroes”. 

A post from January 2011 reported on a renewed alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood of Bahrain and their Salafist counterparts. Previous posts reported on the difficulties faced by the Bahraini Muslim Brotherhood in the last elections. Previous posts have discussed the virulently anti-Semitic and anti-American statements of Dr. Salah Soltan, a former US Muslim Brotherhood leader now residing in Bahrain.

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