RECOMMENDED READING: “Bahrain Between its Backers and the Brotherhood”


A publication of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has published an analysis by a Saudi writer of what he calls the effects of the Government in Bahrain to strike a balance between the local Muslim Brotherhood and the position of its Saudi allies. The report begins:


May 20, 2014 The recent efforts to label the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization puts Bahrain’s leadership at odds with its domestic ally against the Shia opposition.

Since Saudi Arabia labeled the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, Bahrain’s government has been struggling to strike a balance maintaining the support of the local brotherhood offshoot without upsetting its Saudi allies.

In an effort to showcase their crackdown on terrorism any support for terrorist activity, Bahrain’s Interior Ministry sent a warning on March 27 to its citizens fighting in conflicts abroad, similar to one issued by Saudi Arabia on February 3, threatening punitive measures including withdrawing their nationalities if they did not return within two weeks’ time. Through this measure, the government sought to crack down on both vocal and financial support for Syrian groups, particularly in light of recent reports claiming that Bahraini citizens were recently killed in Syria fighting with groups classified by Saudi Arabia and the United States as terrorist organizations.

Prior to the announcement, Bahrain’s foreign minister Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa commented at a press conference in Pakistan that his government was not labeling the political arm of the local Brotherhood branch, known as the Islamic Minbar, a terrorist organization. He stated that the group has respected the rule of law and has not acted against the security of the country.

Read the rest here.

In March, the GMBDW reported that Bahrain’s foreign minister had said that “Bahrain backs brotherly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in confronting the plans of the ‘Muslim Brotherhood.” 

In February 2013, we reported that the Muslim Brotherhood in Bahrain was boycotting a session of the national dialogue. A post from January 2011 reported on a renewed alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood of Bahrain and their Salafist counterparts. A post from 2010 reported on the difficulties faced by the Bahraini Muslim Brotherhood in the elections at that time.

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

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