I rant you risten

Sunday, March 06, 2005

iamwhoiam...ohhwhoami?

My first memory of peer pressure racism started when I was probably in the 5th grade… Running around in school having fun being a total kid, when all of a sudden a couple of friends stopped me and asked “hey, are you Shia or Sunni?” “umm well I don’t know” “what do you mean you don’t know?” then the another kid goes “I bet you he’s Shia” in my head I start thinking, crap.. What are they talking about? should I pick one? I mean I don’t know what I am. Then one of the kids decides to do his own detective work… “how do you pray? With your hands down to your side or on your stomach?” Shit shit and triple shit… what am I going to do now? I don’t pray, what will happen if I tell them I don’t really pray? should I take a guess? (On a side note: before you label me, I was taught how to pray and my mother is a devout Muslim, it’s just that it’s MY RELATIONSHIP with God, not anyone else’s.. you dig?) Rrrrrrrriiingg… aaahh saved by the bell… It’s amazing, but that was one of the first brushes I had trying to figure out who I am, Shia or Sunni… I went home after school still puzzled, so I decided to ask my parents… My mom gave me the typical answer, “if anyone asks you, you tell them you’re Muslim… There’s no difference..” and that was that, the answer sufficed me, there’s no difference…

I went back to school and waited for the next religious question encounter. When that came, my reply was “I am Muslim and there’s no difference” “pffffft, yeah right there’s no difference, I bet you he’s Shia, come on lets go play football…” and they ran off as if I had just been diagnosed with a rare contagious disease transmitted through the mucus of an infected monkey that made it’s way to Bahrain… I thought, fine, let me go ask my friends… Some of them didn’t know either, while others admitted they were Shia or Sunni (they were just happy to know what they were) but we all had the same feelings, what is this divide that even us kids have to start thinking about? Deep down inside we all felt that people have to be pretty fickle to want to make a divide…

It didn’t take long before I found out who the Shia and the Sunnis were, and who I was… I’ll spare you the details of their history, but I will tell you one thing… It’s all because of a couple of instances involving a continued power struggle that this divide happened and that’s it in a nutshell… People have spent their lives researching and gathering information, but to me, Muslim is Muslim, and even more importantly than that, a human being is a human being, just like you, me and everyone else on this rock called Earth.

I’m not going to tell you racism doesn’t exist in Bahrain, there’s racism on every single front: Shia & Sunni, and then they even go deeper into it in terms of the different ethnicities between the two sides… With the Shia: the Bahranis (original inhabitants of Bahrain), the Ajam (of Persian descent), the Subcontinent Shia, the Hassawiyah (Shia from Saudi.. ooops sorry Saudi doesn’t have any Shia), etc. Then you have the Sunnis: The Arab Sunnis, Holees (Sunnis of Persian descent), Subcontinent Sunnis, and from all over the world. We’ve got so many different people from all sorts of walks of life, and we do have racism (it happens all over the world), although we are working at limiting it… Feel free to interject an ethnicity that I’ve forgotten to add…

It’s such a taboo subject to be discussing… There’s unnecessary hatred that has led to some crazy things being said… I had a fellow student in college once tell me that there are Shia families that get together, turn off all the lights in the room and would have a full on scale orgy… I don’t know what drove me to trying to choke him, the fact that he was insulting “my sect” or the fact that he was stupid enough to believe something as absurd as incestuous orgies… Dada, you’re still an idiot for saying that, but I forgive you… I’m writing it off as just some insane brainwashing you were spoon fed from some uneducated fuck of a cleric that was probably molested or wishes he was molested by a member of his family.

This divide,, this racism exists because of one thing and only one thing, and that’s uneducated people who still think there’s a reason to make a difference… It’s people like this that think they’re better than the other person, and it’s people like this that will slow our progress… You shouldn’t sit there and pass any judgment on anyone but yourself…

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great post! Until we learn to stop fighting each other we will never be able to progress as a country/people.

Bahrania said...

Not that i'm trying to throw the bucket, but don't you think that state-endorsed sectarian policy that discriminates against shia and favours sunni's has a role to play in social rifts?

Preternatural_aL said...

So if ur mom is sunni and dad is shia ,, or vice versa what does that make u??
when we are called up on the judgement day are we gonna be sub divided too?? if yes, then where does a half sunii-shia person stand??

Anonymous said...

It definitely does Bahrania, I don't think anybody can deny that. The state role you mention is only part of a much wider phenomenon in the Muslim world which has generally led to the oppression of the shia at the hands of the sunni rulers.

Deviant Behaviour said...

damn ! that brought back memories, i can literally mirror the experience ...

food for thought :
" human civilization is built on division , as organizational managment dictum dictates , unity breaks down heirarchy, and the break down of heirarchy breaks down civilization, therefore there is only unity through heirarchy"
EVIL, i know... but then look back into the annals(not fond of using that word so much) of history and you will realise that the example of this, is our existence, basically, fuck it ...humanity thrives on conflicting views, to each his own, if we didnt agree on this , we'd be at each others throats over somthing else, its the "balance" ...actually, for me, its bullshit... but hey,what is life but divergence, conflict, a struggle of dogma versus dogma ...

Q said...

Hey! Great post amigo!

For me, as a Kuwaiti, it is definitely less of an issue here. I didnt know the dif between shia and sunni till around 10th or 11th grade. I didnt know I was Sunni til the same time.

The problem is I know a few Kuwaitis who went to study in Bahrain (and Ireland), and they were surrounded by this idea to the point where it became an issue in their own lives! It really is very weird!

btw, i laughed my ass off at Dada's comment!! LOL!! r u still in touch with him??

Jelly Belly said...

Hello Bahraini Rants,

I love this post, I was just talking about this exact issue with a friend of mine...I grew up in a house we never said sunnis are better than shia...I even dated a shia guy and thought to myself one day we could get married...than reality set in and he started telling me the differences between shia and sunna and if we do get married I have to change the way I pray, think...etc
it bothered me to think he was right and I was wrong but the more I thought about it the more I told him what makes you think your right and we are wrong or vice versa...you see in my opinion I question history (this may bother some of you) but this is how I view it...history is always biased so I told him and tell all my sunna friends we'll never know who's right and who's wrong! as you said Bahraini we are all Muslims and should respect that...wallah I always defend shia infront of some ignorent friends who think they are better because as you said they are simply uneducated and brain washed...we should respect each other no matter what...we shouldn't judge people by their "family names, sunna or shia, race, nationality..etc" we are all human beings!
sorry if I said a lot but this subject has always bothered me.

Bahraini Rants said...

Al: I find that asking too many what if questions will only confuse you more and more.. focus on what matters most, try to be as inherently good as possible and you’ll be fine… Again I don’t want to get into religion, because I’m not an authority on it.

Q: no I’m not in touch with Dada, he’s dropped off the face of the planet – or you could say that about me… Please don’t tell me these issues are not present in Kuwait, maybe you haven’t seen it, but it’s there… I remember a fight breaking out in college between 2 best friends because of it and they were both Kuwaiti…

JB: It’s like you mention, history is written by the winner… Respect is a very important issue, it’s not just between the Shia and Sunnis, nationality is also a big deal.. I know you have that problem in Kuwait with First Nationality or Second Nationality and how people scrutinize that (please tell me you’ve done away with this rule – Q, feel free to jump in)… The worst part of the people here is how they look at you, in terms of faith, in terms of nationality, in terms of your lifestyle, your beliefs… and don’t think it just happens on one front, it happens on every front… Everyone stares and everyone formulates an opinion whether you like it or not… Just live your life and do what you think is right…

Q said...

bahraini rants, im not saying it doesnt exist in Kuwait, im just saying its never been a big issue, u only hear about it when it comes to marriage mostly! In recent years only, with the Islamists' invasion of our country, they have tried hard to make this an issue, and its been growing, but still, so far it hasnt been a problem yet!

btw, hard luck, but how about that Senderos kid?? TA reincarnated! ;)

Seroo said...

Q don't be silly.
"TA reincarnated"? We said the kid played well - especially in the first half of today's game - but nobody said anything about comparing him to Tony... You cannot compare a 20 year old who's only made a handful of appearances for the club over the past year and a half to the most successful captain we've ever had, who's won a plethora of trophies and gained the well-earned respect in the world of football - simply a legend...
and you call yourself an arsenal supporter...

Bahraini Rants said...

Seroo,

you need to cut Q some slack, he was the only other Arsenal fan with me in college, he's the real deal.. we used to wake up on Saturdays and Sundays as early as 8AM spending an astronomical amount on pay per view to watch our beloved Arsenal (and I'd usually be nursing a hangover - while Q would be drinking pepsi working on his sugar rush)... Senderoos will be just as good if not better than Tony Adams (As long as he spends the rest of his career in north london), he's got great positional sense, much faster than tony, excellent distribution, good for an aerial challenge, and he always manages to squeeze in the last tackle. Don't forget, he's only 20, and he performed yesterday at an excellent level keeping guard against the best team in Germany. Give him time and he will deliver. Le Boss know's how to pick em...

Q, my sister is just as passionate about Arsenal as I am, excuse her verve... switching the subject to GCC footie, have you been watching the qatari league? it's actually pretty good... Dem bahraini boys are playing some attractive footie.. but you'd know all about BAhraini footie players with Talalee Yousif taking Kuwait FC to the top of the table... Checkyoself fool!

Q said...

Seroo, to say he "played well" is a huge understatement!! He transformed himself from a backup, to a starting role I assure you!
Also, how many other players (especially defenders) in the world do you know who have been courted by almost all the big European teams at 16 yrs of age! I think Ferguson even went personally to his family home to spend time with him and try to convince him to come!
Trust me, the kid is the real deal, at 20 yesterday, he was a star, I cant imagnie what will happen when he's 24 or 25 playing on a regular basis!!
If you notice his last 5 games for Arsenal, every game he improves dramatically from the one before!
Also, I recall watching him in person at a cup game a coulpe of years ago, it was a team of youngsters, none of the starters, so I figured its a chance to check out the future of Arsenal! They lost that day, but I remember leaving and being happy about Senderos!

bahraini rants, I didnt know you had a younger sister too! Hi serooo btw! ;P

Mo said...

I'm a Man U fan but I'll set my prejudices aside and talk footie for this one. I support Seroo on her point to be honest, Tony Adams was a legend who captained both England and Arsenal for many years.

Senderos did a great job for a 20 year old, a terrific job in fact.. but if Campbell was fit would he start? Actually, if Cygan was fit would he have even gotten a game? Not saying that he's shite, but I do think that saying he's the next TA is stretching it a bit.. it takes more than just great positional sense and tackling skills to be a team leader.

Senderos might yet become one of the best central defenders in the world (I hope he doesn't, but that's just because I'm biased).. but he won't be the heartbeat of the team like Adams was.. local boys come good like TA are hard to find in this Bosman day and age, footballers are mercenaries who are out to make the most they can in their short careers (totally understandable)..

Point being, he might be good.. but I'd really be surprised if he went one to become the next Tony Adams.

Bahraini Rants said...

ok ok ok, I think you guys are taking this Senderoos issue a little too literally... When Tony Adams left, that signified the end of the Arsenal old guard (Keown was still around - but he's no TA), the English backline was gone... We were left with Sol and his partner... we tried out Cygan (that didn't work), we tried out Toure (who did a fantastic job last season).. but lets face the facts, we had horrible cover for the two of them... I'm still a Cygan fan (anyone who saw his champ's league performance with lille and their run for the french title will agree with me).. but apart from him, Vivas didn't work for us, Upson didn't work. That's why we had such high hopes for Senderoos, and that's why we're all ecstatic to see him finally deliver...

Senderoos was purchased from Servette and brought into our youth academy... since then he's improved his game considerably and was unlucky not to break into the first team last year.. (all because of a set of injuries that ruled him out for a long time...)

To me, we're a little top heavy in terms or our midfield and attack with ample cover.. We are lacking in defense and need the players.. it's just refreshing to see someone come out of our Youth Academy and have what it takes to compete at the highest level... The game against Bayern was his first full champions league start and I think he played incredibly.. The guy's only 20 and he stopped a lot of german champions dead in their tracks... If he continues to improve in every game, I don't see how he cannot become as influential and powerful as Tony Adams... You never know who's going to step up to the plate, keep the back line organized and set the game up.. I mean come on Senderoos' passing has been excellent, that type of distribution is what helps us on the counter, and catches the opposing team off guard...

If we are going to take anything from this season, it's the performance of our youngsters and their work rate.. To me, Flamini, Fabregas, Senderoos, Hoyte, & Clichy have been the reason to love Arsenal and to enjoy this season.. If we can hold on to these guys and keep on building on these foundations, we're going to have a team that can compete in England, Europe, and any other front Uefa decides to create: Superleague, etc...

This is how United managed to beat everyone in the 90s.. they drafted a bunch of youngsters that were very talented, had them playing in the big league together, and getting everyone gelling with each other... Throw in a couple of experienced players and there you have it.. a team that can go on to win everything...

if you guys are interested in talking football, maybe I should save a whole post for people's opinions and views...

Q said...

bahraini rants, first of all thanks for the great overview! Second, thanks for clarifying the "taking the issue too literally" part!
Did you guys see today's game? Senderos again was a rock in the back, his distribution needs work, but thats not an issue at all, he's there for defending, and he's doing a GREAT job at it!!

The reason I said TA reincarnated, is because I cant remember the last decent defensive performance Ive seen by Arsenal, and now all of a sudden we have a player who is getting better and better every game! When was the last time we had FOUR clean sheets in a row?!?!? Guess what? Senderos played a MAJOR part in those four games!

With Senderos, Toure, Cole, and Clichy in the back, Fabregas, Flamini, and Reyes in midfield, Quincy, Aliadiere, VanPersie Upfront.......we have a great team all of whom are U-25, most are U-21!

With the new stadium, and this team, the future looks reallllyyyyy bright!!

:)))

The Don ® said...

Q, you totally threw me off with soccer stuff.. I kept on reading to find if that Senderos kid is Shia or Sunni !! :))

Q said...

Don! LooooooooL!! Stick to ur "guwaaaary" ;P

Anonymous said...

To bahrania. I'm glad you know the difference betwee the Sunni and the Shia, I do not. If someone would enlighten me I would appreciate it.

Thank you so much for your help.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow.