Bahrain is also fight between Sunni and Shi’a (Shiite)

A Point of View, Bahrain, Egypt, Middle East & North Africa, Politics | | February 18, 2011 at 11:08

The struggle in Egypt was a unifying force. Egypt is predominantly Sunni. Coptic Christians are estimated to be about 25% of a population of 80+ million. Secular Egyptians and religious Egyptians joined hands to bring down Mubarak.

In Bahrain, the ruling faction of royal family and police are Sunni. About 80% of the Bahraini population is Shi’a, which we call Shiite in English. The issues in Bahrain divide distinctly along sectarian lines, with the Shi’a feeling left out of the massive wealth and development that Sunni Bahrain enjoys.

Iran is controlled by Shi’a and therefore the revolt in Bahrain strikes fear in the hearts of the other Gulf States who face Iran just across the Persian Gulf. Saudia Arabia is considered a Sunni nation.

This battle between Sunni and Shi’a was a determining factor in the first Bush’s decision to abandon the Shi’a uprising in southern Iraq and not go on to Baghdad. Bush was under pressure from the Gulf States not to allow Iraq, particularly the Shi’a south, to shift from Sunni control to Shi’a.

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