Bahrain has a population of 1,050,000, according to a January 2008 government statement. The citizen population is 99 percent Muslim; Jews, Christians, Hindus, and Baha'is constitute the remaining 1 percent. Muslims belong to the Shiite and Sunni branches of Islam, with Shiite’s constituting an estimated 70 percent of the Muslim population.
Participation of Shi’a in the Political system:
While Shiite’s amount to approximately 70 percent of residential citizens, Sunnis dominate political life . The low percentage of Shiite’s in political institutions and high ranking positions does not reflect their entitlement amongst the top 30 high level graduates of public high school, which was 78% in 2007/2008 . It also does echo the proportion of Shiite’s in University of Bahrain, which was estimated to be close to 70 percent of Shiite’s in the general population
The Bahrain National Guard and the Special Security Force: The SSF consist of around 15,000 most of whom are newly naturalized tribal-Sunnis recruited from Yemen, Jordon, Pakistan and Syria, who are used mainly in suppressing demonstrations and protests in Shiite villages.
Job opportunities:Discrimination against the majority Shiite population remains a problem. Non-Shia receive preference for employment in sensitive government positions and in the managerial ranks of the civil service. The royal family is Sunni, and the defense and internal security forces are predominantly Sunni. Although Shiite citizens hold very few posts in these forces, with few exceptions, positions are not high-ranking. In the private sector, Shiite’s tend to get employed in lower paid, less skilled jobs. Educational, social, and municipal services in most Shiite neighborhoods are inferior to those found in other communities.Although the percentage of Shiite students is close to the approximately 70 percent of Shiite population in the country, only about 40 percent of university faculty is Shiite. Shiite’s compose a high percentage of the country's unemployed.
Demographic Engineering:There were many reports indicating that the naturalization process, resulting in the abnormal increase in the population, is politically driven to manipulate demographics for voting purposes and to keep Shiite’s out of the police and defense forces, which are dominated by naturalized Sunnis. Although naturalization requirements are clearly defined in law, adjudication of naturalization applications is neither transparent nor impartial. The government reportedly is more lenient with naturalization requests from expatriates in the security forces. Shiite’s and non-Arab applicants reportedly experience longer delays in the processing of their cases. The government occasionally grants citizenship to Sunni residents from neighboring countries. The government stated that some of the Saudis who had received citizenship were the grandchildren of Bahraini citizens who had immigrated to Saudi Arabia.
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  1. elkamhawi said...


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