The Bahraini Minister of Industry and Commerce, Hassan Fakhro has banned the imports of V for Vendetta/ Guy Fawkes Masks in the country.
It may sound a little weird to the ears that a government is giving so much importance to something as insignificant and simple as a mask but it has a deeper meaning to it.
Bahrain has been struggling with sectarian crisis within the country for a very long time now. The Shia Community in the country demands equal rights and the government is adamant that there is no discrimination against them. Ever since the February 14, 2011 there have been protests and demonstrations against the ruling royal family.
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There have been incidents of police raids in Shia neighborhoods, negligence in medical care and beatings at checkpoints. More than two thousand people have been arrested and several have died in police custody. Earlier in February, a teenager was killed in violent protests.
The banned masks are basically a symbol, an icon of the Bahraini uprising. They have been used in different street demonstrations all over the world including the Wall Street Protests in the U.S. and UK and the Arab Spring revolutions that ousted tyrants like Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi.
The Bahraini government has not just blocked the import of a facial garb but it is an effort on its part to quell the pro-democracy flare that has ignited the whole country and turned a majority of people against its rulers. But the government people should understand that banning the imports of mere masks cannot diminish the revolutionary fire that has spread across the country.
It’s certainly not the protesters that have been unmasked. It’s their rulers who are constantly in a state of denial that nothing actually is wrong with the people when everything, evidently is.