Former MP Ali Al-Aswad stressed on the need to strictly pursue political opposition in Bahrain “in accordance with non-violence and peacefulness in politics, no matter what the consequences were”.

In an exclusive statement to Bahrain Interfaith, Al-Aswad stated that peacefulness and nonviolence “is the way forward to achieve the demands of the people”.

Al-Aswad commented on the speech of Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem on the anniversary of February 14, 2020, saying that the emphasis that was made in the speech on “peacefulness and non-violence ” should be considered the most important part of this year’s slogan. He then added saying: “Asserting the legitimate foundations of restricting to peace-fullness in political action by (Ayatollah Qassem), is a reflection of an insightful vision and a rational foresight into the future of political action in the country”.

Al-Aswad said that Ayatollah Qassem’s emphasis on peace “has a clear rooting, and perhaps spares the country from the woes of civil discourse and unrest, or from the unprecedented reprisals from the government” as he puts it.

Al-Aswad also said that the February 14 Statement of Sheikh Qassem expresses “a belief derived from the ethics of accepting political differences and an understanding of the rules of opposing the indifferent”, calling for the opposition in Bahrain to pursue its activities in accordance with this approach, regardless of the short-term or long-term consequences that take place.

When asked whether there was “space for political action through non-peaceful means”, Al-Aswad denied that assertively saying: “It is never an option, and it is never a choice of the opposition”.

Al-Aswad is a former MP of Al-Wefaq opposition society, and is one of the prominent figures in the political opposition, who stressed on the need for holding onto the peaceful approach during the different circumstances that the country has faced in the decade. Shortly before the anniversary of February 14 this year, he tweeted on his Twitter account a message that stated: “The most important asset for the people of Bahrain and for their movement is the slogan of peacefulness”. He affirmed his strong belief in non-violence through repeating the phrase ‘peaceful’ three times in the same tweet.

In response to a question on the means through which the media can follow a peaceful approach, Al-Aswad commented saying that this can happen through “not propagating for any group or figures that adopts unpeaceful methods, not even by highlighting a statement or providing a media platform”.