Bahrain, a small island with a population of 1.2 million, half of them Arabs, should have been the one place in the Arab world where compromise was possible between rulers and ruled and between Sunni and Shia. Instead it has joined a handful of places like Beirut and Jerusalem where communities are totally polarized and hate and suspicion fill the air. It is like Belfast at its worst in the 1970s when Catholic and Protestant saw each other only as enemies to be feared. The shock of what happened is all the greater because Bahrain regards itself as one of the most liberal and best-educated countries in the Gulf. Unlike nearby Saudi Arabia, women drive cars and hold important government jobs. Manama was previously better known for its gleaming ultra-modern buildings than its prisons.
Read more here: Patrick Cockburn: Pogroms and Purges in Bahrain.