The Egyptian flu has spread to Bahrain but apparently is has infected some, but not all people in that tiny country. The nation is governed by a Sunni Muslim monarch who presides over a people who are mainly Shiite. The result is that government positions are staffed by Sunnis and it is a bit easier for a Sunni to secure jobs than for a Shiite. Yesterday, thousands of supporters of the monarch went into the streets to voice demands for an end to violence and for some sort of democratic government in which the king would remain, but with limited powers. Hassan Mushaima, a hard line Shiite cleric is flying back home to lead Shiite protests, but authorities have warned they have a warrant to arrest him. Many in Pearl Square, the center of agitation, insist they do not seek to end the monarch, but want establishment of an English style monarch who would reign rather than rule. On Monday, a new movement, the National Unity Group, which is heavily Sunni urged democracy and monarchy.
The King announced he was freeing dozens of political prisoners. Most probably, in the back of minds of Sunnis is their neighbor to the north which is ruled by a Shiite dictatorship that persecutes anyone who is not Shiite. An outsider can understand the reluctance of Bahrain Sunnis to simply turn power over to the Shiites.