From chief Bahrain correspondent: "This is an excellent journal article over the politics surrounding codifying Bahrain's family law. It focuses on the identity politics that existed in Bahrain before the uprising and the ongoing power struggle between the AlKhalifa regime on one hand and the clerics on the other - the clerics being the last autonomous body in existence since the AlKhalifas conquered Bahrain 240 (I believe) years ago. The AlKhalifas took complete control over Bahrain and gave the Bahraini people absolutely no authority in governing their own affairs except when it comes to religion. So the clerics are the last of the Baharna (native bahrainis who happen to be shia arabs) to have some power and they are trying to cling to the little power that they had. The struggle over the family law is a reflection of that. If I was reading this and had a highlighter, I would highlight the following sentence: "It is reinforced when family laws are proposed by non-democratic governments back by the West..." That in a nutshell is what happened.
Here's a link to the journal article:
The Bahraini regime of course uses this issue to portray itself as a progressive westernized government. Of course it isn't. When it comes to women's rights we do not have the most basic right in Bahrain which is the right of equal citizenship. Bahraini women cannot pass their citizenship to their children. The spouses of Bahraini men are able to gain citizenship quickly but the spouses of Bahraini women cannot."