Because protesters have worn the masks throughout the world, from Occupy Wall Street to the Arab Spring in countries whose governments have been toppled such as Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, the current government in Bahrain sees the mask as a symbol of an uprising against them.
The mask was made popular after the 2005 Hollywood movie “V for Vendetta” which is a story about a futuristic society in the U.K. run by a dictator that is brought down by the freedom fighting “terrorist” named ‘V.’ The hacktivist group Anonymous adopted the mask as their symbol.
Hassan Fakhro, the Gulf Kingdom’s Industry and Commerce Minister, ordered a block on importing the masks and anyone found doing so could be detained. Sounds a lot like the government “V” fought against in the movie. Surely this won’t enrage the people of Bahrain, especially the younger generation and those who are more ‘Arab-Spring’ minded.
Government protesters in Bahrain have used the masks to remain anonymous, but the Bahrain government wants to know who each and every one of these protesters are.
Despite the Commerce Minister putting the masks on the black list, controlling production of the masks within the country may be a much more difficult situation to control.
Who knew a simple mask could be such a threat?