The government of Bahrain has responded to national protests by condemning them as part of a "Shia revolt." But many argue that this would actually be in the short-term interests of the Kingdom.
The Bahraini government has a long history of trying to foster conflict among the Shia (who make up 70% of its population) and Sunnis (who control much of the public and private sectors).
The reason for this strategy is that it allows the royal family to blame ancient hatreds for the protests, even if modern grievances are the real cause.
This seems like a dangerous game to be playing. Stirring up sectarian conflict may work for short term political points, but who knows what will happen in the long-run?