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AS the blood of racism continues to boil in the veins of some, there are those who forget the fact that all Kuwaitis were once displaced from neighboring countries and had settled on this land. This is as per the teachings of the Holy Quran – “It is He who made the earth tame for you. So walk among its slopes and eat of His provision – and to Him is the resurrection”.
Therefore, any attempt to impose a distorted vision of racial purity is a racist call based on the fear of losing financial and service privileges enjoyed by the citizens, and not – as they claim – for preserving a national identity, which in reality was defended by the Bedoun residents during the Iraq invasion, just like the Kuwaitis who watered with their blood the only land that they consider as their home, which is Kuwait.
Nonetheless, we must deal with this issue, which has turned into a matter of disgrace and a stain on the image of Kuwait over the past six decades. This is because there are those who do not want to share the goodies of this land with anyone, whereas in reality, all that is being asked for is an identity and passport that would give them the opportunity to work and contribute to development, or to migrate anywhere else in the vast land of Allah to seek for a livelihood. This makes us wonder if it is too much to give to those who were born here and have lived here all their lives.
Unfortunately, this issue continues to preoccupy Kuwait. There seems to be no initiative for a radical solution to end the daily tragedy experienced by a group of people who have been deprived of the most basic human rights in the country of humanity, which should actually live up to this reputation, and not squash it down, or be led by a racist minority that classifies human beings according to their psychological complex.
Gentlemen, we are neither creatures of heaven nor distinguished from others. If we are required to contribute to the movement of global development, we must work with the international agreements signed by Kuwait, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This covenant categorically states in Article 2 that, “… each State party to the present covenant undertakes to take the necessary steps, in accordance with its constitutional processes and with the provisions of the present covenant, to adopt such laws or other measures as may be necessary to give effect to the rights recognized in the present covenant.”
This covenant, issued in 1966, was signed by Kuwait in 1996, that is, 26 years ago. It is supposed to have passed a set of laws compatible with it, but nothing has changed.
Most countries around the world allow women to pass on their nationality to their children, especially if their husbands have permanently left the country or passed away, just as is the case with a Kuwaiti man who marries a foreigner. In many countries, a newborn is immediately granted the nationality of the country in which he is born.
There is no doubt that this issue is at the core of the missions of the brave humanitarian minister Sheikh Ahmed Al-Mansour. He has to look at the Bedoun problem as a snowball that grows every day in the absence of serious solutions, and the “acrobats” of some MPs, officials and those with a racist vision.
While the solution is to grant them the right to citizenship like in many countries of the world, they can either stay in the country or migrate to other countries that will benefit from their experiences, especially those with specializations needed by neighboring countries that will grant some of them their citizenship or golden residency. In many countries, they are given full citizenship rights from the moment they enter that country.
Truth was told by the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when he said, “Allah Almighty has divided mercy into one hundred parts. He kept ninety-nine parts and sent down one part to earth. Because of that one single part, creatures are merciful to one another so that even the mare will lift its hooves away from its foal to avoid trampling on it.”
Be merciful to those on earth, and you will be shown mercy from He who is above the heavens.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times