MP Khaled Al-Shatti has presented a bill on abolishing Article Five of the Nationality Law, which states the Kuwaiti nationality applicant must be a Muslim.
In his statement one year ago, Al-Shatti pointed out the condition of being a Muslim contradicts the legal concept of nationality and limiting nationality to Muslims is a fundamental flaw.
He said religion is a relationship between man and his Lord, and the subject of citizenship is different because religion is relationship with God and the homeland for all. He asserted the Kuwaiti society is religiously tolerant, hence, it is important to remove the Nationality Law stigma which reflects religious discrimination.
He argued this unjustified condition deprives the country of rare skills that could be a real addition to its capabilities in the economic, scientific, professional and other fields. There are two types of Kuwaiti nationality: original Kuwaitis and naturalized Kuwaitis, the latter requires the applicant to be residing in the country for a long time with legitimate residence, legitimate source of livelihood, good behavior, speaks Arabic, and provides services needed by the country.
I wrote the above paragraph in light of recent events, including the talent and beautiful presence of the talented Miss Sarah Abu Sha’ar in front of thousands of attendees, led by heads of the State, at the closing ceremony of the 2018 World Youth Forum held in Cairo a few days ago with representatives from more than 160 countries in attendance.
This woman was born in Kuwait, learned in its schools and drank from its water. From here, she went out to the world and after graduating from Harvard University, she will inevitably pick a Western country that will grant her nationality, while our laws do not allow her to obtain the citizenship of Kuwait. These same laws allow granting nationality to a huge number of uneducated and dual nationality holders who are burdens on social and health services.
Recently, citizenship was granted to a person convicted and sentenced to prison for assaulting a citizen to death and then subsequently withdrawn for other serious offenses. His revoked nationality was reinstated, perhaps, under political pressure.
I do not espouse here the idea of granting citizenship to anyone and the conditions given above are clear. They do not necessarily apply to some of those whose nationality was reinstated or many others who were naturalized in previous years. Therefore, we reiterate our demand for abolition of the article banning naturalization of non-Muslims. It is shameful and uncivilized. It is the amendment resisted and objected by the fundamentalist, racist and backward forces. Christians have always been our brothers, Kuwaitis and others, so how did they and other non-Muslims become undeserving?
Why deprive Christians of the chance to obtain nationality while asking them to protect us, pay attention to our security and well-being, establish their military bases on our land, send our sons and daughters to study in their universities and for us to receive treatment from their specialists only to say that they are less deserving of the honor of our citizenship?
We already lost in the past the competencies that served Kuwait and its people for decades, including a famous surgeon, a great engineer, an expert banker and many others due to the flawed decision. Kuwait lost the most important foundations of justice and common sense, as well as the ability to deal with all people with conscience.
Note: On Friday, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, we will be on the book signing platform at Hall Five in the exhibition grounds to sign copies of the novels “Abdullatif the Armenian” and “Kalam Al Nas” (Talk of the People).
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf