By: Jassem Rashed Al Shamsi
Posted on 29 December 2011
Withdrawal of nationality: security folly or state policy?!
It is a bad news, circulated on social networks, some satellite channels, and asserted later by an official statement issued by the General Department for Naturalization and Residence and Ports, that the nationality of "six" citizens was withdrawn. Some web sites reported that they are seven citizens, as the statement did not contain Ahmed Ghaith Al Suwaidi, an Islamist activist.The withdrawal carried out under the pretext of maintaining the public security. This issue, actually, reminds me of an old, symbolic, and famous story titled "The Fool Bear and the Fly". The narration says that there was a globetrotter man who, one day, saw a great big bear tied and hanging at a tree in the midst of a great vast desert. The man sympathized with it and managed to release it, then slept under the tree to rest from the aftermath of travel. Gratefully to him, the bear sat beside the sleeping man to protect him against any flies might disturb his peaceful sleeping. Few seconds later, the bear saw a fly buzzing, and then landed on the eyelid of the man. The bear said: “No, by my Lord, I will never let the fly torture you.” Therefore, it sped up to fetch a nearby rock, then hit the landed fly on the face of the man, thinking it kills it, but it smashed the head of the poor sleeping man. The man died and nothing left but stupidity.
No one can explain the security adventure taken by the security service away from this story. The story is symbolic in fact, but it coincides with actions taken by some officials who, with good or bad intention, yearn for maintaining the public security, but with some decisions burn the ends and means. This what exactly done by the impetuous security service.
It is very shocking and make us reach to the highest levels of grief and sorrow that the decisions regarding withdrawing the nationality of citizens by law came after only two days of the wedding day of the Union, after the release of five prisoners, it is done so suddenly without any investigations or filing the charges to courts, and even without any respect to people and the public opinion who need sound proofs to swallow those adventures. What increases the weight of sorrow and sadness is that those persons whose nationalities were withdrawn have strong and positive presence, locally and regionally, and have great value that boasts the country.
Actually, I felt that a storm will happen after reading, in the press and some web sites, about the statements issued, almost a week before the decisions taken, by many foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, including Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed, who said: “There will be some diplomatic and political actions to be taken by the GCC States against the acts of sabotage occurred in some of the Gulf states. It became clear recently that Iran is behind such acts, [referring to the spy cell arrested in Kuwait earlier]. "I should not reveal such steps at the current time in order not to deactivate them,” Sheikh Abdullah added.
On the other hand, the citizens of the withdrawn nationalities issued some statements. The first one included: “An illegal and oppressive action, referring to the withdrawal of their nationalities, was taken against us, abusing the basic human rights and violating the constitution and laws of the state. The link among us is that we all are advocates for reform belonging to the Association of Reform and Social Guidance in the state, whose Board of Directors was fired”. “Some of us have participated in signing a petition submitted to the Head of State demanding reforms in the legislature of the state.” The statement added. Besides, the statement, full with bitterness and grievance, appealed to the concerned bodies, institutions, associations, dignitaries and officials involved in human rights to stand with them in their humanitarian issue. They also demanded to stop all oppressive measures against the advocates of reform in the state, their families, wives, children and also the institutions call for reform. They also said that there is deliberate vilification against them, locally, regionally and internationally, by some corrupted leaders and advisers in the state security apparatus. Therefore, we demand the country's rulers to return our rights and remove the cancerous tumor in the security service to maintain the security of the state.
The seven persons issued another statement ensures the same meaning plus the following: they are sons of this homeland, who obtained citizenship by virtue of the law, and the charge of belonging to suspicious organizations is absolutely incorrect. They also believe that such steps were not to be taken against them if they do not call for reform or signed the petition. Therefore, the provisions against them are unfair and they do not have any connection to suspicious organizations or persons, except the charity they introduced for the besieged Gaza, if this act to be considered a crime. This also reminded me of some accusations by the deposed regime of Hosni Mubarak against some Islamists, some of them were from the Gulf.
It is beyond dispute that the most difficult matter to any citizen to feel alienated at his homeland. The more difficult comes when such feelings increase inside the citizen to find himself in a merciless world never respects his citizenship, rather kills it. Besides, there is no respect from any other persons to him or his citizenship. The matter is in all cases a security file, which embraces some that reports leaves no space for dialogue or reason.
This action was not surprising to those who follow the hidden battle between the reformers and the security services, which escalated recently in anticipation of the rebounds of Arab spring revolts. But on the national scene, such hidden battle, if not dealt with, will deadly affect the national cohesion.
No one can claim that he did not know about the deterioration of the status of freedoms in the country, and the evident decline of the popular participation curve, where the security apparatus has predominance in all joints of life, which turned the UAE from a peaceful civil state to a racing course in which the security and military forces compete for getting high positions inside and outside the state. Moreover, the security file became the master of the dialogue between the Authority and people.
It is some kind of shame when Arab governments do not take the lesson from the experiences of each other. As the young men, aspiring to more freedoms, should not be faced with the law of force, rather, with the force of law. They also should not be abused in their freedom and dignity, or detached from their homeland. They even should not be given a sudden increase in salaries. The atmospheres should be free of tribalism and withdrawal of nationalities, and not to open the door for the children of naturalized citizens. This is papers mixing which tenses the whole scene.
It is extremely perplexing when one recognizes the unjustified security attack of the escalating ferocity against the Islamists locally and globally, especially against the Muslim Brotherhood. This happens either by strategic centers of the state, newspapers or even by security pens. I really do not know what are the basics or criteria of government's policy in this attack from one hand, and the leadership of Islamists, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, to the governments in the Arab revolutions from the other hand? It is wise to understand this change and deal rationally with it, not to raise doubts about it, especially in a pivotal country like Egypt, at a time our situation is bad enough and needs no more sophistication.I know that many leaders in the country have serious reservations about the adventure of withdrawal of nationality, which indicates that the political decision in the State is subject to the security file in many aspects. Actually, it is dominated by improvisation and supremacy, and not subject to research, participation, and deliberation. Although its manifestations tackles the feelings of the people, but the good implementation still the true measure of the credibility of those manifestations.
I do not assume innocence in the idea that the "seven" persons are of Iranian origins, as claimed by security, especially in light of the statements of Minister of Foreign Affairs. I also cannot confirm that this is the beginning of a series of repressive measures, but I absolutely sure that this will be the beginning for greater freedom and the triumph of the right and his people. Actually, some leaders in government have wisdom, so I have optimism, which accompanied by number "seven”, which of special presence in the mind of every believer. Hence, number of week days are seven, number of times circumambulation are seven, and number of Jmrat (pebbles) are seven. We also should not forget that the seven kinds of people whom will be shaded by the shade of Allah on the Doomsday. This is, indeed, not kind of "dervishism", but optimism should be coupled with hard work. No doubt that the coming days will answer many questions raised in this regard, and "there is no difference between Arab and non-Arab except by piety”, you are sincere, Messenger of Allah!