I spoke before about ways of giving the Just Bahraini campaign teeth, I decided that one way of doing so is getting politicians who are worth their salt to sign a pledge that they will work toward and enact laws which will criminalise discrimination and by definition make Bahrain a better place, a place where all citizens enjoy the fruits of this country without the slightest prejudice, be that against their sect, religion, gender, colour, and the myriad of other matrices and stereotypes people throw at each other.
Therefore, together with friends, particularly Hani Al-Shaikh, we talked about the pledge and formulated the following which has already been adopted by 15 parliamentary candidates (of the National Unity and Wa’ad) and will be used as a blue-print for their parliamentary thrust.
I hereby invite all the other political parties and independent candidates to sign the pledge as well. The end result of course is unity, a One Bahrain, standing resolute against all those with vested interests to turn this country to chaos.
I also invite my fellow bloggers to carry this pledge on their blogs, or link to it on the Just Bahraini campaign site, to act as a central reference point for this movement and write about this pledge in their own words.
What we thought about when writing this pledge are the various areas where there are glaring instances of segregation and discrimination, where it seems that the only provisos considered when filling a position is the subservience of that person to the ruling family and his or her sect; thus, we have an inherent imbalance in the system, an imbalance of the distribution of jobs in the cabinet and under-secretarial positions, the heads of departments, the military, the police, as well as various government owned or controlled organisations.
This, of course, is most glaringly used in the highest positions in the land, where it has become tradition that half the cabinet must be from the ruling family, and the remaining positions are distributed equally between sunni and shi’i ministers.
This is no longer a situation which should be taken for granted, and the government should show enough foresight to break with this tradition. It should only appoint people based on their abilities and proven track record regardless of all other factors into all positions. When jobs become available they should be advertised adequately and candidates should be made to sit aptitude tests for the job on offer, and have direct managers involved in the interviewing process to assign the final candidate to the position, with an oversight committee in the ministry or organisation which ensures that no favouritism occur. This should also be practiced in the private sector too.
Other areas where that discrimination is rife of course is in the security apparatus; both the military and the police organisations are rife with this problem and a political will is required to fix this situation.
This country will not go anywhere while sectarian thinking and favouritism are entrenched. We need to get things to change, and stop measuring people by their subservience to the ruling family. Rather measure them by the services they have and can provide to the country as a whole, and their loyalty to translating the vision of a One Bahrain into action.
Therefore, the pledge reflects these thoughts. Here it is:
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- Ã˜Â§Ã™â€žÃ˜ÂªÃ˜Â¹Ã™â€¡Ã˜Â¯ Ã˜Â¨Ã˜Â¹Ã˜Â¯Ã™â€¦ Ã™â€ Ã˜Â´Ã˜Â± Ã˜Â£Ã™Ë† Ã™Æ’Ã˜ÂªÃ˜Â§Ã˜Â¨Ã˜Â© Ã˜Â£Ã™Ë† Ã˜Â®Ã˜Â·Ã˜Â§Ã˜Â¨Ã˜Â© Ã™â€¦Ã˜Â§ Ã™Å Ã˜Â«Ã™Å Ã˜Â± Ã˜Â§Ã™â€žÃ™ÂÃ˜ÂªÃ™â€ Ã˜Â© Ã˜Â§Ã™â€žÃ˜Â·Ã˜Â§Ã˜Â¦Ã™ÂÃ™Å Ã˜Â© Ã˜Â¨Ã™Å Ã™â€ Ã˜Â£Ã˜Â¨Ã™â€ Ã˜Â§Ã˜Â¡ Ã˜Â§Ã™â€žÃ˜Â¨Ã™â€žÃ˜Â§Ã˜Â¯ Ã™Ë†Ã™Å Ã˜Â®Ã™â€ž Ã˜Â¨Ã˜Â§Ã™â€žÃ™Ë†Ã˜ÂÃ˜Â¯Ã˜Â© Ã˜Â§Ã™â€žÃ™Ë†Ã˜Â·Ã™â€ Ã™Å Ã˜Â©.We pledge and resolve to reject the repugnant and abhorrent sectarianism, and the incitement to fuel dissent and discord between the peoples of Bahrain, as well as the discrimination which prevents sectarian harmony and unity among ethnic and religious groups in our country; we call for the following:
- Work on formulating and enacting a law to combat discrimination in all its forms, especially that of religious sectarian discrimination;
- Form a national body to fight discrimination and oversee the application of the anti-discrimination law;
- Diligently work to ensure that all Bahrainis are given the opportunity to work in government jobs, including the security forces, regardless of religious affiliation, and the removal of all obstacles to the appointment of Bahrainis to leadership positions in the country;
- Do not publish Ã¢â‚¬â€œ in any way, shape or form Ã¢â‚¬â€œ articles or speeches which sow sectarian sedition and discrimination between the citizens of this country and prejudice national unity.