This just in:
Bahraini King Hamad called on Tuesday for a toughening of the countryâ€™s policy on naturalisation, which the Shiite Muslim majority already considers beneficial to the ruling Sunni minority community.
â€œExperience in matters of naturalisation has proven that it is illogical to grant Bahraini citizenship to a person who is not fully imbued with the national spirit,â€ the king told the opening session of parliament.
A naturalised citizen â€œmust respect the lawâ€ and be â€œloyalâ€ and â€œthe nation must have need of him,â€ he added, saying citizenship should only be granted â€œin extreme cases.â€
This is the first time the king has spoken about the qualifications for naturalisation, which has divided the two communities for years. [source]
Does that mean that the quota has been achieved? Or is this acquiescing to community mounting pressure? But, let’s assume that it is the recognition of a wrong policy and an attempt at putting right what went somewhat wrong.
Either way, I’m happy to hear that his majesty is attuned to his people’s concerns, particularly this very thorny issue, and I fully condone the policy of granting the Bahraini citizenship to only those who deserve it. Rather than seemingly haphazardly granted to any and all who don’t, while leaving those who should be sought left out in the cold.
Next? I would dearly love for the king to initiate a Truth and Reconciliation Commission – a-la SA – in order for us to continue to move forward and build a cohesive society. The re-evalatuation of the naturalization is an excellent step forward too.