Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tikriti flavoured tajnees

The news of the naturalisation of an entire Iraqi tribe from Tikrit to serve in one state arm or another doesn't seem to have ruffled many feathers in Bahrain other than the mention on our beloved internet forums. Eyewitnesses who have paid visit to the Ministry of Immigration note the arrival of a new Iraqi strain of passport applicants. Since tolerance and shock levels are at a high alert level and almost breaking point, this dangerous and provocative development if true could be a potential tipping factor. This kind of event however, is not quite the tangible contravention that seems to demand immediate mass action, it is more of a simmering problem and its undertones in public discourse are clear, yet impossible to verify by the very nature of the problem. How on earth do we go about proving that the state is unlawfully naturalising people, if the state decides the law, controls the judiciary, and blacks out the ministries involved?

The state's ingenious demographic engineering is not going unnoticed abroad however. The decision to import and naturalise a fleeing saddamist sunni tribe in Jordan seems to have touched a sensitive nerve with the Kuwaitis. In addition to the reported arrest of Asian criminals in Kuwait carrying Bahraini passports is of obvious concern. Hence the official flurry back and forth between the two countries earlier this month. As is Gulf politics, what settlement was reached in the royal courts is anyone's guess and probably comes too late to undo the damage.

This 'Tajnees' (naturalisaiton)is happening below the radar, officially denied and statistically unrecorded. Yet it is as clear as the blue sky to almost everyone. What began with the use of mercenaries for the ruling family's security now serve a new purpose as symbolic imports of the sectarian conflict in Iraq, signed, sealed and delivered to Bahrain to spread the hate. No doubt we share responsibility in the biggest refugee crisis to face the region since 1948, but as Albandar's exposé of state sponsored sectarian policy unfolds day by day, this latest development is yet another loosening of the strands that form Bahrain's social fabric. A moral cover of humanitarian responsibility could not even biggen to disguise this.

Posted by BB @ 2/15/2007 01:03:00 AM