Thursday, March 15, 2007

Action Plan for Resettlement of Indigenous People of Bahrain

Action Plan for Resettlement of Indigenous People of Bahrain

Abduljalil Alsingace
12 March 2007

English amateur translation of “Naturalization Challenges: Estimates and Indicators”
The third chapter of “Bahrain: 2005-2010, the first part of the Plan of Action of Secret Web”


In the first week of January 2007, the UK-based Gulf Center for Democratic Development (GCDD) issued its second report (compilation of confidential documents) about secret plots conspiring against the people of Bahrain. The plots are lead, managed and financed by institutions and members of the ruling Al-khalifa family.
The 240 pages report, titled: “Bahrain: 2005-2010, the first part of the Plan of Action of Secret Web“[1], is composed of six main Chapters;
· The first chapter, titled Containment of Scholar “Olama” Council, includes a detailed plan for activating the role of the security services in tightening its grip on the Shiite religious organizations, places of worship, charitable organizations and its cultural and social frontages.
· The second chapter gives an overall perception of the methodology the State, represented by the Royal Court and the executive bodies to unify addressing the issues of concerns which involve the constitution amendments, naturalization, political societies code, law for family provisions, judiciary and endowments.
· The third chapter is concerned with the priorities for the naturalization challenge and the need for a strategic decision in which the “exception” in granting citizenship to prevail over, and consider meeting naturalization requirement as being the exception. It monitors the priorities in targeted nationalities as sources of naturalization, and sets the requirement for naturalization of 50 thousand people per year, starting by the year 2005, so that a sectarian balance is achieved by the end of the year 2010.
· The fourth chapter focuses on laying down necessary steps to rehabilitate and contain civic societies, by empowering mechanisms of the Ministries of Social Affairs and Justice. It also shed light on the re-injection of military employees of Ministries of Defense, Interior and the National Guards in the civilian life in order to undermine and curb the civic organizations.
· The fifth chapter is concerned with the strategic plan to orientate youths, the ways to keep them from the influence of religious leaders, and identifying alternative incubators for enhancing the youth’s loyalty to the Regime.
· The sixth chapter focuses on the role of the American Embassy in Manama, the way to contain its activities and influencing its support for civic organizations in the light of Democratization Law. This covers the plan to expel National Democratic Institute (NDI) from Bahrain and the mean of impinge on the reporting of the Embassy.


Below is an amateur English translation of the action plan meant for resettlement of indigenous people of Bahrain. Some basic remarks are noted:
The first part covers abridgment of the need for naturalization and concluding that irrespective of the practiced legislation in many countries, Bahrain should resort to further extend the privilege to the head of State and empower him to accomplish demographic manipulation within certain framework. This is justified by the imbalance in the demographic status and its danger on the future of the regime and its sovereignty!
· The second part covers how the Regime looks at reproduction of Shia in Bahrain and who all guided and supported attempts to compete that growth by Sunnis fail. It also gives a chart showing the Sunni and Shia population growth, and the alternative schemes (required naturalization number) to over turn the Shia imbalance. It concludes that the plan should focus on granting nationality to “strategic” 50 thousands of “loyal” Sunnis per year. This plan should be completed by the year 2010.
· The next part evaluates the alternative sources, types (characteristics) of nationalities and the expected possible number to be imported to Bahrain.
· Next is a media campaign guidelines to obtain advocacy and support of the local Sunnis as well as opposition.
· The possible recommendations out of alternatives brought forward previously, are laid down.
· These are summarized in a table showing the expected number of Sunnis of the targeted nationalities.
· The challenges and policy facing granting nationality to Asian migrant workers.
· The chapter concludes with forming a standing committee chaired by the head of the Royal court: Sh. Mohammed bin Attiyatallah Al-khalifa
· Introducing this issue in the house of deputies should be prevented at all costs.

“Naturalization Challenges: Estimates and Indicators”

· Acquiring nationality: legal + political relationship between Bahrain and any naturalized individual (loyalty)
· Any grant of citizenship aim is to take place, taking into account the protection of Bahrain's security National (population balance + sectarian + ethnic).
· There are conditions (written + oral) defines the executive framework (public + private + exceptional) through which the naturalization process is upheld. The ultimate goal is to facilitate opportunities for the integration and rapid adaptation among naturalized.
· knowledge used in the state is a true proof of merge or susceptibility to thaw in the society.
· There are other additional conditions, for example, Syrian law makes sure the integration of the naturalization applicant, where he request, as guarantee requirement, to replace his foreign name with Arabic one, while Saudi Arabia obliges conversion to Islam, without it would be considered concession prejudice to the root of its entity.
· General Conditions (West and East except Israel) are not for the naturalized to be burden on the State (Financially, Ethically or health wise) and to have the minimum characteristics of a citizen. It is favored that he/she has a legitimate source of earning, and a minimum level of education. It might be preferable for him/her to have a capital (Western Countries), registered real estate (Bahrain) or expertise which could be useful (Syria + Egypt) etc.
· The most important condition, which should not be conceded, is loyalty to the State, respect its systems, and the integrity of the political system or State entity (Economic + community + political).
· All States define a minimum residency so that it could be considered in the application of the naturalized, 5 years (France + Japan + Britain + Tunisia), 10 consecutive years coupled with the knowledge adequate Arabic language, and Arab origin (Bahrain), Islam (Saudi Arabia), 15 years (Oman), 20 years (UAE + Qatar + Kuwait), or 25 consecutive years of non-Arab (Bahrain).
· Number of years of residence, could be reduced in some cases. UAE grants citizenship to the citizens of Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, after three years of residence. Qatar, however, considers the application of Arab resident, when staying for a period of seven years.
The case of Bahrain needs a strategic brave decision to make the exception (in granting citizenship) prevails over meeting the conditions, which should be made the exception. This is for reasons relating to the particular conditions in Bahrain, the most important of which is the imbalance in the demographic status and its danger on the future of the regime and its sovereignty.

Initially, naturalization, a political right of any State, is not governed by any international charters and covenants, until now. Each State has its own policies, consistent with its needs and national security priorities (economic + political + social, etc. Bahrain is not in isolation from the rest of the world.

Bahrain, its identity, future of its generations, its culture and history are on the line, if the sectarian demography flaw stayed prevailing.

Shiite, through its tools (education + work + birth), in addition to other factors (Sunni Migration to neighboring states + migration of Shiites to Bahrain), was able to reverse the percentage (Shiite to Sunni)during 20 years (see 1941Census) .

The Shiite leadership (religious/political) put the issue of "nationalization" at the top of its provocative and inflammatory agenda (social bombs) to continue its current control (economically + population) and consider it a guarantee to impose political control and seizure over the regime.

The "naturalization" issue is one of the most important primary pillars in opposition discourse and is directed to implicate external provocation against the Kingdom and its symbols. It will remain on the agenda in the foreseeable future. The opposition is currently active in the formation of a "national committee to combat naturalization" and is working to amend the 1963 nationality law in order to achieve full control of the naturalization process. It also aims to codify preventing the naturalized of exercising the political right of nomination, election and managing a public office. The objectives of the opposition (Secular+ religious Shiit) is to impose its agenda aiming at affirming dominance of Shia sect on the future of the country and provoke racial as well as sectarian sentiments to serve its political objectives.

This was evident from the primary recommendations of the Naturalization committee, formed by the House of Representatives (May 2004), and the most important points were:

· ascertain the fulfillment of applicants for naturalization conditions specified in 1963 law (public + private + exceptions to the Majesty the king).
· forming a regulatory body to follow up the steps to grant nationality.
· specifying clear criteria for the exception cases.
· Limiting naturalization only to the actual needs of the State.
· Disclosing orders granting citizenship, its withdrawal and abolishment in official Gazette.

The State has exhausted efforts to overcome these recommendations and avoid non-compliance.

• Naturalization file shall resurface strongly in September 2005, after a period of six months granted by the House of Representatives to the Minister of the Interior to respond to the report of the Special Committee investigating the matter.

• Shia depuites Abdulhadi Marhoon + Ali Al-Samahiji + Abdulnabi Salman + Mohammad Abbas Al-Sheikh + Jassem Abdulaal will exploit the "nationalization" file, in a dirty manner, as Bahrain enters the electoral battle in 2006.

The following chart shows the difference, in numbers between the population of the two sects (Shia and Sunni), will continue forever. It would create a state of escalating sectarian confrontations and encourage targeting the regime, if things persists unchanged.
The alternative option should bear in mind the outcome of currently prevailing procedures aimed at changing the population demography. They are:

Focus on the naturalization of expertise (Arab and foreign). The number is small, and does not exceed at best 2000 case per year. The families of these competencies are usually small (number of children do not exceed 3).
The cases, currently under consideration, at best and of all groups, do not exceed 25 thousand application. It is estimated that it will not contribute significantly in changing the situation. During 6 months of 2003, for instance, the naturalization cases did not exceed 7300.
The proposal to facilitate for the conditions of the dual nationality with Qatar, at best, will add not more than three thousand naturalized. The issue becomes more moral than practical, especially with the desire of Qatari Authorities not to grant nationality to the "Baharneh"- Shiite Bahrainis.
Dual citizenship with Saudi Arabia didnot not produce more than 15 thousand naturalized. In the previous elections- meaning 2002 election- their effect was very limited in constituencies, but was its political exploitation was frightening.
Continue to negotiate with the tribes of Saudi Arabia to support dual naturalization. This will provide, at most, 60 thousand people, but most of them will not move to Bahrain and will just act as reserve, for periodic "urgency".
Collective marriage. Despite its low cost (340 marriages cost 30 thousand Dinars), its impact, at the end, is more than limited. For example, the Islamic Education Society (Salafi), a leader in the collective marriage project, facilitated collective marriage of about 2500 marriages, during the period from 1992-2005. Only 70% of the marital relationships lasted and contributed in increasing the number of the Sunni population of 6 thousand child during the 13 years.
But the Shiite community encircled this project, adopted the same idea and applied it with effectiveness. They managed to secure internal and external support (UAE + Kuwait) – for the collective marriage project- and organized joint events by it charity funds, to facilitate, in one month (May 2005), 700 Shiite marriage cases against 300 Sunni cases in that year. Not to mention the cases of marriage (temporary “mutaha” or permanent), which are increasingly promoted during Ashura between the Shiites men of Saudi Arabia (From Hasa area) and Al-Baharna women!!

Despite the importance of continuing and ensuring not naturalizing Shiites of Iranian or Iraqi origin, because of its justified danger to the national security, and because the loyalty of these is questionable (loyalty is to Iran and not to Bahrain). However, the current procedures allow naturalization of these people on an average of one thousand individual a year. We believe that effective option must consider the experience mentioned earlier, in particular the Israeli experience, benefiting from its course and the difference in circumstances.

When Israel felt that number of Jews immigrants from the Western countries constantly decreased, because of the decline in the standard of living in Israel compared with the Western countries, it (Israel) headed towards Eastern Europe and managed in a short period of time grant citizenship to more than a million citizens of Russia alone. Then it went towards Africa, and obtained nearly 300 thousand Flasha Jews from Sudan and Ethiopia, as well as about 150 thousand from South Africa. Now, they are heading to India, where they discovered Indian Jewish group there!

In order for Bahrain to achieve the required balance, it must consider naturalization of 10 thousand Sunnis per year would not, absolutely, affect the currently prevailing the relation (see the chart in p.5). If the number was raised gradually to 20 thousand per annum, it could succeed in amending the demography at the end of 2016. If, however, the number was raised gradually to 50 thousand per year, its capability to alter the population composition could be realized after the year 2010. In our judgment, this is the only strategic option.

The legitimate question is about how to implement that arrangement before the eyes of the opposition, and its ongoing campaigns.

From media perspective, firstly: the topic should be presented as part of the strategic objective to preserve the identity of Bahrain, as stipulated in the National Action Charter (NAC) and the Constitution, confronting schemes designed to naturalize Asian expatriates in the Arabian Gulf (see page 10).
Secondly, highlighting the matter in relation to revitalization and strengthening the Bahraini community, as well as the achievement economic growth and stimulate social interaction to combat opposition allegations that it will cause social fragmentation and low level of income. The main objective to focus on the gradual coverage of the (naturalization) issue is to raise the pace of Sunnis response and their support to this strategy, while activating its role in the national arena through the emphasis that the (naturalized) are of the (trustworthy).


- The focus should be on three main sources to push the naturalization process: Iraq Sunnis, Asians focusing on Baluch, Bengal and Yemenis. Most of these nationalities dream of better economic opportunity in Bahrain.
- Currently, there are more than 120 thousand Iraqi Sunni in Jordan fugitive from tyranny and Shiite persecution in Iraq . Making use of this quantity in facilitating the presence of at least 30thousand of them in Bahrain. Despite the roughness nature of the Iraqis compared to the Bahrainis, this will help in elevating the temperature (heat) of the Bahraini Sunnis. They will provide the practical proof, that the fate of the Sunnis in Bahrain will not differ from that of their Iraqi brothers, if Baharneh (Bahraini Shiite) were allowed to take control of the country. At the same time, there is the positive psychological impact.
- Discrimination and persecution facing Iraqi Sunnis, since the fall of Saddam, is still virtually undisclosed in all parts of the Islamic world. Bahrain can be used this in its propaganda campaigns, directed internally, to pre-empt the current Shiite schemes
- Sudan's population is 30 million. There are no less than 700 thousand Sudanese expatriate in SAUDI Arabia+ UAE + and Sultanate of Oman from different professions and a specialties (labour + professional). Although their economic circumstances in those countries are better, the temptation to obtain the Bahraini nationality, resettlement and the stability of their families in Bahrain did not attract many of them. They are often not inclined to obtain citizenship for psychological reasons.
- There are about 200 thousand Sudanese now living in Egypt, escaping the situation in Sudan. Most of them are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Migration Organization in you procedures were resettled in Canada + Austria + of the mandates of the United + States Scandinavia. procedures Altot Yen long and complex and a 5 - 3 years. This could be considered in order to provide a source of large numbers eligible scientifically.
· The third source is Yemen, which has a population exceeding 21 million. The high percentage of education and low level of income make immigration a primary choice for most Yemenis. Bahrain has been attractive place for them, in the light of Saudi intransigence towards their entry to the Kingdom.
· The surplus population of Other Arab countries, especially Jordan, Yemen, Syria, Egypt and Morocco could be used to provide 15 thousands annually. The focus here would be on those born in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia (Stateless or “Bedoon”), for ease of harmony with Bahrainis and gain of habits of the Gulf
· Systematizing a proper mechanism to attract these competencies and human resources who have been examined (socially + politically) in the past and their characteristics matched with that of the Bahraini society.
· A plan, set to process and accept applications for naturalization, has been adopting flexible regulations in its review and evaluation, through grant Bahraini nationality by reducing the number of years of residence in Bahrain to three years for Sunnis of Arab descent. This may raise the current number to about 25 thousand eligible for citizenship at the very least. Based on these recommendations, the sources of naturalizing Sunnis could be summarized as follows: (See Table).
The Challenges of the Demographic Status

¯ Bahrain is no exception. It is today, as was during previous centuries, representing a melting pot of cultures, races and ethnics
¯ The National Action Charter and the Constitution reference hold a special consideration represented by its Arab and Islamic identity and reinforce its links in the regional environment, in the light of clear loyality in the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council at present and by fate.
¯ In the policy and laws to grant residency for foreigners, (Bahrain) adheres to international standards, and is not different, in essence, from those applicable in the United States or the European Union (Article 17 of the Constitution).
¯ Within a decade, the population density in Bahrain increased from 532 to 909 person. Thus the compatibility should be considered between population and economic growths. Therefore, as do all states of the world, the policy of the Kingdom of Bahrain is the sustained attention of the population issue. This was a difficult challenge at time of independence and sovereignty, which was concluded by the Security Council in 1970, when Iran, then, claimed affiliation of Bahrain and worked on the entire demographic change and obliterate the identity and features of the Arab and Islamic countries and the pillars of its sovereignty and national well.
The Bahraini Policy
The Bahrain's strategic objective is controlling the rapid population growth and support opportunities for increasing number of Sunnis in order to preserve the national identity, Bahraini culture and social cohesion. It is a policy based on the principle of swift decision-making, through reducing foreign employment and kept at a minimum level while treating the economic situations and activating a strategy addressing unemployment by opening migration opportunities for the Shiite, whatever few in number, and the maximum utilization of foreign competencies necessary for Development.

The State is studying the population impact for any imbalance in the demography by revising laws, regulations, governmental programs, as well as health and education services before implementation within the framework of retrieving the law. It also seeks to link training and education outputs with the needs of sustainable development and encouraging Sunni women to enter labour market, considering the privacy of the community and its traditions, as the vast majority of the female work force in the labor market is Shiite.

The Bahraini Constitution (2002) in article 17 states that: ”a-Bahraini nationality shall be determined by law. A person inherently enjoying his Bahraini nationality cannot be stripped of his nationality except in case of treason, and such other cases as prescribed by law”. The naturalization process is subjected to the sovereign supervision according to “Bahrain Nationality Code” of 1963 and its amendments.

The same constitution states (Article 18): “People are equal in human dignity, and citizens are equal before the law in public rights and duties. There shall be no discrimination among them on the basis of sex, origin, language, religion or creed”. Therefore, there is no distinction between the indigenous Bahrainis or those naturalized, in all circumstances.

Long-term risks
In addition to the domestic challenge of sectarian imbalances and its political repercussions, there is the danger of the groups of Asian migrants to the Gulf states. It is known that the labour Asian groups migrated to South Africa, the Caribbean Islands and Fiji became, later, settlers then to citizens, a case occurred in a period of 20 to 30 years of demographic change of these countries, then to rulers through the democratic game. Another case is the Chinese employment experience in Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, and their control over the economy. In Singapore, and within a decade, the Indian migrant work force gained recognition, political, economic and social power, surpassed all imagination. In different historical circumstances, the French community turned into political and economic power in the West Arab countries. The Persian migrations to Iraq, during the eighth decade of twentieth century, caused a serious problem. The experience of the White settlement in South Africa and Jews in Palestine, are all cases worthy of consideration.

The demography in the Gulf Cooperation Council States is occupied, as a result of long-term policies and migration overlap among tribes and citizens of these countries. During the period of instability, climatic changes and scarcity of resources, large populated groups moved in the Arabian peninsula, Iran and Iraq, and in opposite directions.

After discovery of oil, the region became attractive for foreign labor from all over the world. Today, the foreigners constitute 85% of the population of the UAE, 80% of Qatar, about 35% of Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Kuwait, while they are about 38% in Bahrain.

But at the time of accelerating the democratic transformations in the Gulf and the corresponding policies of globalization, it seems that the settlement project of Asian labour migrants find future protection from military alliances and international organizations, operating under various names. The most serious was the United Nations Universal Declaration for the Protection of Minorities, the ILO successive resolutions backed by the labor-exporting countries, number of decisions issued by the European Union and the leadership of NATO in this regard. What happened in the Balkans are sufficient evidence, without the need for further elaboration. We are now entering a phase where local matters can not be separated from the regional or global one, how small it is. From here, it is necessary to look at the future of the heavy presence of the Asian employment, as a timed bomb that threatens the stability of the entire democratization projects in the region.

We bear this in mind, so that the imbalance in the population composition doesnot contribute in the destabilization of Bahrain and its sovereignty. These concerns have been consistent with the regional efforts, spearheaded in the past, in particular, Iran and India and international attempts working to secure the appropriate climate to impose granting citizenship and equality of rights and duties of the Asian and Persian communities under the pretext that this will help to the security and stability of the political system in the Gulf states. Also, for a period of time, legitimate concerns prevailed over the political role the overriding foreign presence will have, instigated by external forces exploited for foreign intervention to protect and insure the interests of these communities. The growing trend among some Western countries, and its attempt to put on its agenda the issue of resettlement of Asian labour migrants in the framework of the situation rearrangement of the Arabian Gulf region, is an issue since the mid-ninth decade of the twentieth century. It is a milestone project buttressed by political and research institutions as well as organizations working in the area of human rights and protection of minorities.

This project has gone beyond the stage of contemplation to the stage of advocacy in the decision-making circles in some Western countries and put forward as one of the means of dissolving the Arab and Islamic identity, midst migrant groups of different religions, cultures and origins. This will serve to transplant the nucleus of pluralism and its maintenance in the womb of societies of purely Islamic, Arabism intolerant, and of a tendency towards extremism and terrorism. It is mandatory to use this information to neutralize the posture of the Western countries against the opposition campaigns.

Formation of a standing committee under the chairmanship of Sheikh Mohammed bin Attiyatallah Al-Khalifa, Head of the Royal Court
This project can be dealt, only by dual media campaign intensifying the awareness of the dangers of the Asian communities on Bahrain, as a political cover, while gradually replacing the Asian employment groups by the naturalized in the framework of the recommendations to address the demographic imbalance between Sunnis and Shiites in Bahrain;
Under any circumstances, any opportunity to open the “naturalization issue” in the House of Deputies should be prevented.
he Bahraini Policy
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