Last week the whole world was shocked when the people of the capital of England, decided to elect the first Muslim as the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
This comes at a time when the world is facing daunting terrorism challenges and the fact that he was a Muslim could have prevented the people of London to make him their first Muslim Mayor.
Nobody thought someone from a minority group could one day become a mayor in London at time when the biggest threat to the stability of the west is terrorism which is often wrongly linked to Islam
This is because Islam is one of the most peaceful religions in the world and the people that normally kill in the name of Islam are not doing it because of Islam rather they are doing it for some reasons best know to them.
Even his opponent, Zac Goldsmith and some senior members of the conservative party, including the Prime Minister tried to use the fact that he was a Muslim as a strategy to get voters to vote against him but Zac was even condemned by people in his party, describing his statement as one that is very irresponsible and out of place. Even the voters rejected that stereotypical and discriminatory tactics to lure them into voting for Zac Goldsmith.
In Sierra Leone, the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) has recommended that the “negro decent” requirement in the constitution for one to become citizens should be obliterated from our law books because it is very discriminatory.
After the CRC made this recommendation several people thought that the racist clause in the 1991 constitution should remain in the law books.
One of the people that has come up publicly against the recommendation of the CRC is Sylvanus Koroma, the younger brother of the President.
From all indications, it seems as if the only reason those people including that of the President’s Brother is giving why Sierra Leone should not have a liberal and progressive citizenship law is that of political one.
According to them, the Lebanese who are born in Sierra Leone are the ones that are controlling the economy of the country, so if they are made citizens they will have access to political power and they will one day rule Sierra Leone but I wonder if anything is wrong with that.
This is depicting that all these people care about is political power. Maybe if we have white colour President the people will be redeemed from the seeming perpetual poverty they are in now.
If they want negro people to own the economy they would have done that by coming up with policies that would empower them economically but I don’t believe they should use political reason as a factor for denying people citizenship, especially when most of those who are saying we should not given them citizenships are the ones that are benefiting from the largesse of the Lebanese Community.
Besides, the first factor in considering someone to be citizen of any country is by birth and not by the colour of his skin and if we say we want a modern country in this global village, we must begin to consider changing some of these obnoxious laws.
Had it not been that Sadiq Khan whose great grandparents were from Pakistan was not accepted first as a citizen of the United Kingdom by birth, he would not have become Mayor of London.
Apart from Sadiq Khan, today we have Nigerian born and bred but a Polish Citizen now by the name of John Abraham Godson as a Member of Parliament in a 99% white dominated country.
Before his rise to becoming Parliamentarians in a country that is known for racism, the Black Godson was a councilor of the city of Lodz.
Therefore people who think that Lebanese and other white colour who are borne in Sierra Leone are threat to their political ambitions should begin to have a rethink because the whole world is moving from that form of discrimination and as a country we should endeavor to move with the world
The other concern proponents of the Racist law are raising is the maintenance of our culture. This is something I don’t get because we cannot expect the white Sierra Leoneans more so the Lebanese to acculturate when we have not open up our laws for them to be given equal opportunity rather we have closed up everything by relegating even those that born and bred in this country to second class citizens.
If Sierra Leone should move forward we must begin to think out of the box and re-engineer some of these outrageous laws just like the criminal libel law.