Naturalization and the Rights of Citizens Print

Taha J. al 'Alwani

The subject of naturalization, which is an integral part of the concept of identity and its related problems, has been an issue in the Muslim world since its first contacts with western thought, culture, military, and politics. Even though the matter was decided, in practical terms, by the emergence of ethnic and geographic nation-states out of the wreckage of the Ottoman Empire, it remains an open topic at the cultural and academic levels. In fact, whether it is addressed as a challenge, an excuse, or as a means to an end, it remains a major and very sensitive question. As new ethnic and regional Muslim nation-states begin to show signs of instability, the subject grows more complex: it takes on new aspects of identity and affiliation and seeks to discover the best way of ordering relations between the peoples of each region or between them and the (factional, military, or otherwise) elitist governments controlling them... read more