New Iraqi Citizenship Law Stirs Controversy

Sara Al Shurafra, Gulf News, March 17, 2019

As soon as the Iraqi parliament passed a bill to amend the Nationality Law last week, many Iraqis have taken to social media to express their anger.

The new law states that any person who enters the country legally — and resides in it for a year legally — can get the Iraqi passport.

Iraqis saw it as a new “disaster” for their country.

Iraq, they said, had already suffered so much from the scourge of war and corruption.

Some see it as a way to change the demography and population of Iraq.

Others see that the Iraqi identity, which is already suffering from years of war, is being jeoprodised.

Most of the comments on social media accuses the government of passing the law because of the Iranian influence.

Any foreign immigrant who stays in Iraq for a year can be naturalised. So our Iranian ‘brothers’ won’t be upset. Hopefully, in five years, Iraqis will be a minority.

One user on twitter wrote: “Any foreign immigrant who stays in Iraq for a year can be naturalised. So our Iranian ‘brothers’ won’t be upset. Hopefully, in five years, Iraqis will be a minority.”

Another Iraqi wrote: “The new nationalisation law aims to change the demographics in Iraq, end the presence of the Iraqi people as a genuine people and replace it with races and ethnicities from Iran, Afghanistan, India and others.”

Raja’s Yousef explained the fear from the new law saying: “In the nearest religious visit, if 2 million Iranian came into Iraq, and a million do not return back to Iran, after one year they will be give the Iraqi passport and a social welfare of 500,000 dinars i.e. $400 and they will send to their families back home. This is all is taken from the Iraqi orphans money.”

Another used expressed her anger from the way Iraqis are treated now in their country “the new law gives a passport to strangers!! And the Iraqi to prove that his identity takes him over a year. As Iraqis we should stand in the face of this insult to our country and to us.”

Other Iraqis saw that such law can be positive for the Kurds. During Saddam’s rule, they were deprived of their citizenship and left at the borders between Iraq and Iran.

“Kurds are part of this society; they were victims of the sectarian and racist practices of the old regime. At the time of Saddam, they were subjected to the most heinous genocides and forced displacements, as hundreds of thousands of them were dumped in the open, on the Iranian border, and all their possessions were confiscated,” Abu Hussein added “Justice must be done and their rights returned to them”

Another Iraqi posted on Twitter: “You first give a decent and respectful life to the Iraqis, and then think of adding foreigners to our population. We are supposed to withdraw the nationality of anyone who agrees with such a law.”

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.