Crown Prince Naif and world security |
Arab News - 18 June, 2012
Author: Abdulateef Al-Mulhim
The Middle East is known for being the most volatile area in the world. Each country has a lot of challenges and security threat, be it outside or inside threat. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was and still is the most stable island in a sea of turbulence. And Saudi Arabia had and still has the burden of being the center of gravity not in the Middle East only, but in the whole world. Saudi Arabia is the center of the Islamic world and is the country where the Two Holy Mosques are located. Crown Prince Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, was one of the few people who had influenced the world security. Saudi Arabia is a country, which has been looked at for guidance and advice by many countries on security issues.
Under the leadership of Crown Prince Naif, the Arab Interior Ministers Council adopted security strategies and agreements, such as the Arab Security Strategy in Baghdad in 1984, the Arab Preemptive Security Plan in Tunisia in 1985, the Arab Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism signed by the Arab Ministers of Interior and Justice in 1998 and the Arab Strategy Draft Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
The Kingdom shares thousands of kilometers of shoreline and thousands of kilometers of border with many countries. Every year Saudi Arabia receives millions of Muslims for Haj and millions more visit the Kingdom throughout the year for Umrah. So, how does Saudi Arabia manage to ensure security and be able to make arrangements to ensure all facilities and comforts for its religious and business visitors without having any impact on the rest of the population?
To try to understand these complicated issues, we have to ask who is Crown Prince Naif and what he had stood for and how did he manage to do these?
Crown Prince Naif was born in 1934 and passed away on Saturday, June 16, 2012. His life has been full of achievements in every aspect. He was a man of tough missions when it comes to security of the country. In the year 1975, he became the minister of interior. It was a time when the cold war was at its peak and it was the time when ideology could shift the toughest political sands. The Ministry of Interior in Saudi Arabia has been assigned the most difficult task because it is responsible for securing the inside and outside of the Kingdom, which covers an area of about one million square miles. The ministry is responsible for the police, passport control, anti-drug enforcement, civil defense, traffic control and the coast guard. Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries that has been able to achieve maximum control on internal security without being a police state. Saudis have never heard of security cameras until recently. Saudis didn’t know the meaning of heavy door locks.
Ten years ago, the most shocking terrorist attack was committed and the Kingdom also became a target of terrorists.
Crown Prince Naif took over the security of the country and the brainwashed young deviants came to realize that Saudi Arabia was no place for adventure. The whole world was surprised when they heard of a program of rehabilitation for any young man who was brainwashed by foreign elements. They were treated with respect as humans and citizens. Prince Naif was the man behind those achievements.
As the interior minister, the prince paid special attention to counter extremist ideology and terrorism. He was convinced of the need to deal with the extremism at an intellectual plane. He established a special department, called the Intellectual Security Department, within the Ministry of Interior in 2007. His activities in this line included the establishment and funding of the Prince Naif Chair for Intellectual Security at the King Saud University in 2008, funding the Prince Naif Chair for National Unity Studies in Imam Muhammad Islamic University in 2009, supporting dozens of research studies on the phenomenon of extremism and its links.
In the outside world, when a country is being selected to host a sport event, the security plans start the same day. A security check for the hundreds of sports fans begins. Saudi Arabia hosts millions of pilgrims every year. And they move from one spot to another in the vicinity of Makkah and it is done year after year without any security breach. Crown Prince Naif used to supervise the whole event from day one to the end of the pilgrimage season. All departments of the Ministry of Interior are mobilized.
With the aim of promoting Islamic learning, the prince instituted prizes such as the Naif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud International Prize for Sunnah and Contemporary Islamic Studies and the Prince Naif Competition for Memorization of Hadith.
Prince Naif was like a father figure to the Ministry of Interior people. And he was in close contact with all threads of the Saudi society. When some Saudi security personal lost their lives, Prince Naif took a direct care of the fathers, mothers, sons, daughters and wives of all dead security personal. They were given housing, jobs and allowances in addition to their regular government monthly pay. The Interior Ministry personal knew they had the best insurance. Prince Naif didn’t only build a security force, but he built hospitals, schools and modern day infrastructure for the ministry’s personal. Many of the Ministry of Interior’s personal had been educated in the best schools in the Kingdom and in the West. Prince Naif built the men before he built the infrastructure. He was educated in the best political schools, which is called the House of Al Saud.
Prince Naif was appointed crown prince and deputy premier on Oct. 27 last year.
As the minister of interior, the prince was noted for his commendable fight against terrorism, which resulted in stamping out the extremist menace from Saudi Arabia for good.
Born in Taif, the prince received his early education in religion, modern culture and diplomacy at the royal court. He also benefited from the vision of his father who was known for his political acumen and unparalleled statesmanship.
He was the vice governor and the governor of Riyadh at an early age. This gave him an edge in dealing with public and knowing all members of the families and tribes in the Saudi Kingdom.
Prince Naif has left us for heaven Inshaa Allah. But, he left us a country, which is an example in internal security, something many countries are hoping for. Prince Naif made the sense of security in Saudi Arabia simple reality.