In a country that takes pride in its level of security and stability, it seems at first glance that every single individual working under the umbrella of the Ministry of Interior knows exactly their job which is serving citizens and residents alike achieving security, stability and tranquility. Yet, more than any other job the enthusiasm by which those individuals carry out their day-to-day duties is noticeable.
I had asked my 6-year-old a year ago about his ambitions as he grows up and he had set his mind on becoming a pilot. The other day as we celebrated his 7th birthday, I asked him the same question again and this time he looked more confident and determined as he expressed his wish to become a policeman. Of course being a child, I was not surprised at all by the change of heart he had and was rather expecting it. However, as I investigated his motives further, saying that I was surprised is an understatement. “All my friends and myself will become policemen so we can have power over everybody else and do whatever we like without being questioned, in fact only we can question everybody else’s actions” he excitedly explained!
As much as I’d like to think differently, from what I have heard and witnessed of most of the workers in the concerned body’s behavior I’m positive that a fair number of men in Saudi Arabia had the same kind of idea before they decided to join the police or security forces. The shortcoming, if I may say, has nothing to do with the nature of the job itself but rather some of those who deliver it. When an individual whose education does not go beyond high school or in most cases even a high school dropout puts on a security uniform and thinks with his modest professional abilities that he has become the Minister of Interior himself with unlimited authorities, we can expect nothing but misuse of power. The lack of proper training along with the blurred line of authority of each and every security figure let along the blind trust in their testimony against that of civilians contributes to their ill-use of perceived power. Furthermore, the public’s ignorance about their legal rights plays a vital role in encouraging this kind of irresponsible behavior. The combination of corruption, lack of awareness and mismanagement, makes fertile ground for the abuse of any given power.
It is undeniable that for people to feel safe they need to trust that the individuals representing security forces know what they’re doing and all the more know their limitations. And that is precisely why the country represented in the Ministry of Interior should not allow such bad examples to distort the greater image of the country and its aims to achieve security, stability and tranquility.