Saudi Arabia - Royal Racists

Racism- This hateful ideology plagued the west at one point, it was because of this ideology that the tragedy of the Nazi Holocaust, the segregation of America and the Apartheid of South Africa all happened. Though on the whole racism and racist ideology in the west has declined substantially yet there still remain areas which are deeply racist. In the current economic climate we see a stagnation in the decline of racism, with the rise of the English Defence League (EDL) and even the remarks made by Senator John Mccain regarding immigrants, remember it wasn’t racism in German society that bought Hitler to power it was the economic situation.
In Islam racism as an ideology or even as a valid view is rejected. The prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: 

"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action."

It would be fair to say that racism does exist in the Muslim world, it must be made clear that this is not a religious issue no religion I know of, if interpreted correctly encourages or promotes racism. Nevertheless racism exists, whether its the Pashtun and the Hazara, Pakistanis and Bengali’s or Arabs and non-Arabs. Islam came to take us away from such backwardness yet some among us cling to it as if our lives depend on it. Even among the Arabs many of whom grew up in the era of secular nationalism the racism shown by Saudi’s is astonishing.

Saudi Arabia a county which is seen by many as the most conservative Muslim nation on earth, a country where women are forbidden from driving and the education system is more likely to produce militants than doctors. Despite all that Saudi Arabia is an immensely rich country at least by Arab and Asian standards, the indigenous population on the whole live well and the state provides a lot for the people. Yet the racism remains, the Saudi’s look down on all non-Arabs and even look down on other Arabs. An example of ‘Arab’ racism is Dubai, the wonders of Dubai were not built by the indigenous Arabs of Dubai but rather by foreign workers from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia and other Muslim countries. These workers are treated slightly better than slaves and their lives are a million miles from the kind of lives the Sheikhs and Emirs of Dubai enjoy.

This same trend is seen in Saudi, it takes twice as long to apply for Saudi citizenship than British citizenship. Prior to 2004 foreigners couldn’t even apply for citizenship. If anyone has the pleasure of traveling to Saudi Arabia and especially the holy cities of Makkah and Medina then the racism that many of the Saudi guards show is hard to miss.

With greater levels of prosperity many wealthier Saudi’s have taken to employing servants from other parts of the Muslim world, many of them from Indonesia, Malaysia or parts of Africa. These women (mostly) are in many cases treated brutally and inhumanely. Ruyati binti Sapubi was one such maid who was beaten and tortured by boss, unable to endure any more she ended up killing her mistress with a kitchen knife. For this ‘crime’ she was beheaded in Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile those whom torture and beat their servants manage to escape justice in Saudi Arabia, a justice system which rules based on the racial status of the accused cannot provide justice.

Its the racist world view that so many Saudi’s hold that is leading to this kind of evil, but I think its more than just racism. It seems to me that this is a hatred of the poor more than anything else. The Saudi’s for centuries were living in poverty, there was a time when Saudi Arabia was just as poor as Yemen, the Saudi’s have escaped poverty and now they revile those who are still in poverty or who have come from poverty. Its almost like they feel that if they associate with the poor they themselves will become poor. The prophet Muhammad said:

“O God, grant me life as a poor man, cause me to die as a poor man and resurrect me in the company of the poor..” His wife asked him why he said that, and he replied: “Because (the poor) will enter Paradise (before) the rich. Do not turn away a poor man…even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you..God will bring you near Him on the Day of Ressurrection.” Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1376.

This is an unislamic and medieval attitude that still survives in Saudi Arabia but can we expect anything more form a nation which deems it just to behead a woman who killed her torturer and abuser in self defence. It its unfortunate that in today’s world those who like to brag the loudest about their Islam are those who are furthest from Islam, they may grow beards or wear thobes but their actions are a disgrace to the way of the prophet (pbuh). The Quran says about such people:

‘Ah, woe unto worshippers, Who are heedless of their prayer; Who would be seen (at prayer), Yet refuse small kindness!’ (Quran 107:4-7)

May God increase our faith and improve our attitudes to each other. 
                                                                                          W’Salaam ~ Peace


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