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Saudi Arabia: The Middle East's Real Apartheid State

Society & Culture  (tags: Saudi Arabia, abuse, apartheid, Islam, Muslims, corruption, crime, culture, death, ethics, freedoms, government, murder, religion, rights, sadness, safety, society, violence, women, world )

- 1574 days ago -
There is a country in the Middle East where 10 percent of the population is denied equal rights because of their race, where black men are not allowed to hold many government positions, where black women are put on trial for witchcraft and where the c

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Gillian M (218)
Monday February 24, 2014, 10:34 am
There is a country in the Middle East where 10 percent of the population is denied equal rights because of their race, where black men are not allowed to hold many government positions, where black women are put on trial for witchcraft and where the custody of children is granted to the parent with the most “racially superior” bloodline.

This Apartheid State is so enormously powerful that it controls American foreign policy in the Middle East even as its princes and princesses bring their slaves to the United Kingdom and the United States.

That country is Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia abolished slavery in 1962 under pressure from President Kennedy, who accomplished what the Ottoman Empire and the League of Nations had not been able to, but that hasn’t stopped its citizens from selling castrated slaves on Facebook or its princes from beating their black slaves to death in posh London hotels.

The Saudis had clung to their racist privileges longer than anyone else. When rumors reached Mecca that the Ottoman Empire might be considering the abolition of African slavery and equal rights for all, the chief of the Ulema of Mecca issued a fatwa declaring “the ban on slaves is contrary to Sharia (Islamic Law)… with such proposals the Turks have become infidels and it is lawful to make their children slaves.”

But Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth eventually made slavery economically unnecessary. Early on, African slaves worked for foreign oil companies which paid their masters, but they were a poor fit for the oil economy. The Kingdom no longer needed agricultural slaves and pearl drivers; it needed trained technicians from the West and international travel made it cheaper to import Asian workers for household labor and construction than to maintain its old trade in slaves.

The Saudis replaced the 450,000 slaves of the 1950s with 8.4 million guest workers. These workers are often treated like slaves, but they are not property and are therefore even more disposable than the slaves were. Exact numbers are hard to come by, but Nepal alone reported 265 worker deaths in Saudi Arabia in a single year.

Human Rights Watch has described conditions for foreign workers in Saudi Arabia as resembling slavery.

Meanwhile the three million Afro-Saudis are denied equal rights, prevented from serving as judges, security officials, diplomats, mayors and many other official positions. Afro-Saudi women are not allowed to appear on camera.

“There is not one single black school principal in Saudi Arabia,” the Institute for Gulf Affairs, a Saudi human rights group, reported.

Kafa’ah, equality in marriage, is used to establish that both sides are free from the “taint” of slave blood. The blood of Takruni, West African slaves, or Mawalid, slaves who gained their freedom by converting to Islam, is kept out of the Saudi master race through genealogical records that can be presented at need.

Challenges to the Kafa’ah of a marriage occur when tribal members uncover African descent in the husband or the wife after the marriage has already occurred. The racially inferior party is ordered to present “proof of equality” in the form of family trees and witnesses. If the couple is judged unequal, the Saudi Gazette reported, “Children’s custody is usually given to the ‘racially superior’ parent.”

These Saudi efforts at preventing their former slaves from intermarrying with them have only accelerated their incestuous inbreeding. In parts of Saudi Arabia, the percentage of marriages among blood relatives can go as high as 70%.

Saudi Arabia has the second highest rate of birth defects in the world, but a Saudi Sheikh blamed this phenomenon on female drivers, even though women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.

Equality has always been a foreign concept to the Saudis whose tribal castes determine the right to rule. In Saudi Arabia everyone has their place, from the Afro-Saudi, to the non-Muslim guest worker to the Saudi woman.

On the road to Mecca, a sign points one way for “Muslims” and another for “Non-Muslims.” Only Muslims are allowed into the holy cities of Islam. A Christian truck driver from Sri Lanka who wandered into Mecca was arrested and dispatched for trial to a Sharia court of Islamic law.

Likewise, women are barred from many jobs, kept from driving and even electronically tracked to prevent them from leaving the country. Guest workers in Saudi Arabia are treated as slaves, their identity papers held by their employers, preventing them from leaving without permission.

The guest workers however, if they survive the witchcraft accusations and sexual assaults, will escape back to Ethiopia, Sri Lanka or the Philippines with a fraction of the money that they were supposed to earn. The Afro-Saudis however have nowhere to return to. Saudi Arabia is the only home they know.

The Arab slave trade was longer, crueler and far more enduring than anything Europeans and Americans are familiar with and left behind large numbers of Afro-Arabs across the Middle East and Afro-Turks in Turkey. While African-Americans are prominently represented in American life, Afro-Arabs and Afro-Turks suffer from an inferior status which keeps them away from political power and out of public view.

American soldiers in Basra were surprised to discover large numbers of Afro-Iraqis. The hundreds of thousands of Afro-Iraqis are a legacy of the Zanj slave rebellion when 500,000 African slaves rose against their Arab masters. The Afro-Iraqis are free, but relentlessly discriminated against. In Gaza, 10,000 Afro-Arabs face daily discrimination. But it is the Afro-Saudis who are the Middle East’s best kept secret.

Nawal Al-Hawsawi was dubbed the Rosa Parks of Saudi Arabia when she took three women to court who insultingly called her “Abd” or slave. Nawal dropped the court case after she received an apology, but the taunt of “slave” is one that Afro-Saudis have to live with daily in Saudi Arabia.

“The monarchy’s religious tradition still views blacks as slaves,” Ali Al-Ahmed, the Director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, wrote in Foreign Policy Magazine.

The Institute blames Deputy Saudi Foreign Minister Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah, the son of the Saudi king, for being the architect of the Saudi apartheid state, but Saudi apartheid predates any one man.

Saudi slavery was intertwined with Islam, receiving sanction from the Koran and the Hadiths while relying on the Saudi role as the guardians of Mecca and Medina to lure African Muslims into slavery. African Muslims who made the pilgrimage to Mecca were defrauded and forced to sell their children into slavery to afford the return trip home. Slave traders lured African Muslims from Sudan, Mali and Burkina Faso by promising to take them to the holy places of Islam and teach them to read the Koran in Arabic.

Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan, a leading authority on Islam in Saudi Arabia, bluntly stated, “Slavery is a part of Islam. Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam.” The linkage between slavery, Jihad and Islam dates back to Mohammed whose followers were compensated with human property.

In The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa, John Alembillah Azumah writes that, “In pre-Islamic Arabia blacks were held in high esteem and did marry Arab women … the discrimination on account of the colour of their skin is a development within the Islamic period.”

Racism was a necessary prerequisite to the expansion of Islam through Jihad. The land that is today known as Saudi Arabia was at the center of those conquests, growing rich in slaves and loot. Today it is once again at the center of the new Jihad, its every atrocity justified by its role in the holy wars of Islam.

Teresa W (782)
Monday February 24, 2014, 10:39 am

Gillian M (218)
Monday February 24, 2014, 10:42 am
There are links from the story if you go to the page, this is the first one, it sickens me that no-one will speak out but, what is worse, is that there are people who complain that such stories are brought to their attention and suggest that it is racist. Yes, this is racist but against those that suffer and by buffoons who think that these stories should be hidden.

Saudi Arabia's farcical justice system condemned seven young men to death this week, and the world remained silent.

This where the picture came from

Saudi Arabia: Nameless Filipino Maid Subject to Savage Muslim Assault and Rape in the Middle East (Graphic video!)

Although THIS link is from Aug 2012, it still didn't mean that it didn't happen nor that this poor woman suffered. I wish I could give her a name, she deserves that at the very least.


Stan B (123)
Monday February 24, 2014, 12:53 pm
What a disgusting excuse for a civilized country!! Is there a BDS movement against Saudi Arabia?
Thought not.

Gillian M (218)
Monday February 24, 2014, 1:35 pm
Stan, Saudi is not civilised, it is an Islamic country. Islam and human rights do not go together according to the EY Court of human rights, repeatedly.

Carol Dreeszen (346)
Monday February 24, 2014, 2:59 pm
How anyone in their right mind thinks they can OWN another human being is in itself a form of a cancer that has eaten the sane psychological thinking right out of their head! Just pathetic! I remember reading about the Princess in California who had brought a slave with her....don't remember exactly what happened on that one.

. (0)
Monday February 24, 2014, 4:41 pm

Hilary S (65)
Tuesday February 25, 2014, 2:06 am
the laws of saudi arabia resemble nothing we might recognise as humane. racism flourishes there, and has done for a very long time. saudi arabia makes the dark ages look quite modern.

Caroline S (78)
Tuesday February 25, 2014, 4:19 am
Saudi Arabia abolished slavery in 1962... Really ??? }:-((

Tuesday February 25, 2014, 6:15 am
Ah, the power of that magical stuff oil that washes away all sins and morality and produces the most wonderful form of selective amnesia. Presidents past and present cavort with Saudi Arabian rulers bowing, scraping and waltzing hand in hand like lovers after a romantic tryst. Besides it hosts and spawned a hugely powerful religion that has designs on the whole planet – our rulers have to hedge their bets. Last but not least, we must not forget that elections in the USA are won and lost on the price of a gallon of gas at the pump. Oh hail to oil – all together now BOW!

. (0)
Tuesday February 25, 2014, 6:40 am
I had no idea...thanks for the article.

Madhu Pillai (22)
Tuesday February 25, 2014, 12:52 pm
This country is the pits, the less I hear of it the better. The double standards of US and UK foreign policy when it comes to this country is disguising. Money talks!

Athena F (131)
Tuesday February 25, 2014, 2:10 pm
thank you

Birgit W (160)
Tuesday February 25, 2014, 2:28 pm
Outrageous. But I guess we still have some problems of our own to solve too.

Mary Donnelly (47)
Tuesday February 25, 2014, 3:46 pm
Thanks for post--dreadful but unsurprising results in a country which is more like a rich fiefdom.

Freya H (357)
Tuesday February 25, 2014, 7:59 pm
Just more proof that Saudi Arabia is one of this planet's two armpits. The other one is North Korea.

P. L. Neola (21)
Wednesday February 26, 2014, 11:59 am
“The Saudis replaced the 450,000 slaves of the 1950s with 8.4 million guest workers. These workers are often treated like slaves, but they are not property and are therefore even more disposable than the slaves were. Exact numbers are hard to come by, but Nepal alone reported 265 worker deaths in Saudi Arabia in a single year.”

Recently, I have seen videos or read articles on the so called “guest workers.”

I got the impression that certain companies had recruitment centers in various countries. These recruiters gave an excellent sales pitch of excellent pay in decent working conditions. They obtained work visas and passports within a few days with the help of their new employers. Many of these guest workers left families in their home countries.

However, no sooner than they arrived in the Arab country or Saudi Arabia, their employers took their passports from them. They were taken to their work sites and, within weeks, they realized their employers were not going to pay the established pay scale they guaranteed in the written contracts. Some guest workers were under paid or simply not paid at all. Most worked for several months without pay. What was even worse was that the guest workers were not even able to send any letters home to their families. Their own families were left in the dark over the terrible predicament their family members were in. These guest workers are sons, fathers and uncles to families in some Asian country—many came from Indonesia. A large number of men were tricked into this forced labor under the guise of volunteering for overseas work with great pay.

Gabriele Jefferson (147)
Saturday March 1, 2014, 6:08 am
note, signed, shared on fb, twitter & google+, thx.
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