Saturday, February 10, 2007

The west turns a blind eye to Saudi extremism

Tuesday's Guardian contained an excellent article by Mai Yamani attacking the bizarre notion that the allies of the US in the Middle East are in any way "moderate". She points out that: "...Saudi Wahhabis are fanatics; Egypts's Hosni Mubarak is intolerant of dissent..." and that these countries have "appalling human rights records". She quotes Amnesty International which describes Saudi Arabia as a country where "there are no political parties, no elections, no independent legislature, no trade independent judiciary, no independent human rights organisations...strict censorship of the media...strict control of access to the internet, satellite television and other forms of communication with the outside world". By coincidence the same edition of the Guardian reported that the Saudi-run King Fahd school in Acton, west London, uses teaching materials translated from Arabic in which it is asserted that Jews "engage in witchcraft and sorcery and obey Satan" and invites pupils to "name some repugnant characteristics of Jews". The textbooks describe Jews as "monkeys" and Christians as "pigs". (This comes hard on the heels of the Channel Four Dispatches programme which revealed similar rantings by extremist clerics at the Green Lane Mosque in London). A quick internet search turned up the link below:

Here one discovers that recently:

"...a Saudi Arabian judge sentenced 20 foreigners to receive lashes and spend several months in prison after convicting them of attending a party where alcohol was served and men and women danced, a newspaper reported Sunday".

A fairly typical occurrence in Saudi.

It is also reported that under the cloak of the "war on terror" the Saudi regime is taking the opportunity to attack liberals (who are being arrested, tortured, and raped). The west, of course, turns a blind eye.

There is also this, from The Times, revealing officially sanctioned child slavery:

Times, UK, 2005 Peter Conradi, Abu Dhabi
ALTHOUGH he is barely five years old, Shakheel has already learnt the harsh reality of life as a professional jockey: a deep scar runs up his stomach from a fall suffered in one race and his leg was broken when he was knocked from his mount during another.
Like two dozen other boys being sheltered at a safe house in a military base in the United Arab Emirates, Shakheel is a victim of the wealthy rulers’ national obsession: camel racing.
As many as 5,000 children, some as young as two, have been kidnapped or bought from their parents in the Indian sub-continent and Africa as part of a quest by camel trainers to gain the edge over their racing rivals.

Moderates? Is it not shameful that these people are our allies?


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