The Holy Land of Racism
Nov 21, 2005
The Religious Policeman on Saudi Arabia:
... up until now, we've been one of the most rabidly racist countries in the world, and totally unconcerned about it. Walk down any Saudi street and ask anybody who looks as though they come from points East, how do the Saudis regard and treat you? Ask the Pakistani taxi driver. Ask the Bangladeshi street-cleaner, in his orange jump-suit, sweeping up the tissues and fast-food boxes that we thoughtfully throw out of our car window as we pass. Best of all, if you get the chance, ask our Indonesian housemaids.
I certainly saw that the "All Muslims are Equal" rhetoric is completely hollow in Saudi Arabia. Non-Saudis in the country don't have the right to own property. They must rent their living space and so did my family. We had to move around a lot because our compassionate Muslim brothers -- the Saudi owners -- would jack up the rent when the first year of lease was over.
Non-Saudis were employed to maintain the apartment buildings where we lived. They would keep watch over the entrance, wash a car for 10 riyals (US$2.66) in the suffocating heat, bring drinking water to many apartments, and clean the floors. I don't think they spent less than 12 hours a day on hard labor. I saw them eat only one food: rice. These guys were from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, or the Philippines. They sent a large chunk of their meagre income back home to their parents, wives, and kids. Most hadn't been to their native land in years. They simply couldn't afford to. They would chat a bit and offer the saddest smile whenever they saw us [we're Pakistanis]. Not an ounce of fat was present on their bodies. The oppressive sun had added a few coats of black to their skin color. Still, they worked hard and diligently without complaint.
Yet, the Saudis treated them with contempt. The Saudis would rather bark at them than speak to them like civilized men. The squalid workers would never utter a word in protest because they knew that in Saudi Arabia it doesn't take much to deport a foreign worker.
My dad worked in Saudi Arabia with many Arab colleagues. He often worked on the weekend to show his dedication (read: pick up the slack for incompetent Saudis). Yet, he got paid around half of what the company gave the Saudis. You see, at the very heart of Islam, some Muslims are more equal than others.
I once watched a documentary which presented the Haj in detail. The documentary showed a black man who was moved when he watched the rich and the poor, the men and the women, the white and the non-white, all praying to one God. Reality, however, reared its ugly head when he went outside the Mosque in Makkah to pray and sleep in a tent. The occupants of that tent wouldn't allow him to stay and pointed him to a different shelter. He soon realized why. That tent was for Arabs who wouldn't associate with anyone who is black. So, this black Muslim went to a different tent with folks from Africa who allowed him to stay. Inside the Mosque, all brothers are equal. Outside the Mosque, the unspoken racial apartheid is well and present.
Finally, an incident I'll never forget. A few years ago, while I was in Saudi Arabia, my mom told me to bring home my youngest brother from the bus stop. I was slightly confused. You see, the school bus dropped him off only a block away. I did walk him home after my mom clued me in.
"The Arab kids throw stones at him if he's alone."
Spent many years in SA and agree with you 100%. Although I'm not Muslim I was treated somewhat better than the TCN's because they knew that Americans for the most part wouldn't put up with their BS. The TCNs were captives on some occasions as their passports were confiscated upon their arrival and that in itself is self explanatory. Many times I have conversed with nurses working there how the maids imported from Malasia and the Phillipines were raped by their so called employers and when pregnant, were dismissed or just left out on the streets. I know for a fact that one English nurse was raped by a Saudi and then he threw her from a balcony to her death and then had the police arrest another nurse and her husband for the crime explaing that they were robbing the victim. Of course the murderer was a Prince and eventually the couple was paid off hansomly and returned to England.
Posted by: gene | Dec 08, 2005 at 03:57 PM
I am an Muslim Indian and am staying in Saudi for last two years.
Trust me, this place is the most pathetic place in this whole world. I have been to many places but never found people more uncivilized and uncultured like Saudis. I really wonder what they think as they are getting paid off for nothing. They behave more like an animal rather than humans.
I believe that they are the most pathetic people and are complete racists. I have seen many Saudis misbehaving with girls/boys on streets, stealing, kidnapping.. The problem lies in their genes as they are not been taught about culture and manners.
The most important factor is that there is no media coverage in Saudi Arabia and that is the reason nobody know anything. People who lives here are slaves and this is the fact. Here all muslims are not equal... Forget about paying more salaries to saudis and buying a property.. They dont even like offering their prayers behind and Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi imam.... They think that only they have rights to do so..
The moral is that, KSA is heart of racism and illiteracy and that is the reason it could not do any thing in past. Even if they will try to improve, they need 200-300 years..
Posted by: Hisban Zaidi | Sep 02, 2008 at 09:35 AM
Hey I am a Saudi boy doin uni overseas in the west these days..
I enjoyed reading this topic and wanted to make a comment. Guys, don't forget that Racism is everywhere u go. And, I have no problem with making friendships with the internationals. However, the Bangladeshis we have are drug dealers, theifs and stupid. Indains who live in Saudi Arabia live a happily life compared to living in their needy country, so Indians (love it or leave it). In ourland, we make the rules u don't make the rules. Good folks are more than welcome in our country "u get it". I have noticed that Indians are discriminated almost everywhere in the world..there must be a reason behind that, u figure it out. By saying this, I am not discriminating u Internationals, I am clarifying the point.
We have got millions and millions of foreigners here from many countries, why some are discriminated...? Simply guys, we have Arabs, Turks, Phillipinos, Indians, pakistanis and many other nationalities and that is fine if u behave urselves on this Holy land.
Posted by: Hamad | Oct 28, 2008 at 11:41 AM