West can't stand Russia for it's lack of gay rights. It should be more like Saudi Arabia and then it would get western praise
Danielle Ryan is our regular contributor. This article also appeared at Journalitico
The level of hypocrisy world leaders have stooped to this week has reached mind-blowing levels — and it was the death of a tyrannical leader of a state void of basic human rights that brought it all on.
Hold on, what?
King Abdullah was a man of wisdom & vision. US has lost a friend & Kingdom of #SaudiArabia, Middle East, and world has lost a revered leader— John Kerry (@JohnKerry)January 23, 2015
“He was loved by his people and will be deeply missed.” Tony Blair on the death of King Abdullah. http://t.co/BT9f5DbZpN— Tony Blair Office (@tonyblairoffice)January 23, 2015
Yes, those are just a couple of examples of the outpouring of condolences and respect for the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
Want to hear some more?
David Cameron released a statement mourning the loss of a leader who was committed to “peace” and “for strengthening understanding between faiths”.
The British government then requested that flags be flown at half mast to “honour the late king” — and Prince Charles actually traveled to Saudi Arabia to pay his respects.
Meanwhile, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, actually went so far as to say the king was an “advocate for women” in a “discreet way”.
Well it must have been very discreet, so much so that we weren’t privy to any of the results — except maybe for the fact that women can now work, so long as a male guardian accompanies them out of the house. Girl power!
So, let’s put things into perspective, shall we?
Women’s rights (or lack thereof)
In Saudi Arabia, women can not drive. They can not marry, go to school or open a bank account without the permission of a male guardian. Nor can they leave the country (or the house) without the same.
If they commit adultery, or are even accused of it, they can be stoned to death. “Evidence” is not really a thing in Saudi law either, by the way. In Sharia law, a woman’s testimony is legally only worth half of a man’s — and it is said (but disputed by some) that any woman who is accusing a man of rape, needs the testimony of four upstanding male citizens to confirm it happened before there could be a conviction (so you know, if four “upstanding” males didn’t see it happen, it didn’t happen).
Plus, if the woman actually admits to being in the company of a non-relative male, then good luck to her.
And here’s an (extremely graphic) video of a woman being publicly beheaded by a Saudi executioner while lying on the street screaming “I did not kill, I did not kill!”
Saudi Arabia or ISIS? Spot the difference!
If you were blurry on the differences between ISIS and Saudi Arabia, I don’t blame you. Here’sa video which sums up the fact that as far as extremist punishments and beliefs go, they’re one and the same.
But wait, hadn’t you heard that Saudi Arabia was a crucial partner in the US’s coalition of the willing when it comes to “degrading and ultimately destroying” the Islamic State?
Question: What makes a beheading brutal and uncivilized?
Dragging a woman around a public street by her hair and then cutting her head off with three hard chops? Or doing it in a desert while the victim is kneeling in an orange jumpsuit?
Someone should ask John Kerry for clarification.
Freedom of religion (spoiler: there is none)
Remember Cameron’s reference to King Abdullah’s strong commitment to “strengthening understanding between faiths”…?
I suppose that doesn’t extend to “understanding” people like Raif Badawi — the Saudi Arabian man who set up a website for Saudi liberals to discuss politics and society — and who was then sentenced to a decade in prison and 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam”.
Nor does it apparently extend to Muslims who would like to convert to Christianity (or any religion) in Saudi Arabia, because you guessed it, that’s illegal too. In fact, beheading is a known punishment for apostasy.
As for Christians who have always been Christians? You might not be killed for that, but your informal prayer meetings (no official churches are allowed) might be raided by Islamist police and you might never be seen or heard from again. So you know, there’s that to consider.
But well done David Cameron, your commitment to the truth is almost as almost as strong as King Abdullah’s was to “strengthening understanding between faiths”.
Gay people have been subjected to public floggings and prison sentences in Saudi Arabia — some have even been killed for it. Is this more of King Abdullah’s “reforming” work we should be falling over ourselves to praise?
Where is the loud and forceful condemnation?
As usual, the US State Department was probably just too busy talking about Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law that is nowhere near as dangerous or disgusting as Saudi Arabia’s anti-gay laws — oh and by the way, you might not have known this, but in the US you can actually still be arrested if you’re gay (no, not for committing a crime while also being gay…for actuallybeing gay).
The lesson here? Some countries, Russia for example, make convenient enemies and should be demonized, facts be damned, and others get a free pass to do, well, whatever they want.
In addition to the barbarism mentioned above, Saudi Arabia is thought to be the world’s largest sponsor and promoter of jihadism.
ISIS is in fact, a direct by-product of an ideology promoted by Saudi Arabia — and is kept going, at least in part, by Saudi money.
Investigations into three Islamic institutions in Britain, suggest that Saudi Arabia has been pro-active in using UK mosques to promote Wahhabism and jihadism.
We all know well the cynical reasoning behind the relative silence when it comes to Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses — but the degree to which world leaders are willing to abandon their so-called “morals” when it comes to this country needs to be called into question far more often and far more loudly.