Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Workers’

African Update on Modern-Day Slavery in Saudi Arabia

January 16, 2016

Again, this is another piece I’m putting up in response to the Saudi’s foreign minister, al-Jubair, urging the rest of the world to respect Saudi Arabia’s death penalty, ‘because it’s the law’.

This isn’t about the Saudi death penalty, but another blemish on theirs and the world’s culture and history: slavery.

It’s a piece from the African news show, Africa Update, on present day slavery in Saudi Arabia. The presenter states that although slavery was officially banned in 1962, 300,000 slaves remained after its official abolition. And slavery continues today in the form of the Kafala system, or sponsorship, under which Saudi Arabia imports domestic servants and labourers. These are ruthlessly exploited. They typically work between 15-20 hours a day, with no rest days. If they run away, adverts are placed for their apprehension and return, as in the days of real, open slavery. If they complain or resist, they may suffer brutal maltreatment. Some of these domestic workers have even been killed. The Indonesians banned their people from working in Saudi Arabia after one or two Indonesian maids were killed by their masters. And just as shocking, a Saudi man placed an advert in one of the papers for a male slave he was selling, who had been castrated.

The presenter therefore urges her fellow Africans not to go to Saudi Arabia, unless they have a secure, well-paid job, where they will not be subject to such maltreatment, or have been given professorships at a Saudi university. She wonders how long the Saudis will continue to abuse Africans like this, and states that someone should complain to them.

Secular Talk on Saudi Arabia’s Use of the Death Penalty, even against the Children and the Disabled

January 16, 2016

Okay, this is another piece I thought should be put up in response to Mike’s post, over on Vox Political, about the Saudis’ complaint about the world’s reaction to their mass execution of 47 people last week. Their foreign minister, al-Jubair, complained that they have a bad image because of it. They’re right, but that’s only one reason. Other reasons include the almost complete lack of rights for women, freedom of belief and conscience, and other barbaric parts of their legal code, such as whipping and amputation. Oh yes, and their enslavement of foreign workers, although it is never called that.

But to go on, al-Jubair also complains that the world should respect the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, ‘because it’s the law’. They maintain that they don’t look down on Britain, because we don’t have the death penalty.

I don’t think that’s quite the whole reason, why they’re offended because we don’t respect them for their use of the death penalty. Saudi Arabia is an Islamic state with shari’a law. My guess is that what really offends them is that the rest of the world hasn’t given their legal system the automatic respect they feel it deserves due to its religious basis. In Saudi Arabia, other religions apart from Wahhabism, even other forms of Islam, such as Shi’ism, are banned. Used to the automatic enforcement of respect for their religion in their home country, they’re annoyed and upset when the rest of the world doesn’t similarly acquiesce, and respect their legal code.

In this piece from the atheist news programme, Secular Talk from 2015, Kyle Kulinski discusses how the Saudis executed 102 people just that half year alone. This is up from the 127 people they executed in 2014. Those executed include children under 18 and the disabled. The crimes for which these people were killed included acts, which are not crimes in the West. Like adultery, apostasy, witchcraft and atheism. They also execute for crimes that aren’t considered so serious that they require the death penalty in the west, such as marijuana possession or smuggling.

Kulinski goes off at the end on a rant about how nonsensical Islam, and by implication, all religion is. I don’t share his atheism or secularism, and so don’t support his views in this part of the show. But apart from this, it makes excellent points about the injustice and brutality of the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. Kulinski, however, is not a hypocrite and makes it clear that he is opposed to the death penalty everywhere, including America. He states very clearly that Saudi Arabia should suffer the same kind of punishments that have been inflicted on other oppressive regimes, such as sanctions and the divestment of commercial interests.