Saturday, May 07, 2016

Comfortably Apartheid

"The whole world must see that Israel must exist and has the right to exist, and is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world”  :
"Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality."  

"Israel's right to exist as a state in security is incontestable." 
"When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
A woman living in Afghanistan, an orthodox Muslim country is severely disadvantaged. It is considered one of the worst countries of the world in which a woman can live. "The average Afghan girl will live to only 45 – one year less than an Afghan male. After three decades of war and religion-based repression, an overwhelming number of women are illiterate. More than half of all brides are under 16, and one woman dies in childbirth every half hour. Domestic violence is so common that 87 per cent of women admit to experiencing it. But more than one million widows are on the streets, often forced into prostitution. Afghanistan is the only country in which the female suicide rate is higher than that of males.
 The Feminist eZine

There are other dreadful countries that impoverish women's spirits, hold them in contempt and oppress them, where rape is a male entitlement and women's lives a short, mean and brutal symphony of atrocities. But of those countries listed as miserable and dangerous for women, what they have in common for the most part is that they are Muslim-majority countries, like Sudan, Mali, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Somalia. And here is a photograph that expresses the hopelessness of women in such countries:
Rape and mutilation, where women are further victims of violent conflict, vulnerable and helpless.

In wealthy Saudi Arabia, where the kingdom uses its vast oil-reserves to amass unprecedented wealth enabling it to fund religious madrassas where young Muslim men are taught the exceptional superiority of Islam as a world-conquering religion and whose duty it is to engage in jihad and despise the attributes and values of the democratic West, women are disempowered by male diktat. Women cannot venture outside their homes unaccompanied by a male relative.

Women can be educated but the choice of employment is severely restricted, nor can they drive a car, own property, go abroad without male permission, or walk about in public without completely covering themselves in a black burqa. Women can be divorced by the simple expedient of a husband voicing "I divorce you" three times in succession. If a woman is the victim of rape she must have three male witnesses to attest that she was not responsible. Try that on for size. Otherwise she could be raped for "adultery".

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant decapitates their hostages, but so does the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia when inflicting capital punishment on those accused of crimes against Islam, since beheading and crucifixion are recognized and approved methods of capital punishment, frequently meted out and extolled by Islamic decree as an appropriate form of punishment for criminal acts such as defaming Islam, or for political dissent. The enslavement of women is condoned by Islam, as the just fruits of war.

Yet the West falls all over itself to please these regimes. The cultural establishments of the most advanced and sophisticated countries of the world, leading arbiters of human rights and entitlements of equality. The Guggenheim Museum has established a branch in Abu Dhabi, the fourth such Guggenheim franchise. Saadiyat Island is the new venue for the Guggenheim in a new partnership between Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Foundation. Oil money is that impressively cleansing.

The plight of migrant workers in the United Arab Emirates is conveniently overlooked. Abu Dhabi is known to underpay migrant workers, subjecting them to other forms of mistreatment. Human Rights Watch has documented the abuse of migrant construction workers in the region. Infamously the Qatar 2022 World Cup is the staging area for oppressive working conditions for migrant workers out of Asia, many of whom have been killed in areas of construction where safety is of little concern.

According to a new publication: The Gulf: High Culture/Hard Labor, edited by a New York University sociologist Andrew Ross: "The opulent lifestyle of a minority -- composed of citizens and corporate expats -- is maintained by a vast majority (up to 90 percent in the UAE and Qatar) who function as a servant class, with no rights and very little mobility, and whose compliant labor is secured through the fear of abuse".

But it is Israel, alone among all the countries of the Middle East which is singled out for condemnation as an 'Apartheid' state, one which oppresses its minorities, particularly Arab Palestinians who have full citizenship rights, and where Christians live in peace which they find nowhere else in the Middle East, along with gays, able to openly live as equals with all others in society.

Aryan Iran, the Shiite Muslim Republic which threatens the stability of the Middle East and which openly boasts of its intention to destroy the State of Israel, a country known to exact the same type of capital punishment as Saudi Arabia, and to apply dress codes as stringent as Saudi Arabia's, supports terrorist groups plying their trade both within the Middle East and internationally, yet the world is beating a path to investment there now that the infamous nuclear agreement has given it the green light to continue to reach its nuclear target.

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