Here’s a bit of irony. After Australia recently condemned Saudi Arabia for human rights abuses, the latter exploded in an “extraordinary” tirade; Saudi Ambassador Abdulaziz Alwasil projected everything his nation does onto Australia. He claimed that minorities, migrants and Muslims face “horrific violations of human rights” and “racist and extremist policies…. We see in some countries, radicalism against Muslims, we see xenophobia, racism. And some governments sympathise with them [xenophobes and racists], like Australia. Here we refer to the massacre perpetrated by Brenton Tarrant – an Australian – which was based on hate speech.”
Some context is sorely needed: Saudi Arabia is where not a single non-Muslim building of worship is allowed; its highest Islamic authority decreed that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.” Whenever Christians are suspected of meeting in a house for worship—or as one Saudi official once complained, “plotting to celebrate Christmas”—they are arrested and punished. Any cross or other non-Muslim symbol found is confiscated and destroyed. Anyone caught trying to smuggle Bibles or any other “publications that have prejudice to any other religious belief other than Islam” can be executed.
A Colombian soccer-player “was arrested by the Saudi moral police after customers in a Riyadh shopping mall expressed outrage over the sports player’s religious tattoos, which included the face of Jesus of Nazareth on his arm.” A Romanian player kissed the tattoo of a cross he had on his arm after scoring a goal, causing public outrage.
As for “hate speech,” Saudi Arabia has an online fatwa, an Islamic-sanctioned opinion — in Arabic only—entitled, “Duty to Hate Jews, Polytheists, and Other Infidels” (my translation here). It comes from the fatwa wing of the government, meaning it has the full weight of the government behind it. According to this governmentally-supported fatwa, all Muslims must “oppose and hate whomever Allah commands us to oppose and hate, including the Jews, the Christians, and other mushrikin [polytheists], until they believe in Allah alone and abide by his laws, which he sent down to his Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him” (see Koran 60:4).
Yet here is Saudi Arabia accusing Australia—where Islam is freely practiced, where mosques and Korans proliferate, and where Muslims are granted full equality—of “horrific violations of human rights.”
As for “racism” and “xenophobia”—which Saudi Arabia accuses Down Under of—in fact, few people are as clannish and racist as those of the Arabian Peninsula. Ten percent of the population is openly denied equal rights because of their race; black men are barred from holding many government positions; black women are often put on trial and executed for “witchcraft”; castrated African slaves are sold on Facebook in the birthplace of Islam, and its princes are known to beat their black slaves to death. Human Rights Watch has described conditions for foreign workers in Saudi Arabia as resembling slavery.
Worst of all is if you’re black and Christian. After 35 Christian Ethiopians were arrested and abused in prison for almost a year—simply for holding a private house prayer—one of them said after being released: “They [Saudis] are full of hatred towards non-Muslims.”
This is unsurprising considering that the Saudi education system makes it a point to indoctrinate Muslim children with hatred, teaching that “the Apes are the people of the Sabbath, the Jews; and the Swine are the infidels of the communion of Jesus, the Christians.”
According to Saudi novelist Hani Naqshabandi, “Our religious institutions do not give us room to exercise free thought… They [Saudi institutions] said that the Christian is an infidel, a denizen of hell, an enemy to Allah and Islam. So we said, ‘Allah’s curse on them.’”
Again, bear in mind that all of this hate, racism, and xenophobia is official Saudi policy—as opposed to the aberrant terrorist act of one Australian who was duly condemned and punished.
In short, Saudi Arabia and ISIS have much in common. The only difference is that the Arabian kingdom is filthy rich; it can be unabashedly hypocritical—not least because both the UN and USA play along. The former counts Saudi Arabia as one of “47 member states to promote human rights,” while the latter calls it a “friend and ally.”
Expecting a hypocrite to reform when you yourself—that is, your elected representatives—are part of his charade is, as might be imagined, futile.