Tuesday, May 08, 2012

If Robert Fisk Is Speaking Openly of Muslim Racism, Can We Now Talk About The Problem?

How many tracts, books, documentaries, speeches and doctoral theses have been written and produced about Islamophobia? How many denunciations have been made against the Sarkozys and the Le Pens and the Wilders for their anti-immigration (for which, read largely anti-Muslim) policies or – let us go down far darker paths – against the plague of Breivik-style racism?

The problem with all this is that Muslim societies – or shall we whittle this down to Middle Eastern societies? – are allowed to appear squeaky-clean in the face of such trash, and innocent of any racism themselves.
Robert Fisk

Back in March Efraim Karsh wrote that Israel Apartheid Day covers up the multiple crimes of Apartheid throughout the Muslim Middle East, specifically in areas of
  • Religious intolerance
  • Ethnic inequality
  • Racism
  • Gender discrimination
  • Denial of citizenship
  • Labor inequality
  • Slavery
  • Political Oppression
But in today's climate where criticism of the Muslim world is quickly labeled Islamophobia and swept under the carpet, such criticisms are rarely heard.

Now Robert Fisk (yeah, that Robert Fisk) writes that the Arab Spring has washed the region's appalling racism out of the news:
Everyone who lives in Lebanon or Jordan or Egypt or Syria, for that matter, or – especially – the Gulf, is well aware of this outrage, albeit cloaked in a pious silence by the politicians and prelates and businessmen of these societies.

...Arab societies are dependent on servants. Twenty-five per cent of Lebanese families have a live-in migrant worker, according to Professor Ray Jureidini of the Lebanese American University in Beirut. They are essential not only for the social lives of their employers (housework and caring for children) but for the broader Lebanese economy.

Yet in the Arab Gulf, the treatment of migrant labour – male as well as female – has long been a scandal. Men from the subcontinent often live eight to a room in slums – even in the billionaires' paradise of Kuwait – and are consistently harassed, treated as third-class citizens, and arrested on the meanest of charges.

Saudi Arabia long ago fell into the habit of chopping off the heads of migrant workers who were accused of assault or murder or drug-running, after trials that bore no relation to international justice.
There is more, much more that needs to be said--and more often. But this is a start...maybe. The question is whether other allies of the Muslim world will be willing to speak up and write about these problems--or will they just ignore it, choosing instead to continue their attack on Israel as usual?

One thing for sure, there is no point in waiting for the UN to address, let alone admit, the problem of Muslim racism.

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