12 May, 2006

Another Saudi Family Convicted of Slavery in Colorado

Gateway Pundit: Another Saudi Family Convicted of Slavery in Colorado

Call me crazy and off base, but I figure they're only doing what is common back home.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

This really helps the image of muslims around the world...

bandicoot said...

It is hard to believe that the media obsession with these stories is solely driven by genuine concern over human rights of migrant workers in KSA and other gulf countries. The problem here is that it's not only the antics of the royal family that get scrutinized, but even the lives of Saudis in general; and cases of bad behavior are uncritically generalized to portray a whole race or nation (perpetuating an already absurdly demonized image). There are many criminal actions involving people from all over the world who live in the West, including slavery, trafficking in women and children, sadistic killings, cannibalism, racist murders, etc., but they never seem to trigger the same level of public interest and stereotyping as crimes associated with Arabs (particularly Saudis) living abroad. More mind-boggling than this “tracking” of Saudis’ bad behavior abroad is the reaction such stories get from readers. Some of the comments on the Gateway Pundit (where the story appears) show just how stupid and ignorant readers can be. This kind of "journalism" runs the risk of promoting misperception and eventually racism; that is, it could undermine the very cause it presumably tries to defend.

secretdubai said...

There are many criminal actions involving people from all over the world who live in the West, including slavery, trafficking in women and children, sadistic killings, cannibalism, racist murders, etc., but they never seem to trigger the same level of public interest and stereotyping as crimes associated with Arabs (particularly Saudis) living abroad.

Do you actually believe this?

Sounds rather like the typical "blame west" bleat to me. Just can't ever bear to accept blame, can you? Try searching Google News for "cannibal" and see if the "west" ignores really stories like that.

bandicoot said...

I'm the last person to use the "blame the West" excuse to unfairly make Westerns accountable for mistakes and crimes of others or to exonerate non-Westerners from their responsibility. Saudis engaged in mistreatment of domestic workers (in KSA and abroad) should be identified and punished to the full extent of the law. My point however is about the level of focus and the stereotyping derived from these stories. You have to admit that there is in the West (and even in some non-Western countries) a strong stereotype about Arabs, especially Gulf Arabs and Saudis, that borders on racism. Unless you believe that all reporting is objective and fair, then it's conceivable that some public exposure and discussion of such stories as the one posted on the Gateway Pundit are not done with the best intentions, at least to the extent they seem to strengthen existing stereotypes and invite racist comments and unwarranted generalizations about Islam and Arabs. Now, isn’t this something that also requires taking responsibility for?

John B. Chilton said...

Gateway Pundit has an agenda to be sure. And some of the readers that agenda attracts are racists or fools or both.

I'm a tad right wing, but my perception is that the Western media actually treds lightly and fails to reminder readers of the corpus of examples of Saudi experience with the American criminal justice system. So I see Gateway Pundit as one more instance where bloggers add value.

Thus: I still am inclined to the inference that Saudi society has allowed itself to see abuse of hired help as behavior that does not bring the scorn of the community on those who practice it.

One sees patterns and one asks questions. It is up to Saudis to say such behavior is repulsive, and it is up to individuals Saudis speak out and to set the record straight, if Gateway's got it wrong, and show that the pattern observed is not representative of the average.

Racial profiling - statistical discrimination - is a belief about a population that is based on evidence. Bring us more evidence, show us that our sample is biased and we will gladly update our priors.

I wonder if those who believe the Elders of Zion stories would do the same.

It's simply false to claim that western media is not at least equally fervent in exposing criminal behavior of westerners - look at the treatment the Catholic Church has deservedly received for turning bad priests lose on young boys - sorry to say, there's a pattern of behavior here - and the latest story of a Catholic priest convicted of a ritual slaying of a nun - no pattern here of ritual killings by priests, but could be a pattern of the church lacking the will to expose its own.

Anonymous said...

"It is hard to believe that the media obsession with these stories is solely driven by genuine concern..."

The media in the west is owned and operated by Jews. And this influence is increasing all over the world. The aim is to misinform the world population and hold our minds hostage. How else can you explain this "media obsession" that Bandicoot has documented?

It is not a mere matter of simply reporting news, as you would innocently like us to believe. It is part of the concerted worldwide conspiracy to malign certain people groups and religious groups. Journalists all over the world are secretly part of this nefarious design.

Just because the item may not have appeared on the front page does not mean there is no "obsession".

John B. Chilton said...

The last comment is so generically typical of some mentalities that I have to believe it is composed by a Westerner to mock those mentalities.

If I am mistaken, anonymous, wake up and smell the coffee. Face reality. Jews do not run the world, they do not control the media, and they certainly do not control the blogosphere nor do they control what we choose to listen to read or believe.

The first step in taking control of your own destiny is to leave fantasy behind and to possess a basic understanding of cause and effect.

If the media misunderstands you or misrepresents you, explain yourself and find a venue to broadcast your defense. Arm yourself with facts, and articulate your argument well. There's plenty of folks ready to listen and be convinced. Blaming Jews for your failure to communicate is lame. Lame.

bandicoot said...

John,
That was my first thought as I read the anonymous post; either way (whether it’s a genuine conspiracy theorist or a sick mocker) the post is pure garbage, and I’d like to tell its author to keep my name out of his ignorant and racist outbursts.
As for your previous post, let me clarify few points:
1- My concern about the original post was about stereotyping. I’m not sure how racial profiling got into the discussion. The latter, though somewhat related, is a distinct issue and we can discus it separately. It’s a controversial topic; you seem to be in favor of racial profiling; my position is closer to that of the ACLU. I'm also not sure that the reference to the Protocols is necessary. I'm not sure how many idiots really believe in this myth and how it's related to this discussion.
2- Stereotyping, though may be based in reality and supported by some facts and statistics, is wrong. There are many examples in the press and in Amnesty reports and from personal accounts of people who lived in KSA that confirm the existence of widespread abuse of domestic workers. This is indisputable and its repugnant. But it shouldn’t be used to vilify all Saudis and portray all of their culture and religion as vicious and barbaric. No pattern of abuse can justify this whole sale demonization of a nation.
3- Saudi society is not a monolithic group of rich princes and abusive males. Millions of Saudis live in poverty and cannot afford maids. Many are educated, sophisticated and know recognize the need for change. It should be natural that these people oppose the endemic abuse of domestics and women (and violations of human rights of foreigners and citizens in general) and are doing something to change the situation; at least one hopes so. But one must remember that this is also a political issue and given the oppressive regime there, such voices of reasons and opposition may not be so numerous and audible.
4- 100 years of wahhabism have created a very closed, xenophobic and truly depressing social and political culture in KSA. But globalization is sweeping everything and this culture will have to change and modernize; otherwise it will continue to be ostracized and may end in a complete disaster.
5- I never said there is no media coverage of other crimes and abuses; my point is that the nature of the coverage is different. To revisit the analogy you used about the abuse of children by Catholic priests, in this case the pattern of abuse didn’t cause us to stigmatize all Catholics as complicit in this abuse. We can rightly blame the leadership, the system, the clergy, and even claim that a sub-culture of abuse and tolerance of it exists. This is akin to blaming the Saudi government, the political and legal system and even many people who made the abuse of women and domestics a normal practice; I have no problem with that. But to blame all Saudis for it and to hold Saudi society responsible for it is unfair and probably going a bit too far.
6- There is no denying that there is a strong contempt, often bordering on irrational hatred and bigotry, to things Saudi (and Arab and Muslim)in the media and popular culture in the West. This was the case before 9/11 and it only gotten worse since then. Some of the critique of KSA and press reports on abuses such as the one you posted here are easily tapped into to further this different agenda. There is a real need for total change in KSA, but this cause is not served by vilifying all Saudis and making Saudi-bashing something of a favorite pastime.

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