Category Archives: Migrant labor

The “Other” Islamic State: Stoned Women of Arabia………

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“In the coming days, a Sri Lankan woman is to be led to an outdoor pit in Saudi Arabia. Her arms and hands will be tightly bound, her body buried up to her breasts. Saudi men will then surround her and begin to hurl rocks at her head to kill her slowly. A married housemaid, she was convicted of adultery, while the man, a bachelor, also a vulnerable Sri Lankan migrant worker, was given 100 lashes……… It is a measure of how violent Saudi Arabia’s capital punishment laws are that beheadings can at times seem compassionate. Decapitation, after all, is nothing compared to lapidation. Beheading is quick; stoning, slow. It’s death by torture.………”

Executing women, almost all of them foreign laborers, is quite common. Many Sri Lankan housemaids have been beheaded, others reportedly await the sword. Occasionally a few are stoned to death, usually for adultery, but their male partner in the ‘sin’ always gets off easy: lashes, prison, deportation. There is no doubt that some Westerners also manage to screw around in the Wahhabi Kingdom Without Magic, but one never hears or reads about one being executed.

Several Asian countries, including Indonesia, have periodically banned their poor from working in Saudi Arabia in the past, but these bans don ‘t last. The poverty is too rampant and the temptation of money is too strong. While the wages paid these housemaids equal a pittance by Western and even by Saudi standards, they are a lot by some South and Southeast Asian standards. So, the executions continue, fed by a system that forces confessions through beating, coercion, and language barriers (hence deception).

It must, however be mentioned that some American “Red States” have also executed convicts through methods that can be classified as torture. Especially the use of certain drugs that take a long time to kill. That is why many European countries ban the export of certain drugs to the United States. The Death Penalty should be ended from the last country in North America, the last developed country, that still practices it.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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Human Rights: Building the Pyramids of Doha and FIFA without Moses………

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“Nepalese migrants building the infrastructure to host the 2022 World Cup have died at a rate of one every two days in 2014 – despite Qatar’s promises to improve their working conditions, the Guardian has learned. The figure excludes deaths of Indian, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi workers, raising fears that if fatalities among all migrants were taken into account the toll would almost certainly be more than one a day. Qatar had vowed to reform the industry after the Guardian exposed the desperate plight of many of its migrant workers last year. The government commissioned an investigation by the international law firm DLA Piper and promised to implement recommendations listed in a report published in May. But human rights organisations have accused Qatar of dragging its feet………….”

If you have seen the old Ten Commandments films of Cecil B. DeMille, either one of them, you’d recognize something here. That was when Charlton Heston rebelled on behalf of the Jewish slaves who were building the Pharaoh’s (Yul Brenner) tomb. The slaves were ancient Jews, including Edward G. Robinson who probably looked ancient at birth, instead of Nepalese, Bengalis, and other South Asians. Many of them died on the job, at least in the Hollywood version of the story. Ditto for the most recent version featuring Big Moses and Little Yahweh.

Now back to earth and our current age. If the figure of one dead every two days is accurate that is suspiciously excessive, to grossly understate the tragedy. And it is only for one nationality of migrant workers, one of several. A crime either by negligence or callousness toward the value of certain lives. With temperatures in the forties Centigrade and in the 120’s Fahrenheit, labor should be curtailed, especially at daytime. Not that the evenings are that much cooler in summer on My Gulf (I bet you didn’t know it is mine and not some king’s or potentate’s).

FYI: there is no Moses on the Persian Gulf, nor is there likely to be one anytime soon. These are not captive forced labor, not until they land in the host country. Besides, if there were a Moses, some Pharaoh would buy him off. If they can buy off governments of big democratic world powers like Britain and France, they can buy off almost anyone.

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Asian Migrants in Europe: Beware Greeks Holding Wages and Guns………


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“A Greek court’s decision to acquit farmers who admitted shooting 28 Bangladeshi strawberry pickers when they asked for months of back pay has sparked outrage in the country. Politicians, unions and anti-racist groups condemned the verdicts, describing them as a black day for justice in a case that had shone a light on the appalling conditions in which migrant workers are often kept in Greece. I feel shame as a Greek,”………….”

Who would have thunk it. Even the Greeks, usually mellow and not into racist stuff, are changing. Tsk, tsk. A terrible ugly sign of the bad economic and political times.

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com