There have been many adjectives used to describe the region we call the Middle East. One such description given by David Keyes, the executive director of Advancing Human Rights, a non-profit organization promoting human rights around the world, was the ‘Kingdom of hate’.
Harsh perhaps, but be in no doubt, the Arab world remains a benighted place at this time, where the harshest of punishments are feted out to its citizens for often minor transgressions, and where women’s freedoms are closely monitored and even revoked by their rulers.
Intolerant of different faiths and outsiders, the Middle East has become a byword for oppression and intolerance.
A secret society
Sharia law or Islamic law ensures full control of communities and rules with an iron fist, with public beheadings all too common for such crimes as murder, rape false prophecy, blasphemy, witchcraft, adultery, sorcery, carjacking, sexual misconduct and fornication. For crimes viewed as particularly heinous, crucifixion will be ordered, whereby the beheaded body will be put on display.
They are unique in exacting this punitive and draconian form of capital punishment throughout the world, and to illustrate their innate lack of will to integrate with other nations, it has been noted that in a thousand years, the Arab world has translated as many books as Spain does in 1 year.
In addition to this there exists a creativity vacuum, with very few writers, high illiteracy rates, scientific research is practically sidelined and the film industry is in free fall. That said, this was not always the case. There is evidence of a drastic downturn in these disciplines over the past few centuries, and the common cause highlighted by economists as the reason for this decline can be summed up in 3 key areas, those being the scarcity of freedom, knowledge and women’s status.
Major funding of terrorism
Saudi Arabia is now the largest source of terrorist funds in the world. A government that promotes Salafist Jihadism, an ideology based on the belief of violent Jihadism and the Salafi movement of returning to what adherents believe is the one true Islam.
Along with Kuwait and Qatar, Saudi Arabia continues to fund terrorism in order to disturb democracy, as Pakistan has done in India for many years.
Far from being someone’s idea of a sick practical joke, incredibly, Saudi Arabia is now leading the United Nations Human Rights Council, and has already become an obstructive force, by preventing an investigation into human rights abuses in the Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition carried out bombing raids on rebel-held areas, and are using their powers to block much-needed aid for civilians who reside there.
Parading itself as holy and just, in truth they have descended so low it is now a virtual pariah, whose only redeeming feature appears to be its huge oil reserves and wealth so keenly sought after by those in the West.
Not to impugn the many individuals who may be of high moral standing within the Muslim community, but underpinning this exists a malaise in the Arab world that persistently threatens the quality of life for its citizens and contributes overwhelmingly to continued instability in the region.
Article by CHRISTOPHER EVANS
Christopher lives in the U.K. and is the author and founder of Critical Eye, a website dedicated to debating societal issues, international affairs and other topics.