Immigrant Slavery in Gulf Cooperation Council Countries Part III
FFI: Yesterday you talked about Atatürk’s success in transforming a backwards Turkey into a modern country, brining democracy and freedom to that nation. Clearly, Atatürk was a strong leader with great vision and popular support. But how likely is his achievement to be replicated anywhere else in the region?
Johnson: Actually, to a large extent it WAS – in Iran.
Yes, in Iran, decades ago, under Shah Pahlavi, who so admired what Atatürk was doing in Turkey that he sought to do the same. He accomplished a lot until he was deposed when Ayatollah Khomeini came to power in 1979 through the aid of Marxists and Islamic traditionalists.
By then the Shah had greatly modernized the country and beautified its major cities without oppressing anyone in the process. The problem with Iran today is the religious control over the government – NOT the people, who are Persians, not Arabs. Particularly the young people – whose parents remember the freedom they enjoyed under the Shah – see the current regime as backward and oppressive. Though Muslim, most of them are neither fundamentalist nor radical and have no interest in going to war with anyone – especially nuclear war.
Also, because the Persian people don’t regard work as beneath their dignity, the whole foreign labor issue so glaring in the Arab GCC counties is absent in Iran.
Please don’t misunderstand here. There is nothing wrong with being Arab, and there are peaceful Muslims all over the world. The issue in the GCC States is the natives’ attitude of superiority and the cruelty that attitude condones.
It is a fact of human nature that wherever a hierarchy has developed – whether in military rank or societal status (by whatever scale you may wish to apply) – there is a tendency for those deemed “higher” to consider themselves in some sense advantaged over those deemed “below” their level. One measure of quality of personal character is whether and how each individual expresses those thoughts. Similarly, one measure of national character is whether and how a country protects the basic human rights of both citizens and guests within its borders.
Natives of the Gulf Cooperation Council Member States clearly have the means to act more humanely, and their governments certainly have the power to encourage better behavior. The fact that no improvement has occurred for decades (except in isolated cases that became well enough known to bring world pressure to bear) says much about the character of both the people and the rulers of those nations.
To the extent that these countries exhibit the bullying behavior of spoiled children, perhaps it is time for some parent-like discipline from the rest of the world. – or, at least, from their Western oil and gas customers who have enabled them to amass the great wealth that within a few decades lifted them out of grinding poverty and starvation in the desert they inhabit.
It is technology from Europe and America combined with imported cheap labor from Asia and Africa that built rapidly modernizing nations where nomadic tribes once wandered in desperate search for food and drinkable water.
And it is mostly the United States that defends them from the enemies – both real and imagined – which they fear. They may resent us for being in that position, but they know the alternative is the obligations that would come with turning to either Russia or China. Accordingly, we do have an influence we can exert if we so choose.
Considering the game GCC States are playing, if people of conscience do not act soon, a time will come when we will wish we had.
FFI: Please explain.
Johnson: It is all too easy to dismiss the plight of those immigrant workers as “over there” and far away. But one of the most important lessons of history is that it is easier for intolerance and oppression to grow and spread than it is for tolerance and freedom.
The GCC States gladly take our money and the virtual slave labor of Asian and African immigrants to build their new cities and highways in the desert to attract tourists and business investment.
At the same time, some of the elite in GCC nations support Islamic extremism all over the world. They fund construction of mosques and Islamic schools (madrassas) worldwide that indoctrinate Muslim children to hate everyone who is not Muslim as well as hate the culture of the nation in which the mosque is built. It is a stealth jihad that grows on its host country like a cancer.
For instance, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, they are building a fifty-five thousand square-foot mosque to promote Wahabi Islam – the most fundamental and intolerant variety. The huge size of this mosque and included madrassa is so far out of proportion to the nearby population of Muslims that local residents are alarmed.
Meanwhile, Arab Muslims continually insist they feel persecuted in the United States, Western Europe, India, and Israel. In fact, no such oppression exists. The reality– particularly in Europe and America – is that abundant (and foolish) “political correctness” lets these stealth invaders use the anti-oppressive laws of freedom-loving countries to gain concessions and undermine the culture from within.
It is well known that, to avoid a possible “profiling” charge, the American TSA will strip-search a grandmother in a wheelchair while a young male matching the appearance of the 9-11 hijackers can walk right past and board the plane.
By contrast, no nation, no civilization tramples the rights of fellow human beings more than the governments and the elite of GCC States. These abusers preach, practice, and export Wahabi Islam. But even the Quran they claim to follow forbids the kind of atrocities and murders that appear daily in the news in those countries.
FFI: Is there a solution to these problems?
Johnson: Yes, and Faithfreedom readers can help.
There are two key steps that must be taken.
1. We must inform the world about the atrocious oppression foreign workers suffer in the Gulf Cooperation Council Member States. Simply tell everyone you know, including friends and relatives in Asia and Africa. Send them to my website www.GCCHumanRights.org and urge them to read the articles.
2. Contact your elected officials and insist they use whatever leverage is available to pressure the GCC governments to improve workers’ rights – and, preferably, human rights in general – in their countries.
Making a viral call to action is self-explanatory. Realizing exactly what leverage is available to each concerned nation is less obvious, so I’ll expand on that next. In any case, the leverage must be applied through both tactful education of the people and careful diplomacy – not threats – that might incur wrath and resistance from the existing GCC governments.
If you live in or have friends or relatives in Asia or Africa – whether in a country that already sends workers (Bangladesh, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka) or one that might (Cambodia, Vietnam) – warn them about what those workers will suffer as a GCC State immigrant.
Contacting your elected government officials can also work, no matter where you live. If enough governments around the world take interest in this human rights issue, it could be brought up for discussion at the United Nations. The leverage there would be the embarrassment GCC States would face if they were forced to defend their oppressive policies in front of world news media coverage. Because foreign nationals are involved, the oppression of immigrant workers cannot be passed off as a purely internal matter.
Of course, the country whose government has the most leverage is the United States. Beyond being a main customer for GCC countries’ oil, our bases there and the military planes and other armaments we provide protect them from future attacks like the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990. Kuwait has not forgotten that the U.S. and NATO went to war to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein’s advancing forces, and that we also provided teams and technology to snuff out the oil-field blazes that Saddam’s departing troops ignited in retaliation.
The days when OPEC could rattle us by threatening an oil price hike or even a supply cutoff are fading fast. Their oil prices have been high just long enough for us to develop cost-effective technology to tap our own true reserves, which we now know are far greater than theirs ever were. Also, the GCC States likely see the risks of turning to Russia or China as a monopoly customer. Therefore, it seems quite reasonable for America to suggest that cleaning up their human rights issues would help assure GCC countries our continued patronage and protection.
Communication is the key to resolving this issue. In today’s world, atrocities cannot be kept hidden – especially if enough good people relay the truth.
That’s what my GCC Human Rights (www.GCCHumanRights.org) website is for. Today the internet is everywhere, and nearly everyone has some kind of access.
Here is what you can do.
There are 100 Senators and 435 Representatives in the United States Congress. Educate your Senator and Representative about this problem. Remind them that without the military, political, and economic support of the United States the GCC Member States would crumble. America is their most important crude oil customer, and they know their economies would collapse if we suddenly decided to use our own new-found domestic oil sources instead of buying from them.
Write to your Congressman. Everything you need is on my website, including the e-mail address of your Senator and Representative. It is easy cut, copy, and paste from the sample there.
Send my website URL to all your friends and relatives throughout Asia (including Cambodia and Vietnam) and Africa, and to everyone else you know who believes that all human beings have basic rights that must be respected.
This is not about religion – it is about basic human rights. Immigrant men and women are oppressed and abused in the Middle East despite being Muslims.
Human rights are not negotiable; they are inarguable; they must be protected and defended.
Many of the elite in GCC countries are both fundamentalist and xenophobic. They support and export both terrorism and stealth jihad. Only multi-cultural, diverse, democratic, pluralistic nations that respect religious, ethnic, and racial diversity can truly be peaceful. Therefore, we in the West, particularly in the United States, have a vested interest in defending the rights of immigrants in those nations.
Almost a quarter of the world’s population is now Muslim. If we in the United States support the rights of third-world, starving, Muslim immigrants (which their own governments are failing to do), we will go a long way towards restoring America’s image in the eyes of the world as champion of the downtrodden.
If you want to do more than just write letters, you can start a GCC Human Rights chapter in your own state and lobby your Senators and Representatives that way.
Also, we would like to open a lobbying office for this cause in Washington, DC. To do so, we would need to cover ongoing rent, utilities, office equipment and supplies, plus at least clerical staff salaries – even if the actual lobbyists are volunteers. Please use the “Donate” button on my site (www.GCCHumanRights.org) to support that effort – or the cost of maintaining the site itself – as generously as you can.
Again, this is not about any one religion, nationality, ethnicity, or race. It is about basic human rights – the same ones you or your ancestors sought in coming to the United States.
Even if you do nothing else, please tell your friends about this interview and send them the link to read it. Ask them to tell their friends too, and have those friends do the same. We need to spread the word virally enough to get attention.
Please support this simple humanitarian effort. Together we can make a real difference in the lives of millions of oppressed immigrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council Member States.
FFI: And thank you for your great humanitarian work. Most victims of this abuse are Muslims and yet few Muslims complain. That is a tragedy. But human tragedy does not know religion, race or nationality. Everyone must do what they can to stop this crime against humanity and together we can.
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