The Kashoggi Outcry: Shortsighted Justice
The mysterious murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamaal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in early October can perhaps be categorized as the crime of the year. All fingers point to the effective leader of the kingdom Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) as the culprit. Notwithstanding the prince’s denial of ordering the assassination, members from both houses of the US Congress have vehemently called on President Donald Trump to take action against the Saudis. There are two things that one should pause and think about event, which has yet to have been concluded. First, Khashoggi was not friend of American democracy despite being allowed to have residence in the country. Second, while the reaction from politicians and other world leaders to retaliate against Saudi Arabia is understandable, they have been comparatively silent in regard to the public beheadings and human rights abuses in the kingdom, as well as the worldwide Christian persecutions by Islamists.
One wonders why Khashoggi has been unofficially declared a martyr of justice. Since MBS, as with his father, does not tolerate any criticism of his government, Khashoggi who was an open critic of the Saudi regime while living in Saudi Arabia exiled himself in the United States a year ago. And, it does not take a rocket genius to see that his killing was not premeditated by the Saudi government. That being said, his criticisms were far from advocating an open and peaceful society. In a Washington Post article Khashoggi, on August 28 of this year, criticized America’s opposition to the terrorist organization the Muslim Brotherhood:
The United States’s aversion to the Muslim Brotherhood [MB], which is more apparent in the current Trump administration, is the root of a predicament across the entire Arab world. The eradication of the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing less than an abolition of democracy and a guarantee that Arabs will continue living under authoritarian and corrupt regimes.
In other words, just as then-MB-candidate Mohammed Morsi declared on June 23, 2012, before Cairo University students: “The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal,” Khashoggi’s adamant support for the Brotherhood does not distinguish him at all from the draconian policies of the Saudi Royal Family.
We are all entitled to our own opinions. Yet as the record shows, as a proponent of sharia law, which is founded on the inequality between Muslim and non-Muslim and man and woman, not to mention he has publicly declared his admiration affection for enemies of humankind, like Osama bin Laden. This is not a freedom of expression as guaranteed by our First Amendment, but rather an abuse of it.
As already indicated, his murder is unjustifiable and the cover-up from the Saudi prince is shameful, if not altogether ridiculous. Nevertheless, where has the public outcry been on the part of our politicians with regard to the Saudi Arabian regime in suppressing religious freedom or their subjugation of women? What about Nigerian President Buhari’s Fulani government killing of Christians while being allowed to purchase arms from America? Or, the call for sanctions to be imposed on Pakistan for publicly sentencing Asia Bibi to death for blasphemy — her crime was getting into an argument with a group of women who refused to drink the water she offered them because her status as a Christian made it unclean. Naturally speaking, the United States cannot police the world, and it should not. Nevertheless, since the post-Korean War its realpolitik policy has failed to rebate, if not altogether lacked constancy in taking action against those who seek to undermine the democracy as provided by our Founding Fathers.
Justice is supposed to be impartial, not selective. America has historically proven to earn the motto Leader of the free world. Let us rethink or help our elected officials refocus that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is a right for all and that it should be safeguarded before private interests.
Mario Alexis Portella is author of Islam: Religion of Peace? – The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up
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