The Somali/Swift controversy as seen by a Saudi writer

A further note:  Author Jawher refers to a religious battle going on in the midwest, here is a discussion of the escalating battle from an ex-Muslim.

This supercilious article in the Saudi Gazette* made me laugh.  Imagine someone in Saudi Arabia lecturing us about religious freedom.    This is the country where your Bible is confiscated upon landing, or if you are a Jew you can’t even set foot there.   (Hat tip: Blulitespecial)

Author, Sabria S. Jawher, begins with this to set the tone:

A religious battle – nothing to do with terrorism or the invasion of American troops in a Muslim country – is going on in the heartland of the United States. Central Nebraska to be specific. The land of corn, pickup trucks and evangelical Christians.

Then she (I am assuming it’s a ‘she’) discusses past problems with Somalis (small cultural eruptions) and implies the Swift/Somali issue will eventually blow over as these other incidentts have,  but ends with another whack at us:

These immigrants have been at the center of controversy before. Somali taxi drivers have refused to take passengers possessing or being under the influence of alcohol or have a dog with them. With the exception of rather loud opinions of American conservative extremists, these small cultural and religious eruptions settled down quietly.

We are all just a bunch of yahoo nutjobs who are imagining things:

The problem in the United States is two-fold: Islam has become so politicized that many people can no longer view the duties of a Muslim as a religious issue, but one of Muslims attempting to change the landscape of a Christian nation through force. Many conservatives have gone so far as to label the wants and needs of Muslims as some sort of silent jihad.

She then appears to sound reasonable but when you consider the complete lack of any religious freedom in the Kingdom, you can only shake your head, laugh, and ask who is she kidding!   This is the good cop/bad cop strategy to attempt to show us that they, enlightened Saudis, are reasonable and modern, unlike us conservative, pick-up truck driving, evangelical Christians.

The other problem is the refusal of some Muslim immigrants to assimilate into Western society. We in Saudi Arabia ask our expatriate workers to respect our customs, traditions and religion while they are guests here. The same could be said for Muslims choosing to live in the United States. That doesn’t mean they are not entitled to praying five times a day. Of course they have that right. And every employer who respects freedom of religion should find a compromise to accommodate Muslims during work hours. But some Muslims take their beliefs to the extreme. What works in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or Somalia doesn’t necessarily work in the West, and special considerations must be addressed. If you choose to be a taxi driver, then you have to take passengers under the influence of alcohol safely home.

You might have the urge to slap her silly, but just laugh!

* The Saudi Gazette says of itself:

The Saudi Gazette is one of the largest, and most read newspapers in Saudi Arabia. For more than 30 years, The Gazette has been committed to delivering readers the news and information they rely on in a format they enjoy. 

For all of our coverage of the Somali/Swift controversy go here.

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