Saturday, June 12, 2004
"Help me I'm a Muslim." Those were the words uttered by the BBC correspondent in Saudi Arabia after he was shot by terrorists. His colleague, a cameraman, was killed in the drive by shooting. I'm not sure if he is in fact a Muslim or he was just claiming to be so to get "extra attention" from passersby. I'm sure any sane Saudi would run to his rescue whether he was a Muslim or not, but I can't help but think about what if he said "help I'm a Christian" or "help I'm a Buddist" or even "help I'm a Jew".
I have to admit that I personally would have run to rescue this poor fellow upon seeing him bleeding. The fact that he is Muslim would not concern me. But why did he say such words? What made him think that Muslims would "care more" if he's one of them?
I guess the answer lies in the rotten social fabric of Saudi Arabia where little children are taught that they are the most valued by God and others were simply created because God found some free time to do so. . Islam is the only religion allowed in Saudi and no other faith is tolerated. Non-Muslim expatriates who dare to practice their faith in their private apartments are arrested. US soldiers who headed to the Gulf during operation Desert Storm were advised to hide their cross necklaces lest they "offend" their Saudi hosts.
Why would Saudis be offended from crosses? Why would anyone be offended from a cross or a star of david or even the Muslim crescent? I guess because Saudi kids were never taught tolerance and love of the "other". This is the reason why Saudi produces radical youths as fast as it is pumping oil. Kids learn at school that God somehow choose their land to be holy and choose them to be the best people on earth, and that they should divide people into Muslims and non-Muslims.
I have no problem with those who claim that they are the sole holders of Truth with a capital T. I even have no problem with those who think that people who are not from their faith are going to hell. People are entitled to believe in whatever they want to believe in, but they don't have the right to coerce other people and treat them as inferiors as well as deny them the right to practice their faith as they see it. Saudi Arabia spends billions to build mosques and centers in the West yet they prevent poor Filipino workers from bringing Bibles into the kingdom. The government recently celebrated the opening of a huge Sunni Islamic center in London, yet Shiite Saudis are still discriminated against and denied from their basic right to worship as they see fit.
Saudi's school books should be all burned. All those responsible for its education should be assembled and injected with some tolerance and acceptance. For the sake of future Saudis, for the sake of Islam, for the sake of the world.