Friday, October 05, 2007

Unacceptable Levels of Diversity

“We can’t call this diversity and no nation on earth could accept the erosion of its culture on its own land.”

Who said that? Some racist Islamophobe in, say, Sweden? Or maybe Britain, or Belgium, or Texas?

No, it was Bahrain’s Minister of Labor, Mr. Majeed al-Alawi. Mr. al-Alawi is alarmed by the numbers of non-Arabs who have come to Bahrain to take advantage of all the petrodollars and work for Bahrainis.

According to today’s Asia News:

Manama wants to expel foreign workers after six years

Manama (AsiaNews) - Gulf States might end up expelling foreigner workers after six years if a proposal being put forwards by Bahrain is accepted. The Bahrain Labour Minister Majeed al-Alawi has denied however that he intends to present it to the next Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) meeting scheduled for Doha (Qatar) in December. If implemented it would affect an estimated 13 million expatriate workers living in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

“The majority of foreign manpower in the region comes from different cultural and social backgrounds that cannot assimilate or adapt to the local cultures,” al-Alawi told the Gulf Daily News in an interview. “In some areas of the Gulf, you can’t tell whether you are in an Arab Muslim country or in an Asian district. We can’t call this diversity and no nation on earth could accept the erosion of its culture on its own land,” he said.

Wow. Is it time to cite Bahrain for human rights violations? Should we educate them to help them overcome their kuffarphobia?

Actually, it’s not clear that these foreigners are mostly kuffar. The article refers to them as “Asians”, and most of them are probably poor Muslims from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines:
- - - - - - - - -
The Bahraini minister is worried by the fact that under international labour treaties and global conventions expatriate workers and their families will be entitled to housing, education and health services and could also claim nationality after five years’ residency.

Expatriates account for around 80 per cent of the population of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, while in Kuwait they are roughly 60 per cent. In Bahrain they are about 40 per cent.

Eighty percent! And the French feel like they have an immigrant problem, with a mere ten percent.

Foreigners in the Arabian peninsula, even if they are Muslims, are considered second-class citizens, and not entitled to the same rights and privileges that Arabs expect. It will be interesting to see how this influx of foreigners turns out over the long haul.

Hat tip: insubria.


Yorkshireminer said...

When I was working in Qatar nearly 30 years ago the situation was the same. The place was going through the first boom trying to spend all those extra billions of dollars they had received after the first oil shock. I was working for an Arab firm called Ali Bin Ali who had contracted with an American firm who manufactured concrete block machinery. I had signed a contract with a few other Brits to help build the plant and run it for a couple of years. The plant was top of the line high quality completely automatic with rotary programmers and over 400 different switches and sensors. I think Ali Bin Ali had bought it from a Sears and Robuck catalog, he had been attracted by all the flashing lights. The plant was built by a British firm using Pushtoon labor who used to live in shacks down by the harbor. We did the final installation with the help of several Americans from the machinery firm who came over for a couple of weeks to do the final commissioning. We had by law to employ a certain percentage of Qatarians, an impossibility. To get the people we needed and at the wages the Arabs were willing to pay we had to go to Bombay to do our recruiting. They were a motley crew Muslims Christians and Hindus who came from different parts of India and therefore couldn't particularly understand each other so we had to hire a translator. The following couple of year to say the least was somewhat surrealistic. We did by the way have one Qatarian and he was a Pakistanie who had lived there for years and was married to a local woman. He was the only one of the bunch who walked about in Arabic cloths. At the time there were contracts which our firm supplied with concrete blocks the Korean's were building a desalination plant the Norwegians were building a Urea plant down at Um Said. The Dutch were dredging the harbor, the Americans were building a Ramada Hotel, I could go on and on. None as far as I could see. because I visited most of the sites employed Qatarians. When Arabs were employed they were mostly Palestinians who had migrated to the Gulf looking for work. The locals all received a fat check from the Al Thanis, they didn't have to work. They spent all their spare time pupping, for there was plenty of whelps running around. I should know I lived in an Arab Quarter. When the oil runs out so will the workers. The local Arab population who will most likely be pushing a million will be wondering how to run all this machinery and where they are going to get the money from for there next meal. I could go on but I wont. The Gulf is a sick Joke just like this comment.