Inequalities among Arabs: A case of Saudi Arabia

 

 

Inequalities among Arabs: A case of Saudi Arabia

-DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL 

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World wants to know true Islam and looks to Arab world for comprehending true Islamic faith. But Arabs also exist only to  promote the  interests of  the rich.

 

Islam originated for entire humanity and as such it should make all efforts to uplift every section of society in every Muslim nation. Muslim rulers, unlike their counterparts elsewhere, have a prime responsibility for making Islam humanity religion to undertake plans to help the poor.

 

What is the point in having huge national wealth abundant resources, when people starve, suffer without basic facilities?

 

Oil rich Arab nations are surging ahead with tall buildings, huge private and state wealth, vast  gold reserves inclusive,  but  their own people  do not have sufficient  back ups.

 

When Arab nations refuse to implement Islamic law and promote Islamic faith, other Muslim nations also  do the same. Islam so far remains a religion that also believes in a few formalities.

 

Home to the world’s largest proven oil reserves, Saudi Arabia in West Asia produces more oil than any other Arab country. Saudi is competed only by Russia in oil production.

 

Riyadh has the largest economy in the Arab world with a GDP of $745 billion. Though Saudi is economically strong enough, Saudi oil revenues which account for 90 percent of government revenue have been falling —fell by 9 percent, Saudi economic growth declined significantly last year.

 

However, the rich continues to thrive in Arab and non-Arab Muslim world. But Saudi poverty and unemployment in the first ever Islamic nation has been a serious issue for years now and the kingdom has not taken any serious steps to reduce, if not remove completely, the poverty-unemployment levels.  Even the sharp social spending increases announced by the monarchy after the mass working class uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt failed to make a significant dent in Saudi poverty and unemployment.

 

Amid increasing political tensions throughout the Middle East, Saudi Arabia inclusive, Finance Ministry of Saudi kingdom announced its 2014 budget of 855 billion riyals (US$228 billion) last month.

 

The IMF has warned that the Saudi budget could fall into deficit by 2016.  While it still has a public reserve fund of about $700 billion, the leveling-off of oil production will force it to dip into these reserves if it does not begin to slash spending.

 

Though the kingdom has not yet announced any cuts, the projected 2014 budget may already result in public sector salary cuts; recurring expenditures could be cut by 1.5 percent.

 

Arabs promote capitalism and, in doing so, also aid the imperialist forces. US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks shed some light on income of Saudi royal family which still thinks God has given all this wealth  just enjoy. In the 1990s, a handful of Saudi princes skimmed off the income from the sale of up to 1 million barrels of oil per day. Thousands of other members of the royal family received large sums.

 

Notwithstanding vast oil wealth, an estimated one-quarter of the Saudi population lives in poverty. Between 2 million and 4 million Saudi citizens are believed to be living on less than $530 a month. Total unemployment rose from 10.5 percent in 2009 to 12.1 percent at the end of 2012. About 70 percent of the population is younger than 30, and youth unemployment has stubbornly remained at roughly 30 percent for over a decade. Unemployment is highest among women, at 35 percent.

 

Liberal migration policy of Saudi kingdom as elsewhere in Arab world  has increased foreign workers in many folds year after year. Despite Saudi Arabia’s huge petrodollars from oil sales, it has long faced enormous social inequality among Saudi citizens, and between Saudi citizens and the vast number of foreign workers, largely from Asia, that now constitute one third of the population.

 

The 2014 budget represents an increase of only 4.3 percent over the previous year, making it the smallest increase since 2003.

 

Saudi does nothing to remedy high poverty and double digit unemployment as the population, which rose from 6 million in 1979 to 28 million today, continues to grow.

 

The Saudi kingdom’s budgetary concerns have now been compounded by fears stemming from the tactical shift of the US away from backing pro-Saudi Sunni Islamist militias in the Syrian war, and towards a US rapprochement with Iran. Since the 2011 uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, the Sunni royal family has also repeatedly suppressed popular opposition and protests in Saudi Arabia’s Shia-dominated Eastern Province, home to the kingdom’s oil fields. The Saudi monarchy, which deprives its citizens of basic democratic rights, has sought to ruthlessly suppress public discussion of social inequality.

 

Social tensions—reflecting high unemployment, poverty, and escalating geopolitical and sectarian tensions throughout the Middle East—are mounting.

 

With so many projects started, administrative and technical capacities of both government agencies and the private sector have been stretched to the limit and beyond. As result, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of projects are running behind schedule. Trying to contain anger over the unfinished projects, King Abdullah has publicly admonished ministers and other officials repeatedly for leaving projects unfinished.

 

The Saudi government does not publish data on its income. The lack of a broader economic base threatens to undermine the kingdom’s finances. The central factor behind the failure of the Saudi economy is the parasitism of the Saudi royal family, whose absolute rule has been for decades one of the main props of US imperialism’s hegemony in the Middle East.

 

Corruption is rampant in Mideast and even Saudi officials insist on bribes from western and other nations for clearing their “matters”.   Former UK premier Tony Blair faced investigation over   the bribes deal between UK and Saudi Arabia. Blair, a co-author oif NATO war on Islam, eventually had to leave 10 Down Street, London.

 

This hollow mindset of Arab people shows Islam in bad cast.

 

The rage of inequalities among people in Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations send signals to other non-Arab Muslim nations of inability of Islam in providing true equality among people.  Rich and poor are in all societies and Islamic world should be different fundamentally and qualitatively.

 

The non-serious attitude of Arabs towards prohibited  stuffs like liquor and  smoke have made the Muslims working there also imbibe the liquor culture from Mideast and return to their third world  Muslim nations as full time drunkards.

 

 

As a result, Muslims globally continue to cheat, keep lies intact; they refuse to abide by Islamic law, faith and life patterns. They look to the west and non-Islamic world for guidance.

 

The Arab-returned-Muslims have plenty of money gained by all means but have not learned anything from Arabs on Islamic faith. They also cheat and deceive fellow Muslims at home and bribe officials and police to gain wealth illegally.

 

Arab hypocrisy is ruining world Muslims.

 

Have the Arab Muslims also got nothing to know from the Holy Quran and from the life of our Holy Prophet who was an Arab- the most honest in that?

 

Is Islam, then, also a mere entertainment and enjoyment resource for Muslims like other religions, meant for the rich to rule and care adman about underprivileged and poor?

 

 

 

 

د. عبد راف 

Toady there is not even on Muslim nation practicing  truly Islamic  faith.

BY DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL has been an Educationist, Columnist-Commentator  on world affairs Expert on Mideast Affairs Former university Teacher;  Editor:INTERNATIONAL OPINION; FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES; Author of books;website: http://abdulruff.wordpress.com/  Phone: 91-8129081217—(Account: No 62310377429 – CIF No: 78215311481- State Bank of Hyderabad, India) abdulruff@gmail.com

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