The following video shows a migrant worker in Saudi Arabia being verbally and physically abused by a Saudi for criticizing Saudi Arabia.
To view this video on YouTube.com, click here.
The Bengali migrant worker in the video above seems to have said something mildly critical of the government in Saudi Arabia. His punishment? He is forced to praise Saudi citizens as the best in the world, plead poverty and being in Saudi Arabia to feed his poor parents, and then kiss the hands and feet of his Saudi interrogator.
All the while, the Saudi says the following:
“Kiss my hands!”
“Even the United States fears Saudi Arabia.”
“The whole world fears Saudi Arabia.”
“What are you? An animal.”
This incident is extreme, but it reflects a strand of ethnic superiority inside Saudi Arabia and an inability to accept criticism of the country and its ways. Only last month, the Saudi ambassador to Egypt left Cairo in a huff after protests and alleged verbal insults against the Saudi monarch by an Egyptian human rights lawyer. Only when Egypt’s notables went to Riyadh and apologized to the Saudi king did the ambassador return. Today, there is more security outside the Saudi embassy in Egypt than most others.
Saudi Arabia is an important ally for the United States, but a society that cannot tolerate criticism cannot become the pluralist and modern nation that the government promises us when we visit. Reform of the sort mentioned by Princess Basma Bint Saud Bin Abdulaziz is urgent.
In the meantime, the culprit behind this heinous crime should be tracked down and brought to justice as an illustration that the Kingdom will not tolerate such conduct. The expatriate worker should be compensated, and his grievances addressed. Will Saudi Arabia do so? The answer to that question tells you whether the Kingdom is serious about reform or not.