How KSA fights scourge of racism

The Saudi Shoura Council has passed laws against racism and discrimination. (SPA file photo)
Updated 01 March 2018
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How KSA fights scourge of racism

JEDDAH: There is racism and discrimination in every country with an ethnically diverse population. Saudi Arabia deals with it in two ways: By fostering pride in the homeland regardless of ethnic origin — and through the force of the law.
Offenders, however high-profile, may be punished and excluded from media platforms. King Salman’s nephew was banned from media after describing someone as “tarsh bahar” — an offensive term for people whose ancestors came to Hijaz from across the sea.
Last November the Shoura Council began studying a 13-article draft law that criminalizes all forms of discrimination against individuals and groups because of their skin color, gender, ethnicity or sect, and outlaws the spread of tribal, regional, sectarian, political and ideological prejudices.
“This regulation is currently being studied by the Islamic affairs committee at the Shoura in order to launch it very soon,” Dima Talal Al-Sharif, of the law firm Majed M. Garoub, told Arab News.
“And under article 3 of the Anti-Cyber Crime Law, defamation and inflicting damage upon others through social media are punishable by imprisonment for up to a year up and/or a fine of up to 500,000 riyals.”
Dr. Mohammed Faheem, professor of comparative education at Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah, told Arab News social and economic factors were the main reasons for discrimination in society.
“The Makkah community is diverse and integrated, people used to live simple lives under similar circumstances,” he said. “But the demographic situation has changed, and with urban expansion the face of the city has changed.
“Discrimination is happening in Saudi Arabia, no doubt about that, but it is not as it was in the US and South Africa. There is a huge difference. There, it was in the form of institutional and organizational actions against people of a certain group.
“We don’t have this in Saudi Arabia, we do not have racial oppression. But it is people’s stereotyping and intolerance that may result in racist action that denies someone his rights.
“When one person believes that the group of people he belongs to is superior to others, and that belief is translated into an action against others, that is where discrimination begins. Ideas cannot be harmful until they become actions.
“People must feel that they belong to one homeland, equal in rights and duties.”


Arab coalition preventing Houthis from threatening navigation

Updated 22 July 2019
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Arab coalition preventing Houthis from threatening navigation

  • 16 permits have been issued to secure the passage of ships heading to the port of Hodeidah
  • Al-Maliki: Houthi militia continues to obstruct the arrival of humanitarian aid and violates international humanitarian law

RIYADH: The Arab coalition fighting to restore the legitimate government in Yemen said on Monday it is continuing its duty to prevent the Iranian-backed Houthi militia from threatening international shipping.
However, speaking at a weekly press conference in Riyadh, spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki also said the threat of international navigation is the responsibility of the international community
Col. Al-Maliki added that 16 permits have been issued to secure the passage of ships heading to the port of Hodeidah.
He also said that the Houthi militia continues to obstruct the arrival of humanitarian aid and violates international humanitarian law by targeting civilians and civilian sites, which have escalated to war crimes.
“The coalition is protecting the Yemeni citizens at the request of the legitimate government in Yemen and we will continue to provide assistance to the Yemeni people,” Al-Maliki added.
He also shed light on the coalition’s attacks on legitimate military targets in the capital Sanaa, which is under the control of the terrorist militia.