• There are three types of people in the world, those who don't know what's happening, those who wonder what's happening and those on the streets that make things happen.

Guilty as charged!

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 31, 2012

For the first time ever, women in Saudi Arabia are now allowed to drive!

In line with the cultural theme of my previous post, I had to post this image.

Talking about western intolerance towards new settlers and their ways, I was wondering whether an American woman who migrates to Saudi Arabia (I know it doesn’t happen much but let’s imagine) can walk around the streets of Riyadh in a Tee and Denims? Whether shes can enjoy a nice tan on the Saudi beach? So why does wearing a Hijab become such a big issue if the French government does not want it? Why do minorities have the right to protest and be heard more that the majority? Why is the selfishly devised scale of moralityand ethics more stringent for developed nations than it is for the rest of the world. I repeat, selfishly devised scale of morality and ethics.

I did laugh when I saw the above image. But slowly it revealed a dark side of this world’s hypocricy and evil. And we are all guilty. Just think about it.

19 Responses to “Guilty as charged!”

  1. I agree: If you go to another country you should respect that culture. If you cannot do what is required of you in a country (e.g. dress as your religion requires) – don’t go to that country. You chose your religion, and must accept how it limits you.
    I was pretty angry at the ‘euromillions’ hack – as muslims posted ‘don’t gamble and drink you westerners – it’s against God’ on the site. Against their god maybe, but it seems their God thinks it’s ok to murder people if they say mean things about him. I’ll stick with my God, tolerant and well stocked with Chablis!!

  2. Yeah, I’m torn over what to do with that image. I cracked a smile, then I got angry.

    • Raunak said

      Britt, I’m glad it evoked a response.
      The train of thought that the image gives rise to can be very disturbing. The attitude of the Saudis towards women and the fact that developed nations tolerate this behavior for the sake of oil. How convenient!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts πŸ™‚

      • emmawolf said

        “The attitude of the Saudis towards women and the fact that developed nations tolerate this behavior for the sake of oil. How convenient!”

        Yes. That is very anger inducing for me. I do want to be respectful of other religions, but I think there are lines even within that or modern values that should be upheld that trump ancient teaching. I don’t think I’m phrasing this right, so I hope you understand what I mean and can put it more eloquently.

      • Raunak said

        I’m glad to see you agreeing with me πŸ™‚
        I feel that it is not a debate between ancient and modern teachings because some ancient traditions and thinking were more progressive than any present day sensibility.
        This is more about regional tyrannical customs that need to be eliminated. Islam is heavily influenced by local Saudi customs that were prevalent at the time of the Prophet. Unfortunately, people around the world have not only adopted Islam but also these crazy Saudi customs.

  3. This image is too funny! Once again, we’re in full agreement. I wish I had found your blog the first day you started it. I feel so enriched by your observations, Raunak. Great post!

  4. emmawolf said

    “Why do minorities have the right to protest and be heard more that the majority?” Are you asking generally, or just relevant to this particular set of circumstances?

    • Raunak said

      Hi πŸ™‚
      This is a more general statement born out of frustration at how the majority in India is always made to feel guilty and the minority always pampered for vote bank politics!

      • emmawolf said

        As I told you before, I know much less than I’d like to about India and its culture (and am still waiting for some reading recommendations from you). But in America, because of the equality that we are supposed to have (that’s only supposed to be a little bit cynical). And sometimes its difficult for someone in the majority to see or understand the inequality. Given that, in the US it may seem that politicians are pandering to a minority (and sometimes this might actually be the case) but it is actually about avoiding the tyranny of the majority. So I have no idea if this is what goes on in India, but (as usual) I just have to argue with you for no reason.

      • Raunak said

        hahahaha…I love that you have to argue with me for no reason. Really appreciate it πŸ™‚
        here we go…my favorite read about India is “A History of India” by Romila Thapar. To read more about India and different aspects, google “William Dalrymple” and pick up any of his titles. His views on India are highly respected among scholars.

  5. Freedom is rarely free!

    • Raunak said

      well said, John!

      I think it is really important to direct cultural inclusion efforts towards the second generation of immigrants. It is the children of immigrants who are caught in a quagmire, born in a new culture but raised by parents who wish to apply their native culture rules on their kids. What results is a confused generation that can easily be misled by anti-social elements. It is this generation that seeks to assert a stronger self identity and while doing this becomes rebelious towards the system as well as the new culture and country.

      We use a slang to refer to the first generation of Indians born in the US. It is ABCDs, American Born Confused Desis. “Desis” in this case means Indians.

  6. Okay, I’m glad I’m not the only one who burst out laughing, along with my colleague here, when we saw the photo and read your caption. What made it even funnier was the fact that we were considering taking up a one-year assignment in Riyadh, and thought twice about it. Now we’ve got an even better option – Doha, Qatar. We might, maybe someway somehow, be able to wear our denim and tee and drive around. πŸ™‚

    • Raunak said

      πŸ™‚ I’m glad you’ve got Doha. It is a much more free society than Saudi. All the best with that assignment…I’m sure you’ll get to wear the tee and denim…and if you ever feel too tied down, head over to Dubai and freak out πŸ™‚

  7. I think I agree with you on this one. Being in NYC I think we are more tolerant then many Americans, or I hope I am. However, I don’t ever believe someone trying to force someone else to change just to please their needs. If one is lucky enough to find a better life in another country I do feel there should be respect for the customs you have chosen to be apart of.

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