Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Saudi students "unsafe" in U.S.

Little Green Foosballs links to an article in the Arab News on the case of Hussein Al-Turki, the Aurora man recently sentenced to 28 (or 27 as the AN says) years in prison for enslaving his family's Indonesian housekeeper and repeatedly sexually assaulting her: "Al-Turki Episode Makes Saudis Think Twice Before Sending Children to US":

JEDDAH, 20 September 2006 — Due to the intimidation and harassment Saudi students have been recently experiencing in the United States, especially after what happened to Homaidan Al-Turki and his family, Saudis are thinking twice before sending their children to study in America.

“I am not going to sacrifice my sons by sending them to the US as long as they keep mistreating our children and abusing them for no reasons. My two sons will be graduating this year from high school and I will never ever think of sending them to America,” [some guy named] Al-Najjar said.

"I know of many parents that have changed their plans and are sending their children to other destinations such as Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The US is not the right place for our children and I hope all parents do not think about sending their children to any part of the US,” he added.

According to the latest statistics, there has been a noticed decrease of GCC students in the US, the biggest drop being in Saudi numbers.

This is because of the new political climate after Sept. 11, 2001, and the fact that Muslims in the US are facing many difficulties for mistakes that could be dealt in a less aggressive way,” said 29-year-old Ahmed Al-Falih, who is currently studying at a university in the US Midwest.

Speaking to Arab News by telephone, he described the situation of Saudi students as unsafe. “Many students feel scared. They expect the unexpected just like Al-Turki who has been accused of rape and other things that he did not do.”

Meanwhile, a Saudi tourist returning from the United States recently expressed anger and frustration at mistreatment suffered at the hands of US authorities when he was detained for a couple of hours at the J.F. Kennedy Airport.

“I thought things would have calmed down after all these years but the situation is still tense and Arabs are discriminated against and mistreated,” said Mamdouh Al-Saeed, 24.Al-Saeed added that he would not feel comfortable going to the US for further education in the current climate . . . .

People across Saudi Arabia have little faith in the US government and constantly accuse the authorities there of double standards by harshly punishing Al-Turki, while simultaneously letting off the perpetrators behind the Abu Ghraib fiasco in Iraq with a slap on the wrist.

Abu Ghraib? Abu Ghraib? The piece isn't even worth fisking. And, as LGF points out, the whole thing is a shuck anyway, because the Saudi government just announced plans for a large increase in the number of students it sends to the U.S.

Earlier post on Al-Turki and his "it is the way of my people" defense here.

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