The Islamic State Saudi Arabia

Posted on December 12, 2014 by

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Saudi Arabia is a kingdom in the region directly north of the Horn Of Africa, a democratic state with a government, and ruled as a kingdom with a family of royals estimated to the thousands, a desert land with a population of about 28 million people, and blessed with a large number of oil and natural gases reservoir.

The people of this great nation are not taxed by the government, the national wealth is derived from oil sales, in return for not paying taxes, the article states, the royal family and the ruling class doesn’t have the obligation to, and in fact does not  disclose how much is made off of these oil sales, it goes further to not disclose to the public on how these finances are spent, and it is believed that the budget of the country is a check given to the government by the main oil refinery company in Saudi Arabia Aramco.

Saudi Arabia, and various countries  of The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) [mostly predominantly under the sharia judicial system] were estimated to have 50 % total of the world’s oil reserves and  40% total of the worlds natural gas reserves in 2011, this is at least in my eyes a large accumulation of wealth for these representative countries, and in effect Saudi Arabia provides free education and healthcare for their citizens, the article states that the royal family in the country gets to keep a sum {amount not known to the citizens of this country ] of this revenue due to their social status, but in hind sight the population of the poor in this country is growing in a significant manner an estimated 20% of the Population lives in poverty and documentation of this is punishable by law for example Three Saudi video bloggers were jailed for two weeks by the royal family for voicing these concerns.

Under King Abdullah, the Saudi government had spent billions to help the growing number of poor people estimated in the article to be a quarter of the population of Saudi Arabia, but many complain that these efforts were not enough and claimed the programs put to pass were inadequate and that royals were way more concern with their country’s image than helping the needy. The Saudi government does little to disclose data about its poor citizens. In the article it states for many years some Saudi officials denied the existence of poverty in this Kingdom it was a taboo subject and was avoided by the country’s government controlled media till 2002.

The article suggests that much of the welfare spending is generated through the Islamic system of Zakat, a religious requirement to donate 2.5% of your wealth to the needy, this Zakat is to be given to the government, and then given to the needy by the government, despite these efforts poverty and corruption continues to grow, the royal family is believed to pocket a vast amount of these contributions and vast amounts of the nation’s wealth through corruption ,nepotism and government contracts and through schemes such as confiscating land from Saudi’s citizens and then selling them to the government in high prices.

The article states that Many of the Saudis poorest families are those headed by women and “under Islamic law men are required to provide financial support for their families and the kingdoms strict religious constraints make it harder for women to find jobs.” One Khalid al-Khudairi started a website called Glowork.net in 2011 to help women in Saudi Arabia get jobs because many of those in need of work in the Kingdom were women but in return was hit by a significant amount of threatening emails and phone calls, he was warned to shutdown his website because he was violating cultural norms as it is a cultural norm for women in Saudi Arabia to not work or do a man’s job i.e.Drive.

Women in this highly technologically and economically developed kingdom in the 21st century are still considered second class citizens, with lesser rights or  less equal rights to their male counterparts, although that is still the case in most if not all parts of the world, this ideology about women in this part of the world or at least as assumed by the article is driven by the Islamic religious views and the backed by the power structure of the country, but then also it states that the Saudi Arabia Minister of Labor Adel Fakieh appointed 2010, encouraged this attempt, as an effort to assist, the minister gave Glowork.net access to all the country’s unemployment data, resumes 1.2 million of these from women and Glowork.net would be paid a fee for every candidate who found a job, and also suggests this was due to an attempt to reduce the $640 million spent on unemployment benefits the previous year only.

In conclusion, although wealth inequality is a major issue with various western countries like America, Ukraine and Russia being in the top of the list, the articles have a slow but sudden way in lack of a better term to blame Saudi Arabia’s income inequality as a direct result of Islamic fundamentals, although women in this kingdom are deprived of some of their human rights, income inequality is an issue on a global scale, and there is no one specific person or government to blame.

by Adrian Obiero

World Religious Studies

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/01/saudi-arabia-riyadh-poverty-inequality

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/business/worldbusiness/17iht-inflation.1.15359629.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://lightbox.time.com/2013/05/23/rich-nation-poor-people-saudi-arabia-by-lynsey-addario/#1

http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Publications/AEB%20VOL%203%20Issue%207%20juillet%202012%20ENG_AEB%20VOL%203%20Issue%207%20juillet%202012%20ENG%202.pdf

http://youtu.be/p_2PTKlz2lw

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/10/31/saudi-arabia-poverty-video-vloggers-released/

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/06/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-signals-openness-to-women-seeking-work.html?pagewanted=all

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