OPINION: The Invisible Hand—how Saudi Arabia helps oppressed Muslims


by Zahack Tanvir

Saudi Arabia has always done silently and powerfully without any sound and commotion.

A lot of people comment on my Facebook posts—”What is Saudi Arabia doing to help Muslims?”, and they accuse the leaders and the government of Saudi Arabia of passively watching the oppression happening against the Muslims outside their country. Meanwhile, they glorify the leaders of Turkey, Qatar and Iran for voicing the pressing issues of the Muslim community “bravely” without any hesitation.

But, I would say—”Saudi Arabia has it’s own way of dealing with the situations”. As the Urdu proverb goes—”garajne wale badal baraste nahi”—metaphorically it means barking dog seldom bites. In fact, this is the condition of the leaders of Turkey, Qatar and Iran, they can hardly compete with what Saudi Arabia has done for Muslims. Saudi Arabia has always done silently and powerfully without any sound and commotion.

Here is one such example from Srilanka. A right-wing Srilankan Politician Wimal Weerawansa—who is accused of spreading communalism can be seen signing trade-deal with KSA and the photos of Saudi King and Crown Prince are seen in his office.

If you would remember, Srilanka was burning in anti-Muslim hatred some years ago, and soon after the Easter attacks it was intensified. There were horrifying news stories coming about Buddhist extremists witch-hunting Muslims and Muslims had to live in constant fear. However, the unabated anger has now waned away.

Saudi Arabia under the leadership of King Salman and MBS in September 2019 donated $50 million to Srilankan government to establish a fully equipped faculty of medicine in the Sabaragamuwa University at Ratnapura, and Muslim World League donated $5 million to the victims of Srilanka’s Easter attack victims in August 2019. It’s quite known fact that—Saudi Arabia funded $45 million for the construction of 397 meters long Kinnya bridge which is a mini-replica of Jiaozhou Bay bridge of China.

With the passage of time, we have noticed the anti-Muslim hatred subsided and normalcy returned to Srilanka.

This piece would surely go lengthy if I cite the millions of dollars Saudi Arabia has donated to the countries like Yemen, Syria, Palestine, Burma, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Egypt, African nations, etc.

Saudi leaders aren’t like the leaders of Turkey, Qatar and Iran who pass heavy and harsh statements against their opponents while maintaining under-the-table diplomacy with them. Saudi Arabia seems to have worked positively and effectively.

Saudi Arabia has always stood for Muslims with whatever means it can—using its diplomatic ties, building financial dependencies, and using its allies.

However, a question that pops up is—how about the Muslims living as minority in India and other places? The response would be—politics will take time and in the meanwhile these Muslims should realize their own potential and leadership. “We ruled India for 800 years”—is not for boasting and bragging, rather it’s to work on your own and come out of the blame-game attitude.

I am sure, you would have stumbled across the verse in the Koran, where God said—”Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves”.

Instead of wailing and crying what Saudi Arabia has done for the Muslims, why don’t we ponder over our own condition and mend it accordingly while focusing on a bright future ahead.

Zahack Tanvir is a Computer Engineer and holds diploma in Journalism from London School of Journalism. He tweets under @zahacktanvir.

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