There is an unspoken romance between Pakistanis and Arabs from around the world; it transcends political matters of the state and has to do more with the social dynamics between the common man of the two regions. Most Pakistani’s, if not all, are utterly fascinated with the Arabian culture. The glitz and glamour of Dubai or even Saudia Arabia is a source of attraction for many, no doubt. However, what is vexing is that the same Pakistani’s denounce European or American countries as discriminatory and lacking morality when the Arab nations treat our immigrants no differently. For Pakistani’s who find the devil in the west and a safe haven in the emirates; please help elaborate on the following cases of hypocrisy:
1) Is it hypocritical to accept being treated like a second-class citizen in Arab states while raising hue and cry when the same happens in the west?
We all get that “apna mulk apna he hota hai”. This phrase is a common rebuttal from Pakistanis fascinated with Arab states but not okay with fellow citizens migrating to the land of ‘firangis’ such as North America or Europe. My question is: are you really treated like a first-class citizen with rights equivalent to that of a native in Arab countries like Dubai? Are you even treated similarly to how a white man is in the Emirates?
No rights for the common man
Do Arabs lay down meals in golden bowls for you to devour as you step off the plane? If you are from the Pakistani elite, sure, they will welcome your money. But, the Arabs will never treat a common man from Pakistan the same. Are you aware the “labor class” from Pakistan is a group of people lured into the UAE as cheap labor? There is nothing uplifting about their immigration as they become victims of the most atrocious human rights violations possible. They are forced to live in exploitative conditions with 8-9 people often shut together in a tiny room. A BBC report unveiled that these people often forcibly lose connection with their families as well.
It will never be Home
Furthermore, expatriates serving in life-long occupations in the Emirates are never really given full citizenship with all its benefits. The precarity of most jobs is abysmal; the salaries of Pakistanis are discriminatorily less than those of the natives. Even the white man gets more money. We love throwing the west under the bus due to their mistreatment of Pakistanis. Why do we not call our or so-called Muslim brothers when they do the same?
2) Why do most men of the Arab diaspora deem it their birthright to have any girl for themselves as soon as they go abroad?
Stereotypes are typically reductionist towards any society. However, it is not an exaggeration, to say that Arab men are highly hypocritical when it comes to women. Particularly appalling is how attitudes change when Arab men go abroad to European, American or Australian cities. While repressing women in their own countries such as Saudia Arabia, they go all out when in a foreign setting. Somebody, please explain why they are so entitled when it comes to approaching a woman? Most Arabs are recognizable with the discomforting gaze and smirk they exhibit when they come across the opposite sex. Why does it seem that the concept of ‘haram relationships’ ceases to exist if the lady belongs to a non-Arab culture? Do Arab men do this because they are away from the more tyrannical punishments they would have to endure if they were in KSA?
3) Why has everyone turned a blind eye to how elitism in the Emirates is literally the antithesis of what they preach in terms of Islamic simplicity?
Looking the other way
Have you ever told anyone that moving to a non-Islamic state will jeopardize their Islamic beliefs and practices? If yes, then please justify the nauseating inequality in terms of Arabian luxury and elitism that exists for a select few. Whereas, the lower class Muslims must solely rely on duas and sabr? As far as I recall from childhood stories and lessons from Farkhanda Noor- the only source of religious knowledge used by our masses for critical thinking- religion is not about branded sports cars laden with gold or fancy hookah cafes. Although photography is widely discouraged in KSA- you will find large and glorified pictures of the royal family everywhere. Frankly, one has a better chance of securing their religious self by humbly living like the masses instead of above them.
It is true that the above might be a reductionist approach in looking at the Arab Emirates. But, it is no exaggeration that state-sponsored ideologies do have a trickle-down effect on a country’s citizenry. Arabs who spread all over the world are no different. They carry with them a sense of entitlement, which rubs off on others they come in contact with. We cannot be selective in how we chose to associate ourselves with the people of the “puritanical kingdom”. Will we ever reason with our own biases?