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August1991

Apartheid, Women & Arabia

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If left-handed men in Arabia were treated as all women, would the Western world be as indifferent?

If black men in Arabia were treated as women, would the West be indifferent?

We have an answer. Here's what Wikipedia reports about South Africa's apartheid:

While international opposition to apartheid grew, the Nordic countries in particular provided both moral and financial support for the ANC. On 21 February 1986 – a week before he was murdered – Sweden's prime minister Olof Palme made the keynote address to the Swedish People's Parliament Against Apartheid held in Stockholm. In addressing the hundreds of anti-apartheid sympathizers as well as leaders and officials from the ANC and the Anti-Apartheid Movement such as Oliver Tambo, Palme declared:

"Apartheid cannot be reformed; it has to be eliminated."

Other Western countries adopted a more ambivalent position. Until 1986, both the Reagan and Thatcher administrations in the US and UK followed a 'constructive engagement' policy with the apartheid government, vetoing the imposition of UN economic sanctions on South Africa, as they both fiercely believed in free trade, and seeing South Africa as a bastion against Marxist forces in Southern Africa. Thatcher declared the ANC a terrorist organisation,[15], and in 1987 her spokesman, Bernard Ingham, famously said that anyone who believed that the ANC would ever form the government of South Africa was "living in cloud cuckoo land".[16]

By the late 1980s, however, with the tide of the Cold War turning and no sign of a political resolution in South Africa, Western patience with the apartheid government began to run out. By 1989, a bipartisan Republican/Democratic initiative in the US favoured economic sanctions (realized as the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act), the release of Nelson Mandela and a negotiated settlement involving the ANC. Thatcher too began to take a similar line but insisted on the suspension of the ANC's armed struggle.[17]

Some might argue that Britain's significant economic involvement in South Africa provided some leverage with the South Africa government, with both the UK and the US applying pressure on the government, and pushing for negotiations. However, neither Britain nor the US were willing to apply economic pressure upon their multinational interests in South Africa, such as the mining company Anglo American. A high-profile case claiming compensation from these companies was thrown out of court in 2004,[18] even though there may have been more than enough moral justification to support the claims.[19]

The wikipedia article's blame of the US and the UK (Reagan and Thatcher) for their indifference to apartheid is indicative, and sad. Yet in all honesty, how is the status of a woman in Islamist Saudi Arabia any different from that of a black man in apartheid South Africa?

Why is the North American Left so quick to defend one but so quiet in the defence of another?

Western Leftists demonstrated in front of South African Embassies (criticizing Western governments for their complicity) but I see none demonstrating in front of Saudi Embassies. Why?

Edited by August1991

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Setting aside the wiki quote - the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia has been mentioned here before. It's something which has been discussed and I agree with you to the point of 'why don't we see more protests at the SA embassy?'. Good question - perhaps because the Saudis are the Bushies friends? Perhaps because SA is on 'our' side? Truly, I'm not sure.

I would also like to add that the whole arguement that we go into countries to 'free' their women, or using the treatment of women as a justification of invade a soveriegn state is simply put: Hogwash. As the light hand wrt SA certainly shows us. Let's face it - these wars in the ME have Nothing to do with womens' rights and an awful lot to do with securing resources from their rightful owners.

Keep in mind that it is not even 100 years since women got the vote in Canada. During the time of the suffraget movement there were many a man who found the whole idea distasteful - in fact I imagine there are still men in the West who question whether it was a good idea. Come to think of it, perhaps if 'western' interests had not been messing with various ME states for the past 70 years, installing brutal puppet regimes, we would already have seen a move towards more egalitarian and secular societies there (remember Mossadeq).

There are also many women's rights groups who DO complain about SA.

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Western Leftists demonstrated in front of South African Embassies (criticizing Western governments for their complicity) but I see none demonstrating in front of Saudi Embassies. Why?

The situation in South Africa could be blamed on "white people", thus, the western world eventually felt it necessary to correct the wrongs it perceived as being perpetrated by "its own". In Saudi Arabia, the situation is a result of a different people, with a different culture, and so the western world doesn't feel "guilty" about it, and so as long as the situation in Saudi Arabia doesn't threaten tangible western interests, we won't intervene. Nowadays, most westerners are very viligant of discrimination perpetrated by other westerners against non-western groups, but generally ignore any discrimination perpetrated by non-westerners against anyone else.

It's something which has been discussed and I agree with you to the point of 'why don't we see more protests at the SA embassy?'. Good question - perhaps because the Saudis are the Bushies friends?

While the Saudis may indeed be Bush's friends, the friendship and support of the federal government hardly prevents protests and rallies. Protests occur against Bush himself, and against various others of his "friends". There is more than sufficient freedom in the US for people that want to protest against something to do so, regardless of whether that protest is in line with the views of their president.

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Liberal thought on this issue revolves around the idea that different cultures must be respected and not Westernized. I have actually argued with posters on this forum who belittled the killing of a daughter or sister for 'religious' reasons in India. Also the barbaric practice of female circumcision seems to be garnering new support in the left as a cultural thing that we in the west shouldn't judge.

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Liberal thought on this issue revolves around the idea that different cultures must be respected and not Westernized.

Really? I don't recall too many "Liberals" (as in, Dion?) expressing their support for the government of Saudi Arabia's flagrant violations of the UN Charter on Human Rights. I think you'll be hard-pressed to find any evidence of any mainstream organizations supporting nation's policies that violate the rights set out in that document.

I have actually argued with posters on this forum who belittled the killing of a daughter or sister for 'religious' reasons in India.

That might be true, but whoever these people are they don't represent mainstream organizations or views on the subject.

Also the barbaric practice of female circumcision seems to be garnering new support in the left as a cultural thing that we in the west shouldn't judge.

Do you have anything to back that up? I have a feeling you're misrepresenting an arguement someone made and/or making this up.

If there is a bias it's that SOME folks who claim to be human rights activists still are guilty of Western bias - meaning they target issues that are within the Western world OR are directly influenced by the foreign policy of Western powers. Of course, currently, for many activists and organizations the War in Iraq is a bigger issue right now than women's rights in Saudi Arabia - for the simple reason that it's more destructive to more people's lives.

I'd criticize these folks of course, I'd still reserve more criticizism for people who are against Arabs as a whole, rather than a policy of an Arab government. I find it hypocritical when people only seem to care about an issue such as women's rights when it can be used to slam "leftist" organizations who don't criticize it, when in reality these folks could care less about women's rights. Aren't these folks guilty of the same indifference they accuse others of? Aren't they exploiting a social problem for their own political gain?

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Western Leftists demonstrated in front of South African Embassies (criticizing Western governments for their complicity) but I see none demonstrating in front of Saudi Embassies.

Simple. Post August 1991 (the moment, not the poster), the global left no longer had strong pan national ally in denouncing America/Capitalism.

By default, the only other strong global force of resistance they could find was in the form of anti-globalist/American/Capitalist Islam, even if it directly spat in the face of the leftist values (womens rights, respect for the minority, etc) that they had taken up as their cause(s) célèbre(s).

At least it showed some of it's true colours.

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Simple, indeed. In SA, invading foreigners usurped the control over the local population. By basically making them slaves in their own country and against their will. To which local population eventually come to object, in both peaceful and armed ways. Which objections, eventually, became quite impossible to ignore.

In Saudi Arabia (e.g. - as in many other places), the laws and practices which upset us here in the West so much are part of the local culture. Meaning that most of population are, generally in agreement with them (or we would have seen some signs of serious discontent). Just as our forefathers were generally OK with burning witches, converting the barbarians, and using human beings as slaves not so many generations ago. It tooks us several centuries to get from "there" to "here". Thinking logically, one can only deduce that it'll take a few generations for others to catch up with the ideas of equality and democracy. Invavding them and force feeding our way of life will achieve nothing but slow down the progress and make it more painful.

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The biggest problem with religion is the brain washing. The Catholic Church was excellent at that and now the Morman and Fundamentalist churches do the same. Until we grow up enough to think for ourselves, and I mean a lot of women, we will have these problems. An example is the case in BC.

The Islamic church is no different than our churches used to be and in some cases continue to be.

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Simple, indeed. In SA, invading foreigners usurped the control over the local population.
When you use the letters SA, are you referring to South Africa or Saudi Arabia because your argument in some ways could apply to both.

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Maybe, and if so, apologies for the confusion, though I thought it's quite clear from the context. In any case, your argument definitely does not (apply in both situations). Simply because they aren't the same. Then one group suppresses another against their will and resistance, there's a rational point in voicing objections, etc, i.e. acting to change the situation. If, on the other hand, what's happening is a cultural norm of the people, generally accepted by most, even if very different from our standards, the only way to achieve a change is via a dialog. And dialog requires time and understanding. Lecturing from outside, or bombing into submission will achieve very little in the sense of actual progress (if progress is the real goal that is).

P.S. generally, I'm not sure we here should be smug about our so called "moral superiority". In the historical perspective, it's still in the lifetime of one recent generation that West has produced 1) most destructive and deadly war in the human history; 2) most murderous dictatorship ever; 3) probably most destructive attack on the innocent population, ever. Not counting countless invasions, colonizations etc. In the scope of the world, and in the perspective of recent history, we have neither the standing nor credibility to lecture other people on issues of morality. And if and when we do, I wonder if anybody listens as nobody hears those street corner preachers.

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The biggest problem with religion is the brain washing. The Catholic Church was excellent at that and now the Morman and Fundamentalist churches do the same. Until we grow up enough to think for ourselves, and I mean a lot of women, we will have these problems. An example is the case in BC.

The Islamic church is no different than our churches used to be and in some cases continue to be.

We are not talking about Catholicism or Christianity. Brain-washing my foot!

Attempting to link or tie-up Christianity...and demonizing all religion when an attempt at focusng on an issue is being made IS THE REAL PROBLEM in this day and age, mostly coming from the liberal-thinkers! This distracts from the issue at hand....and the seriousness of the situations for a lot of women is being dilluted or trivialized!

Your First Nation women were being abused until only recently by FN men who had been practicing their aboriginal beliefs!

Had it not been for the current government, your women would still be facing abuse and descrimination from their own people.....so if you need to give an example of women in dire straits on this continent, look into the reserves! If you need to lecture any women to grow up and think for themselves, it would be most beneficial if you do it in a mainstreet inside the Reserves.

Brain-washing goes in there...very, very thickly I must say! And it is not of a religious nature.

Perhaps you can snap them out of their trances and have them see the light...then maybe you can save their future generation. <_<

How many women from Islamic cultures had spoke out and are now in hiding, or in fear of their life because of jihad!

Some of these women reside and had spoken out in Canada...and had received death threats in Canada!

You can't compare our society with Islamic cultures.

I've yet to see a man convicted of rape in our society be given the penalty of praying 100 Hail Marys and self-flagellation infront of the Crucifix.....or the parents of a murdered child be allowed to have a go at his killer as "an eye for an eye".

Edited by betsy

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The biggest problem with religion is the brain washing. The Catholic Church was excellent at that and now the Morman and Fundamentalist churches do the same. Until we grow up enough to think for ourselves, and I mean a lot of women, we will have these problems. An example is the case in BC.

The Islamic church is no different than our churches used to be and in some cases continue to be.

The topic of this thread is fair and shouldn't be sidetracked by nonsense like the above. Christian churches do not and have never commanded their congregations to kill Jews or infidels.

My previous posts mentioned in passing the liberal lefts' new ideology regarding the way women are treated in these countries. Here is a book defending the practice of female circumcision with such stories as this, (Author) "My first female circumcision party occurred shortly after my husband Jay and I moved into a house in the Khartoum neighborhood known as As-Sajjana, just..."

Hey, anyone want to have a female circumsision party? BYOB!

In the above link, liberals are quite supportive and defensive of this 'study', and this kind of thinking is what's coming.

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Western Leftists demonstrated in front of South African Embassies (criticizing Western governments for their complicity) but I see none demonstrating in front of Saudi Embassies. Why?

Wait, so you're telling me you've not seen any liberal critiques of the misogyinist policies and bleiefs of places like Saudi Arabia? How long was your coma?

Now if you wonder why more western governments don't step up, there's an easy answer there.

Liberal thought on this issue revolves around the idea that different cultures must be respected and not Westernized. I have actually argued with posters on this forum who belittled the killing of a daughter or sister for 'religious' reasons in India. Also the barbaric practice of female circumcision seems to be garnering new support in the left as a cultural thing that we in the west shouldn't judge.

Pure, unadulterated pig excrement.

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If left-handed men in Arabia were treated as all women, would the Western world be as indifferent?

If black men in Arabia were treated as women, would the West be indifferent?

We have an answer. Here's what Wikipedia reports about South Africa's apartheid:

The wikipedia article's blame of the US and the UK (Reagan and Thatcher) for their indifference to apartheid is indicative, and sad. Yet in all honesty, how is the status of a woman in Islamist Saudi Arabia any different from that of a black man in apartheid South Africa?

Why is the North American Left so quick to defend one but so quiet in the defence of another?

Western Leftists demonstrated in front of South African Embassies (criticizing Western governments for their complicity) but I see none demonstrating in front of Saudi Embassies. Why?

A Saudi woman was gang raped and she reported it. She was initially sentenced to 90 lashes. She made the mistake of speaking to the media. For this, her punishment was increased to 200 lashes and 6 months in jail.

"Seven men from the majority Sunni community were found guilty of the rape and sentenced to prison terms ranging from just under a year to five years.

But the victim was also punished for violating Saudi Arabia's laws on segregation that forbid unrelated men and women from associating with each other. She was initially sentenced to 90 lashes for being in the car of a strange man.

On appeal, the Arab News reported that the punishment was not reduced but increased to 200 lashes and a six-month prison sentence.

The rapists also had their prison terms doubled. But the sentences are still low considering they could have faced the death penalty."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7096814.stm

Why aren't the feminists speaking out against the appalling treatment of women in Saudi Arabia? If there is one issue that could revive and mobilize the feminist movement, this would be it.

What about Muslim women in this country? Not a peep on the ill treatment of their counterparts.

I find that with Canadian feminists, their causes stop at the border. It would be refreshing if they would relent on male bashing and take up a worthwhile cause even if it is outside of Canada.

With regard to the puny sentences given the rapists, I suppose inadequate sentences is something we share with Saudi Arabia. Ugh!

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Liberal thought on this issue revolves around the idea that different cultures must be respected and not Westernized. I have actually argued with posters on this forum who belittled the killing of a daughter or sister for 'religious' reasons in India. Also the barbaric practice of female circumcision seems to be garnering new support in the left as a cultural thing that we in the west shouldn't judge.

Bravo Sharkman, that is exactly the problem. The left are more concerned with allowing "Cultural Practices" than human rights violation. What amuses me with the left and it's pandering and acceptance of barbaric acts against females is they'd be the first to get stoned in an Islamic Country. Their version of tolerance, particularly in the west, allows Muslim Males to treat women with barbarity in private here in Canada because it's their CULTURE. We will never know if women choose to live as a second class citizen because their "Cultural Rights" are more important that being beaten, subjugated and abused.

Regarding FGM yes I've read articles in the Globe and Mail where the feminest lament the cultural suffering of women who can't have their sexual organ hacked off. Yep allowing/forcing little girls to have themselves mutilated is more important than protecting them from suffering at the hands of barbarians.

I'll never understand the liberal lefts ethos on human rights, they just don't seem to care yet make themselves appear to CARE very much.

Another example of abuse in Saudi Arabia, but hay their foreigners and slave labour why should they matter right?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7093842.stm

Snippet: Some domestic workers told Human Rights Watch how they were subjected to forced confinement, food deprivation, physical and verbal abuse, forced labour, and sexual harassment and rape by their employers.

"The Gulf countries need to do a lot more to stop abuse of domestic workers," Ms Turner said.

"The governments of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE should extend labour laws to domestic workers, ensure their complaints can be heard and reform immigration laws so that workers aren't tied to employers."

The rights group has also urged the Sri Lankan government to improve regulation and monitoring of recruitment agents, as well as services for abused workers in consulates abroad.

The UAE has dismissed the charges

Interestingly enough the UAE employers have been exposed as despot for refusing to pay workers anything over period of years. They used foreign workers to build their new highrise building and kept them vertual slaves. I am beginning to doubt that civility is possible in Islamic Countries, to date they all abuse females and foreign workers.

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Their version of tolerance, particularly in the west, allows Muslim Males to treat women with barbarity in private here in Canada because it's their CULTURE. We will never know if women choose to live as a second class citizen because their "Cultural Rights" are more important that being beaten, subjugated and abused.

I wonder how many Muslim men in Canada heed the advice of this Saudi cleric on the proper way to beat your wife. Rule number one don't hit her in the face as it will make her ugly.

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=58547

As you say, these practices take place behind closed doors. I'd like to know how many Muslim women who wear burqas are hiding bruises. It does make you wonder.

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I agree Capricorn what is hiding behind the Burka? A case that made the media here was a Saudi female was beaten half to death, why? Well her mother died and her Pious Muslim husband told her he booked a flight home for the funeral, the day she was due to fly out she found out she wasn't allowed to go. If that weren't bad enough he beat her threw her down a flight of stairs dragged her back up and beat her again and then threw her down the stairs again. In front of her two sons, when he was arrested the neighbours expressed dismay because they never SAW her. She had been a prisoner in her home since they immigrated to Canada. Wahhabi Islam dictates that women be seen in public three times, once when they are born, once when they marry and once when they die. Nice, real nice. She was in a coma for months, she'll live and his punishment was? Eight years (he'll be out in three) for trying to kill her in Saudi Arabia he would not of commited a crime. He told the judge she looked at another Man, from where her prison. She'll be shunned by the Saudi Muslim community for not being a good Muslim, what would make her a good Muslim? If she died and he was set free like he would of in Saudi Arabia. This isn't an isolated incident I could prattle on forever over the treatment of Muslim women in Canada but the left is more concerned with crotches than the suffering of Muslim females.

Here's the latest craze in England, please note that soldiers are being denied treatment but the leftards/socialist feel this is a priority. Of course vets or soldiers serving in Iraq or Afghanistan were not allowed to participate in Rememberance Day Parades lest they offend the public with their one leg or half a head. But, but this is an issue for the leftards. Socialist England disguest me to no end, we liberated them once "Never Again" seems applicable.

Story here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/arti...in_page_id=1770

Snippet: Women get 'virginity fix' NHS operations in Muslim-driven trend

By JAMES CHAPMAN - More by this author »

Last updated at 01:39am on 15th November 2007

Comments (94)

Women are being given controversial "virginity repair" operations on the NHS, it emerged last night.

Taxpayers funded 24 hymen replacement operations between 2005 and 2006, official figures revealed.

And increasing numbers of women are paying up to £4,000 in private clinics for the procedure apparently under pressure from future spouses or in-laws who believe they should be virgins on their wedding night.

Doctors said most patients are immigrants or British of ethnic origin.

Scroll down for more ...

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The lawyer that represented the gang-rape victim had his license confiscated.

Mr Lahem accused the court of letting personal views influence its decision:

"It seems that the sentence was influenced by the fact that the woman escalated the issue with her lawyer and also with the supreme judicial authorities," he said.

"This is astonishing because justice is supposed to be independent from all pressures as well as personal considerations, be it a feeling towards the lawyer or defendant herself," he added.

The Arab News quoted an official as saying the judges had decided to punish the girl for trying to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media.

Mr Lahem said that the judges' decision to confiscate his license to work and stop him from representing his client is illegal.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7098480.stm

Now this lawyer is out of work. It looks like Saudi Arabia is now purging lawyers who don't follow sharia law to the letter. Isn't anyone in Saudi Arabia going to contest this affront to their justice system?

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I doubt it Cap, the Mad Mullas and Mufftis won't be happy until women are invisable or living in caves underground. I notice none of the hardcore leftards are even interested in a topic about human rights violations. I guess saving a terrorist from "Supposed" or "Rumors" of torture is keeping them busy these days.

Check out this link, Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Saudi Arabia is breaking all of them, why isn't the UN dealing with that issue. To busy persecuting Israel for defending herself is my guess.

Link: http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1600.htm

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Check out this link, Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Saudi Arabia is breaking all of them, why isn't the UN dealing with that issue. To busy persecuting Israel for defending herself is my guess.

Link: http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1600.htm

Wow! That was really interesting. Those guys are really animated in their debate. The man attacking the Islamic platform got threw some good punches. What struck me is when he said Islam suffers from a phobia of menstruation and sexual attitudes. Heavy stuff. The ugly cleric looked like he was going to have a conniption.

The concept of an Islam platform and a Western platform brings the discussion down to the nitty-gritty.

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A Saudi woman was gang raped and she reported it. She was initially sentenced to 90 lashes. She made the mistake of speaking to the media. For this, her punishment was increased to 200 lashes and 6 months in jail.

"Seven men from the majority Sunni community were found guilty of the rape and sentenced to prison terms ranging from just under a year to five years.

But the victim was also punished for violating Saudi Arabia's laws on segregation that forbid unrelated men and women from associating with each other. She was initially sentenced to 90 lashes for being in the car of a strange man.

On appeal, the Arab News reported that the punishment was not reduced but increased to 200 lashes and a six-month prison sentence.

The rapists also had their prison terms doubled. But the sentences are still low considering they could have faced the death penalty."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7096814.stm

Why aren't the feminists speaking out against the appalling treatment of women in Saudi Arabia? If there is one issue that could revive and mobilize the feminist movement, this would be it.

What about Muslim women in this country? Not a peep on the ill treatment of their counterparts.

I find that with Canadian feminists, their causes stop at the border. It would be refreshing if they would relent on male bashing and take up a worthwhile cause even if it is outside of Canada.

With regard to the puny sentences given the rapists, I suppose inadequate sentences is something we share with Saudi Arabia. Ugh!

The above situation in Saudi Arabia should be causing international condonement but with due respect it won't because of Saudi's oil clout on the countries who should be openly condoning what its doing.

That said, I think your take on the feminist movement if you want to call it that is a tad anqtiquated and stereotypical. I think if you actually looked carefully you would see many people in the movement are yegads men and yes straight. You might also find its not all angry women burning bras and male bashing.

You would also find that most if not all the leading women's groups have been condoning and trying to bring international attention to what is going on in many countries to women, I am not sure its as simple as you make it sound. The so called women's movement is far from uniform in thought or approach and no its not simply focused on domestic laws.

That said this is precisely the kind of legal development the West is afraid to speak out about for fear of angering its oil supply.

Interesting how selective we are with the countries we criticize.

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