May 29, 2008

Return to the era of slavery

Bangladeshi migrant workers are having a tensed time in Bahrain where the government has banned issuing work permits for Bangladeshis and the right wingers want 90000 Bangladeshis expelled from the country. This reminds of the discriminations in place when slavery persisted. An attack on master is seen as the most outrageous of crimes.

From Bahraini.TV:
All Bangladeshis could be expelled from Bahrain by the end of this year if a proposal by a group of local MPs is approved by parliament, it emerged yesterday.

The proposal by Al Asala bloc follows the death of a Bahraini who was killed in an attack after an argument with a Bangladeshi mechanic at a workshop in Suq Waqif, Hamad Town on Friday.

The worker demanded BD1.500 for welding machine repairs, but Bahraini Mohammed Jassim Dossary insisted on paying BD1, sources told the GDN.

Following a heated exchange, the worker attacked him with a grinder.
The man should be punished for this crime. But we need to also know in which situation he had to take this action, what problems he faced in this country to keep things in perspective.

This report provides insight into the plight of the Bangladeshi workers.

And the strangest of thing is that for the crime of one person a whole nation is being punished.

Ayesha Saldanha compiles Bahraini bloggers reactions on this issue in Global Voices Online.

Leading Bahraini blogger Mahmood says:
The demand to expel and ban Bangladeshis because of the unfortunate result of a single person’s moment of anger is tantamount to our agreement to the entrenchment and even encoding xenophobia as our main Bahraini trait.
In Bahrain there are also unclaimed arson attacks against restaurants and shops frequented by expatriate workers. In the most serious of these, in March 2006, seven Bangladeshi workers were killed (Human rights watch).

Reeshiez comments on the post:
This is the most ridiculous thing that I’ve heard and is blatant racial discrimination. I can’t believe our government did this and that many people support this law. You can’t punish an entire nation for isolated incidents by their citizens. How would bahrainis feel if all arabs were banned from coming to the US because a random Bahraini killed an American citizen? I am completely disgusted.


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