Saturday, July 23, 2005

Robots to Replace Child Slaves as Camel Jockeys

There have been celebratory reports from various news organizations on the use of robot camel jockeys in Qatar and The UAE, to replace child camel jockeys in camel races. In all of the wonderment of this new technology, I've been wondering why our ever-vigilant news organizations refused to keep us informed as to the horrors the child camel jockeys faced over the years as slaves to these rich camel racers? Using child camel jockeys was outlawed years ago, but it seems no one bothered to enforce the law - until now, when children are no longer needed. So we get outrageous, self-congratulatory thinking like this, reported in Middle East Online
"This experiment can succeed and be generalised," said Fredj Fenniche, regional representative for the UN Human Rights Commission.

"Our way seeks to make Qatar a state of law and respect of human rights, and we won't tolerate going against this," said Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Faisal al-Thani, president of the organising committee for camel races in Qatar.

According to the Times Onlline
As many as 1,700 Pakistani children are believed to be working as camel jockeys in the Middle East. Hundreds of children are abducted by traffickers or sold voluntarily each year to camel racing syndicates in the UAE.

Poor parents from Pakistan’s most impoverished southern Punjab region are reported to have sold their children for £1,300 or more. The children smuggled into the UAE and trained to ride. The weight of the jockey is crucial to camel racing, so boys as young as two are considered to be most suitable. South Asian boys are favoured because they are cheap, weigh little and tend to scream loud ly, pushing camels to run much faster.

In 2002, Pakistan made smuggling children abroad for use as camel riders an offence punishable by up to ten years in prison, but the law is often flouted. Human rights groups say that the boys are kept in prison-like conditions where they are half starved to keep their weight down. The tiny riders are bound to a camel’s back, often with Velcro fastenings, as the animals race at speeds of up to 30mph. It is not uncommon for riders to fall from their camels and be dragged to their deaths.
According to UAE
A Pakistani boy who worked five years as a camel jockey, starting at age 4, remembers the race as noisy and dangerous, where more than 50 camels with screaming children strapped onto their backs would run. He personally saw about 20 children die, and more than a dozen injured every week. He recalls: "There was this one kid whose strap broke at the beginning of the race. His head was crushed between the legs of the running camel. Once the race has started it cannot stop.

Many of these under-aged riders have been left to die from the appalling injuries suffered on the desert race courses without any medical treatment. The camels are valuable assets worth millions of dollars, instead the children are viewed as cheap and expendable. With camel racing heavily patronized by the UAE's oil-rich rulers, who have least respect in the legislature, thousands of small children from Indian sub continent face a bleak and dangerous future.
A couple of pages of photos of the unfortunate children are here and here.
Once again we are treated to world's most popular double standard. Arab Muslims are allowed to enslave Muslim chilren. These chldren, unlike a camel, are thought of as disposable, not even worth the effort to seek medical treatment when inured. Anti-slavery groups have protested, but no action was ever taken . . . until now, when the services of these unfortunate children are no longer needed.

On the other hand, when a Muslim is hurt or killed in the west when trying to murder a non-Muslim, there is a hue and a cry from Muslim leaders.
The Muslim Council of Britain called on police to explain why the Asian man, reported as a "suspected suicide bomber" by Sky News, was shot dead at Stockwell station in south London.
And we know how Israel is condemned whenever and however they defend themselves from Muslim terrorists.

If Muslims truly wanted to be part of the world community, they wouldn't operate under this odious double standard. But they don't want to be part, they want to control the world community. And so far, there are too many pusillanimous leaders, and dishonest "human rights" groups allowing them that control.

Sickening, ain't it?

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