Obama and Saudi Arabia are last weekend’s trendsetters

Obama and Saudi Arabia are last weekend’s trendsetters

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What, me worry? / White House photo, United States Government works license
What, me worry? / White House photo, United States Government works license

CHARLOTTE, N.C., November 24, 2014 — Two unrelated stories over the weekend have little significance for world affairs, but they say much about global trends that are winning out over common sense.

Now that President Barack Obama has declared himself King of the United States, it looks as though he would like to rule the world as well.

During the G20 summit in Australia, Obama used his closing remarks to demand that the Aussies do more to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Apparently he was unhappy with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who insisted that the summit was intended to be a discussion of the international economy and not climate change.

Obama, who does whatever he pleases, whenever he pleases, would recognize no such restrictions.

Making it a personal reference as is his habit, Obama said, “I want to come back, and I want my daughters to be able to come back, and I want them to be able to bring their daughters or sons to visit, and I want that there 50 years from now. We can get this done and it is necessary for us to get it done because I have not had time to go to the Great Barrier Reef.”

In other words, we must preserve the Great Barrier Reef so that Obama can return at his convenience between golf outings, fund raisers, celebrity bashes and Constitution burnings. He has just been too busy with all that other stuff that keeps getting in the way to allow him to personally get to the reef. His remarks were a low blow disguised as a poor attempt at humor.

The Australians did not take kindly to Obama’s comments. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop responded harshly, “Australia knows better than anyone the importance of preserving the Great Barrier Reef.”

Bishop went to say that the Australian government spends about $155 million each year on reef preservation.

Being emperor of one country just is not enough for Obama. Now he is making demands on countries in another hemisphere. Just another sign of the times.

Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia signs popping up banning women from restaurants. According to Gulf News, “Women are not allowed” signs are appearing in eateries throughout the kingdom.

As one restaurant owner put it, the move was necessary to avoid harassment cases. Does that sound like the sort of gobbledy-gook that emanates from the White House these days?

Khalid Al Fakhri, the General Secretary of the National Society for Human Rights, said restaurant owners are using personal discretion with the ban. He said they are breaking the law.

It has always been a practice in Saudi Arabia to have segregated entrances for families and single people to prevent mingling. Non-Muslim women are also required to wear a black abayah and headscarf when in public.

Supporters of the ban say that women in restaurants are “causing several social issues.”

One blogger wrote that a woman recently came into a restaurant alone and shockingly used her mobile phone to play loud music. Afterwards she began to smoke, which upset some patrons enough to call the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, otherwise known as the Mutaween or Religious Police.

So the prevailing rationale seems to be that “the best thing is to keep women away from restaurants unless they have a male custodian.”

On the other hand, many Saudis complained that such decisions amounted to blatant discrimination against women. “This is utterly ridiculous,” said one Saudi man. “This means that a hungry woman who wants to eat something needs a male custodian to enter a restaurant. This is so shameful. Such attitudes are not accepted from any Muslim regarding anyone.”

In Saudi Arabia such controversies, though anachronistic, are commonplace. That raises the question, “other than the human rights aspect of the issue, why should we even care about this situation in the West?”

The answer is that we shouldn’t, except that this is yet another example of the extremes to which Sharia law can be carried and it demonstrates the absurdity of the Islamist mindset.

Fortunately, we have a meddling president who believes his reign has been unparalleled in its positive effects on the planet. As a result, when the dust clears after Armageddon, at least he will have the time to visit the Great Barrier Reef.


Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)

Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News; follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod


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