mosques for expatsby Saeed Al-Suraihi

IF Sheikh Al-Mutlaq had not, by his wisdom, humility and right spirit, contained a question asked to him by one of the viewers during his program on Al-Majd satellite channel, we would have been obliged to bury our heads in the sand out of shame over our arrogance and treatment of foreign workers who help us in our daily matters more than we help them to earn an honorable living.

The questioner suggested building separate mosques for foreigners because he was disgusted by their dirty clothes and the bad smell of their sweat and socks. He said foreigners should be banned from praying in the Kingdom’s clean and tidy mosques.

Sheikh Al-Mutlaq told the questioner that his description of foreign workers reminded him of the condition of Saudi citizens at a time when the country did not know soap or shampoo.

He told him that the dirty foreign workers might be closer to God than him. If the sheikh had not been quick in his handling of the situation, the video clip that was circulated on social media would have created a worldwide scandal for us.

The other nations would not hesitate to ask us never to talk about justice or equality. We would have never dared to talk about the concept of human rights of which the questioner, who called himself Abu Khaled, probably never heard of.

I cannot imagine anyone could come up with this ridiculous idea of building separate mosques for foreigners. However, this kind of thinking is a clear proof that some of us are naked racists.

If our prayer fails to prevent us from being arrogant racists, then we need to be rescued. We should never forget that a few decades back we were a nation of bare-footed, illiterate people.

The wealth we are living in should make us thankful and humble, not arrogant and conceited.

This article was originally written by Saeed Al-Suraihi for Okaz