Some have questioned the global attention surrounding the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul. Others have questioned the significance of this concern and attributed it to a theory of global conspiracy against Arabs and Saudi Arabia, or to the double standards of the West, which has ignored more severe crimes in Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Yemen but focused on Khashoggi’s case.
In fact, this line of questioning reflects a very superficial view (assuming independence and good will of those who said so). The international media and press were concerned over Khashoggi’s murder because such crimes have almost disappeared from the democratic, semi-democratic and non-democratic world. We may have to go back in history a century until we find similar incidents committed in such a gross and brutal manner. Secondly, Jamal Khashoggi works for the American newspaper The Washington Post, and here he moved from the position of a local Saudi writer to a global writer who enjoys international immunity and international attention.
We need to remember how the US administration cared for the Egyptian-American Aya Hijazi, whom Trump received at the White House. Trump did not care at the same degree about other detainees because he sided with those who are politically and culturally dependent on him, and not because they are traitors as promoted by some.
Khashoggi is part of the Western-American case. He studied journalism in America. He speaks fluent English, has permanent residency in America and works in one of its major newspapers. If Jamal Khashoggi’s profile was repeated with X or Z, the American press would have done the same as in the case of the late journalist, away from conspiracy theories.
The issue of implicating America’s silence in other crimes and the double standards in Khashoggi’s murder is that dealing with it as a rare discovery reflects a major imbalance in thinking. Yes, the West has double standards, which is common, especially with regard to the Palestinian issue and the gross American bias towards the Israeli occupation’s crimes.
However, it is also regrettable that it is not only a double standard. With Trump’s views (which some in the Arab world strongly support), we are being regarded as failed states and people who are not qualified for democracy (some of us say these words).What happened in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya is not about America, which will not care and will only be keen on no influx of refugees and the fight against terrorism. Otherwise, spreading democracy and defending human rights is no longer a priority for America or a broad current in the West.
How do we demand America to be in solidarity with us in cases where we are not in solidarity with ourselves? We look at our victims, who are hundreds of thousands in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Palestine, and we demand the West to be in solidarity on our behalf, while at the same time some of us are concerned that the (relatively) free press is defending a man who worked with them and was killed in his own country’s consulate in a gruesome manor!