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Wednesday , November 14 2018

Alhamdulillah … ! we are innocent

I WAS stunned just like thousands of people due to the series of sexual scandals which tarnished the reputation of many famous individuals in Hollywood in recent weeks. The series of scandals started with American film producer Harvey Weinstein who was accused of sexual assault or harassment by many famous Hollywood actresses.

Before these sexual harassment revelations, we used to think that the Western society, especially the American society, lives with sexual freedom as we dreamed of living during our teenage years.

We thought that courting and making sexual advances toward women were uncomplicated matters and the women would either agree or disagree to such advances and that’s it — bye.

However, the meeting seems to be deeper than what we used to think. We have come to realize that those beautiful actresses who appear on screens have dignity in full sense of the word.

We see these women on screens while they are semi-nude or even completely nude in their bathtubs or on their beds, or even when engaged in passionate movie scenes without fear or reservations or wearing suggestive clothes. These women have dignity, honor and will to accept or reject.

Despite their actions in the past which were determined to be morally and socially unacceptable, all there is to it is the fact that they did so under pressure to succeed like several cases concerning this wealthy producer (Weinstein).

These actresses might be under pressure to submit to their producer’s demands because they are aware of the status of such people in making a person succeed and become famous in the film or art industry, or they can make someone, irrespective of their skills and talent, disappear and kill their dreams.

Nonetheless, when the time for truth came, these famous women hit back on some of the things they were forced to do, or some that they remained silent about such as verbal and physical harassment.

They remained silent to allow themselves to continue pursuing their objectives, or in other words, they did what they were forced to do or what was done to them just because they were in a needy or rather fragile position, and especially in fear of embarrassment and shame.

Perverts in the United States of America and many from the Western world like England, France, etc. have had not enough in practicing these shameful acts in the film or art industry. Instead, these behaviors went to the sacred field of humanity — the humanitarian charitable organizations.

In Britain, there has been uproar over sex scandals covered up by the British humanitarian organization ‘Oxfam’ whose employees were reported to have engaged in these shameful acts in Haiti and Chad several years ago.

In Haiti, the former boss of Oxfam is accused of engaging in sexual abuse and exploitation during operations in the wake of the earthquake which devastated this island in 2010. This led to last week’s resignation of Penny Lawrence from her post as Deputy Chief Executive of Oxfam in Britain.

Press reports also condemned behaviors of some former humanitarian employees, accusing them of paying money in exchange for sex while they were on a humanitarian mission to rescue victims of the earthquake. Similar scandalous incidents happened with the crew leader and its members in Chad.

In a comment in the wake of Oxfam’s sex scandals, the spokesperson of Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The government needed to do more to ensure charities strengthened safeguarding procedures to ensure the ‘horrific behavior’ seen in Haiti was not repeated.”

On behalf of my Arab and Muslim brothers, I announce our condemnation of the barbaric sexual misconduct that Westerners practice in and outside their countries. “Alhamdulillah”, we are innocent at least in public.

By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli – Former Minister of Oil

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