I am a prospective terrorist. Not really, but the government of Saudi Arabia will still fingerprint me if I plan to enter its country. This dubious measure is in response to the practice America has adopted of fingerprinting citizens of some foreign countries when they enter the United States.
Saudi Arabia made the list because 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers (that’s 79 percent for those of us who aren’t engineering majors) were from there. So, in my mind, it makes sense.
So, why is Saudi Arabia doing it? Is it to prevent the scourge of terrorism committed there by American citizens? No, that would make way too much sense. They aren’t doing it for any other reason but to retaliate. The Minister of the Interior, Prince Naif said, “Our dealings will be reciprocal. We’ll deal with every country the same way they deal with us.” Fine. Does that mean America will turn out a bunch of people to carry out suicide missions in Saudi Arabia? Ira Mehlman, from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said in a Fox News report, “This is clearly just a symbolic retaliation by the Saudi government for the new policies that have been imposed by the U.S. government.” Saudi Arabia is not denying it.
Let’s not forget, Saudi Arabia is considered one of our biggest allies in the region. Is this how allies act toward one another? I would be more understanding if there were an actual reason given for the measure it has adopted. All we have managed to get from the Interior Ministry is that they are doing it because we are. That’s mature. Do they have kindergartners in charge of their foreign policy? They should have at least made up some kind of an excuse.
One thing about this that makes me feel better is that implementing this policy will cost a lot of money. They’ll be wasting every dime (or halalah) they spend on it. It probably won’t be good for the tourism industry.
Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-Calif.) offered this statement according to Fox News: “What’s alarming about this is that it reflects an attitude on behalf of the Saudi Arabian government that perhaps they are in some way being threatened by the people of the United Sates, or we are no longer their friends.” Alarming, yes, and it’s potentially a bad sign. It definitely says that relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia are not what they should be.
Saudi Arabia’s fingerprinting plan is mean-spirited, immature and unnecessary. They are not in imminent danger from Americans. When was the last time a group of American terrorists attacked a target in Saudi Arabia? I know that Saudi Arabia is a sovereign country and has the right to do what it sees fit for the good of the country.
According to Fox News, the Saudi Arabian embassy would not comment on the policy. If I were doing something like this, I would offer an explanation, as well as my list of reasons why I think it is a good idea.
This is more than just an inconvenience. It is insulting. The Saudi Arabian government has repeatedly said that the actions of the hijackers do not reflect the views of the government or the citizens, but with actions like this, they put that stance in doubt.
I don’t see how they can justify a meaningless maneuver that does nothing but even some score. Saudi Arabia is targeting Americans specifically for no reason, and that is wrong.
Chris Ricketts is a junior majoring in English.firstname.lastname@example.org