Republishing of the articles is welcome with a link to the original post on this blog or to

Italy Travel Ideas

Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Philosopher Who Gave the New Atheists Their Theoretical Foundations Became Convinced that God Exists

Splendid sunset on the sea - from the website Human Health and Animal Ethics

British professor Antony Flew wrote over thirty philosophical works which established the foundations for atheism for half a century.

His 1950 paper "Theology and Falsification" was the most reprinted philosophical publication of the 20th century.

In December 2004 Flew announced in a symposium and subsequent video that he had completely changed his view and now, based on scientific evidence, believed that God exists.

In 2007 he wrote the book There Is a God (Amazon USA) (Amazon UK) , subtitled How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.

This is the man without whose ideas the various Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Dennett, Wolpert, Stenger, (not to mention Christopher Hitchens and Pat Condell) et al, none of whom is a philosopher, would not have had rational arguments to support their faith: atheism.

So it's not surprising that, when on 9 December 2004 the international journalist agency Associated Press gave the world the news about the British Professor of Philosophy's "conversion" with the headine "Famous Atheist Now Believes in God: One of World's Leading Atheists Now Believes in God, More or Less, Based on Scientific Evidence", atheists became hysterical.

Roy Abraham Varghese, in his Preface to There Is a God, wrote:

"One atheist Web site tasked a correspondent with giving monthly updates on Flew's falling away from the true faith. Inane insults and juvenile caricatures were common in the freethinking blogosphere. The same people who complained about the Inquisition and witches being burned at the stake were now enjoying a little heresy hunting of their own. The advocates of tolerance were not themselves very tolerant. And, apparently, religious zealots don't have a monopoly on dogmatism, incivility, fanaticism, and paranoia.

"But raging mobs cannot rewrite history. And Flew's position in the history of atheism transcends anything that today's atheists have on offer."

Photo of sea sunset courtesy of the website Human Health and Animal Ethics

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Queen Christmas Message Does Not Mention the Plight of Christians

Baghdad Church burnt by Muslims

Happy Christmas everyone!

I watched the Queen's 2013 Christmas message on the BBC.

It would have been nice, if she hadn't told two lies, one by action and one by omission.

The former was: "For Christians, as for all people of faith, reflection, meditation and prayer help us to renew ourselves in God's love, as we strive daily to become better people."

It's quite obvious that not in all faiths believers strive to become better people, unless we consider as self-improvement perfectioning suicide-bombing and beheading skills in order to impose one's faith - to be specific, Islam - to the whole infidel world with whatever available means.

And this takes us directly to the lie by omission. Her traditional Christmas message could have been a good opportunity for the Queen to remind her subjects not just in Britain but also in the rest of the Commonwealth that not all Christians are free to celebrate Christmas.

For years now, Christmas has been a time when Christians in many parts of the world - thanks to some faithful of the "religion" mentioned above, in their striving for self-amelioration - are routinely massacred and have to fear for their lives more than ever.

At least 38 Christians have just been killed and 70 wounded in Baghdad by two car bombs, one on Wednesday targeting a Christian market and the other on Christmas Day outside a church, targeting the faithful after a service.

On December 21 in Syria, some of those heroic freedom fighters that Obama and Cameron are so eager to help, anti-Assad "rebels" - otherwise known as bloody, murderous, kill-the-infidels-wherever-you-find-them jihadists - fired multiple mortar shells on a church, killing 12 Christians and injuring many others.

The Christians, clearly having a different concept from Muslims of what self-betterment is, were distributing charity help to the local population.

And, to get closer to the Queen's own home turf, the Commonwealth includes superb examples of countries whose Muslim majority takes a special pride in becoming better and better people at discriminating against and ferociously persecuting the Christian minority.

One of them is Nigeria, which has been rightfully called the most deadly country to be a Christian. Another is Pakistan where, after many years of continuous attacks on the Christian community, 2013 has been one of the worst of them. In September, 96 people were killed and 130 wounded in twin suicide attacks on a church in Peshawar, the most deadly attacks of this kind since independence.

Why hasn't the Queen, who always talks about the Commonwealth in her Christmas messages and this year expanded on the Commonwealth Games, found in herself the courage to speak up for the millions of her fellow Christians who are subjected to psychological and physical torture just for their belief in the same Jesus Christ whose birth we are today celebrating (in case someone, among the trees, cards, shopping and central London's "winter" lights, had forgotten)?

Friday, 20 December 2013

ObamaCare: A Word of Warning from Britain

First published on FrontPage Magazine.

By Enza Ferreri

In light of the ongoing ObamaCare debacle, it can be interesting to see how a state-run national health system free for all, like Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) – Obama’s favourite model -, has failed to deliver.

The UK is one of the few countries in the world – mostly concentrated in Europe - to have completely free universal health provision. It sounds cuddly and comfy, but, like in all utopias and fairy tales, reality is a different matter.

The NHS is Britain's sacred cow. No party, if it wants to be elected, can scrap it or reform it in any real sense. All parties have to recite the mantra: "The NHS is safe with us. We are ring-fencing the NHS".

In 2009, British Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, interviewed on Fox News (see above video) about the impending Obamacare, warned Americans that the NHS is a “60-year-old relic” and claimed he “would not wish it on anyone”. Hannan was then condemned back home as “evil”, “unpatriotric” and “a traitor”.

Former Chancellor Nigel Lawson said that the NHS is “the closest thing that the British have to a religion”. And Labour politicians managed to create a climate in which this institution was considered sacrosanct, untouchable by criticism.

But it’s becoming increasingly impossible now to keep that pretence.

The NHS, born on 5 July 1948, is the first system of free universal medical care ever established. The 1942 Beveridge Report, influential in founding the UK’s modern welfare state of which the NHS is part, was conceived and implemented during a special time, when the population was not only ethnically and culturally homogenous, but also feeling like a great family, bound together by the heroic struggle of WW2.

The fundamental principles of the NHS, then as now, have been: 1) services provided free at the point of use; 2) services financed from central taxation; 3) everyone eligible for care (even people temporarily resident or visiting the country).

According to Treasury figures, NHS spending almost doubled in real terms from £57 billion in 2002/03 to £109 billion in 2012/13, and is forecast for £129 billion in 2014.

Britain spends 18.5% of its annual budget on health, the second highest expenditure.

The NHS has always been beleaguered by problems and cash crises, and needing reform.

All “reforms” attempted through the years have only amounted to internal changes and restructurings - giving similar bodies different names. The current “reform” is no exception. Crisis has always been the NHS’s permanent condition.

Its original ideal is too expensive even in the best conditions and, with health care becoming more costly and population ageing, the conditions are going to worsen.

But more money doesn’t mean better care. Department of Health reports admit that, despite significant and consistent increases in funding, hospital productivity has fallen.

A study in the prestigious Lancet of health data over 20 years in 19 countries shows Britain lagging behind in 12th place.

The BBC reported on the research:
Many deaths happen because the NHS is not good enough at preventing people getting sick or because treatment does not rival that seen elsewhere in Europe, says Mr Hunt who is responsible for health policy in England.
By cancer survival rate comparisons, the NHS is one of the worst health systems in the Western world, even overtaken by former European communist countries.

The remedies are worse than the ills. After having created problems and produced terrible results, governments, to save their face and not risk losing votes, try to find band-aid solutions that make things even worse.

One instance of that is setting targets, which has led to patients being neglected to meet them:
Another example occurred at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust, where over three years from 2005 between 400 and 1,200 patients died needlessly as managers ruthlessly cut costs — particularly nursing numbers — to meet targets the Labour government laid down to win ‘foundation’ hospital status.

Doctors were diverted from critically-ill patients in order to deal with less serious cases to meet the target of discharging all patients from Accident & Emergency units within four hours of admission.

Vulnerable patients were left starving, in soiled bedsheets or screaming in pain. Some became so dehydrated they drank from flower vases…

Apparently, the [Francis] report will damn not just the Mid-Staffordshire management but a ‘culture of fear’ from Whitehall down to the wards, as managers became fixated on meeting targets and protecting ministers from political criticism.

Countless families in Mid-Staffordshire have been left grieving for loved ones who were, in effect, killed by the National Health Service.
This is by no means an exceptional case. Inquiries follow scandals and are followed by new horror stories.

Top public health officials, from the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt down to Medical Director of NHS England Sir Bruce Keogh, have acknowledged that in many cases patients were abused, neglected and bullied, and have expressed serious concerns about the service at some NHS trusts.

In July of this year, 14 trusts were found to have unusually high mortality rates. In August, up to 42,000 deaths a year due to kidney failure were linked to dehydration in patients who were not given water by NHS staff. In September, it was discovered that 13,000 every year die of sepsis because of delays in diagnosis and treatment – negligence which also costs the NHS more money. In October, we had: the previous Labour government was accused of a pre-election cover-up about hospitals with higher-than-normal death rates, “with inspectors finding blood stains on floors and curtains and badly soiled mattresses”; NHS doctors were discovered to have been routinely giving performance-enhancing drugs to patients to “enhance their recovery rates”; and NHS managers getting hundreds of thousands of pounds in redundancy just before being given other NHS jobs – this was due to the latest NHS “reform”, which is simply a reshuffling. In November, it was found that NHS dementia patients were left hungry for hours and not given medication at the right time; a £200 million NHS fraud scandal was uncovered, with patients illegally claiming free services, and dentists, agencies and firms working for the NHS committing fraud and sending false invoices; 19 more hospitals were investigated over their links to allegations of sexual abuse by late TV celebrity Jimmy Savile, making a total of 32; it was discovered that the NHS spent nearly a fifth of its budget for maternity services on clinical negligence insurance in England in 2012, nearly £500m; there was news that Colchester hospital has been fiddling with patient records to improve its waiting times for cancer treatment, with potentially life-threatening consequences. In December, it’s been disclosed that up to 170 operations are cancelled at the last minute each day by NHS hospitals for bed shortages, faulty equipment and lack of staff.

This is just a sample, in no way a complete record. Not bad for less than a half year’s work.

A former London correspondent for Time sounds very reassuring:
Health care was more psychically seamless in the U.K. Nobody worried about going bankrupt if they got sick.
Nobody goes bankrupt individually, but everybody will go bankrupt with the rest of the country because the NHS and the whole welfare state are taking Britain to the verge of economic collapse, with an unsustainable and growing national debt.

Tim Kelsey, a director at NHS England, the central body in charge of the health service, warned in July:
We are about to run out of cash in a very serious fashion... our analysis will disclose that by 2020 there will be a £30bn funding gap in the healthcare system. [Emphasis added]
Senior NHS doctors and managers said that up to 20 hospitals across the country may have to close to save the NHS from financial ruin.

Although the American system of employer-provided medical care is different from the British system, comparisons of the latter with Medicare, Medicaid and Obama’s “vision” for public healthcare can be made. When healthcare is mostly paid by a third party, there’s little incentive to economize on it, and as a consequence expenditures rise dramatically. Late US economist Milton Friedman would call the NHS a plan for the “socialisation of medicine”, flawed like all government programmes to control social fields.

Two weeks ago, during a visit to Vladimir Bukovsky, I asked him if he thought that looking after the health of a whole country is a task a government can be efficient at. He replied: "There are very few things that governments are efficient at".

Interestingly, the US has always been used as a bogeyman to scare Europeans into believing that they need universal healthcare. Look at what happens in America, where there is no state-run health system, Leftists and media say.

However, that the question "Are you insured?" asked in US hospitals is caused by lack of free healthcare for all, European-style, is far from the truth. It was free medical care provided by employers during the war - to attract workers at a time of price and wage controls - that led to the current situation in the US. Most Europeans have never heard of the existence of Medicare and Medicaid, and believe that Americans who can’t afford insurance are practically left to die.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

For Sexual Relativism and Homophilia the Tide Is Turning

There are undoubted similarities between Muslim activists on one hand and LGBT and feminist activists on the other.

Both groups want to impose their views - and now, with same-sex marriage, laws - on everybody else.

And both react badly when they don't succeed.

At the moment, as I previously wrote, the trend towards total normalisation of homosexuality is experiencing a setback. Maybe people start having enough of it, and are waking up.

The above video shows events on 23rd-25th November, when a loud and threatening mob attempted to storm the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista (John the Baptist) in Argentina.

In the video, 7,000 lesbian and pro-abortion feminists mock, abuse, spray-paint, sexually harass, spit on and physically assault 1,500 young Catholic men just for forming a human shield, standing and praying around their own Cathedral, so that the activists could not storm in, desecrate and ransack it. Displaying their "tolerance", the feminists spray-paint writings the nicest of which is "Burn the church".

Then they burn an effigy of Argentinian-born Pope Francis. The similarity of behaviour with Muslim crowds is astonishing. The feminist, LGBT mob even ululates, as Muslim women do. Savagery replicates barbarism.

Many other similar attacks have been perpetrated against Christians, churches and other Christian symbols by homosexual activists, feminists and - guess whom - Muslims. Assaults that, had they been directed against the perpetrators themselves, would have been called "hate crimes", but committing them against Christians, for some inexplicable reason, makes them OK.

In Croatia, on 1st December people voted in a referendum to support the definition “marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman”, definition which will now become part of the country's constitution. 450,000 petition signatures were necessary to call for the referendum, but the pro-family campaigners collected 750,000 in only two weeks in a country of about 4.4 million (this would be the equivalent of getting 54 million signatures in the United States).

Two thirds of the electorate voted in favour of this new Constitutional Amendment: 66% to 34%. Liberty Counsel website elaborates and accuses:
Earlier this year, the Croatian government drafted a bill that would create homosexual “life partners.” Recognizing this as a step towards same-sex marriage, the Catholic Church organized the citizens’ referendum. The citizens stood strong against government, media, and even international pressure.

“The Obama administration is working to undermine marriage and family around the world,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

According to a White House fact sheet outlining President Obama’s actions, Advancing LGBT Rights at Home and Abroad, the Obama administration is actively proliferating homosexuality around the world:

• Working with the Global Equality Fund, LGBT Global Development Partnership, and government and private-sector partners to train LGBT leaders;

• Working with our embassies overseas and civil society on the ground to develop strategies to advance LGBT status in countries around the world;

• Supporting resolutions specific to LGBT issues;

• Cosponsoring the UN Human Rights Council resolution on LGBT rights; and

• Ensuring that LGBT persons are included in broader human rights resolutions.

In 2014 the United States will host an international conference of homosexual donors and activists to coordinate and strategize LGBT international public policy initiatives.

“The memories of so-called ‘progressive’ regimes controlling society are fresh in the minds of Eastern Europeans. They know if the people stand united, they can overcome these ‘progressive’ ideals that wreak havoc on families and communities,” Staver points out. Croatia joins Serbia, Montenegro, Poland, Hung[a]ry, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and Latvia in passing laws to affirm natural marriage.

“President Obama’s anticolonial ideology is shrinking America’s influence in national political affairs, but he is a colonist when it comes to forcing his anti-God and anti-values ideology upon foreign countries. Obama’s ideology is morally bankrupt and anti-American,” says Staver. [Emphasis added]
Indeed, Eastern European countries, although generally poorer than their Western counterparts, seem to be more politically aware and intelligent than those. Having experienced socialism (for Marx, the first stage towards communism) and a communist government, they know what those evils really are like, and correctly recognise Western "liberal" agendas in various areas, from the welfare state to the normalisation of homosexuality (not to mention transexuality), as different faces of the same monster they knew in the bad old days.

In Croatia, the referendum campaign came in response to proposals by the current Leftist government to extend marriage-like benefits to homosexual partners. Having witnessed what happened in the West, where this kind of stealth approach has led to homomarriage and same-sex couples' adoption rights - and we haven't seen the end of the process yet -, the Christian, pro-family activists have been endowed, so to speak, with the power of prediction and been able to stop this train of events before desensitisation stepped in and it became too late.

Similar story in Slovenia, Croatia’s neighbour which shares borders with Italy and Austria. In March 2012 the people of Slovenia rejected Leftist social engineering by repealing a new “Family Code” adopted the year before by the Slovenian Parliament, which would have cleared the path towards complete equalisation of the homosexual and conjugal marriage and towards homosexual child-adoption. It was the first referendum of this kind in an EU member state, and is likely to become an important point of reference for any further legislation in this area in Central Europe.

The piece "Croatia: post-communist nomenklatura wants to re-define marriage, but civil society resists", written before the Croatian referendum, explains:
In both Slovenia and Croatia, the debate around so-called “LGBT rights” evidences the growing disconnection between the ruling classes (which, due to their lack of genuine moral and intellectual qualities, one would hesitate to describe as “elites”) and the population. In both countries, politics and economy are under the control of a small – mostly ex-communist – nomenklatura seeking to ingratiate itself with the influential pressure-groups that currently act as opinion-makers throughout the greater part of Western and Northern Europe. These elites believe that, in order to be worthy members of the EU, their countries need to recognize same-sex “marriages”, and be it against the declared will of the people.

The nomenklatura’s contempt for democracy becomes apparent in a statement by the country’s president Ivo Josipović, a former communist, who said he had doubts “whether we need such a referendum”. The Minister of Social Politics and Youth, Milanka Opačić, called the referendum “expensive and completely unnecessary”. In addition, the Prime Minister of Croatia, Zoran Milanović, called the referendum “completely pointless” and said that “this will be the first and last time that such a referendum is announced”.

Pointless? Yes, because the government appears determined to simply ignore the outcome of the plebiscite. The Minister or [sic] Public Administration, Arsen Bauk, has defiantly announced that, in case the referendum is successful (and the introduction of same-sex marriages thus becomes impossible), a new bill will be drawn up to grant homosexual partnerships the same legal rights as marriages. Since the fall of Communism, one has never seen a Croatian politician treating a democratic expression of the electorate’s will with such arrogance.

However, arrogance and brazen contempt for democracy are by now known to be the trademarks of the homosexualist lobby. It suffices to remember the way in which the French government violently cracked down on the peaceful participants of a demonstration against the re-definition of marriage, or the fact that the European Commission funds the budget of ILGA-Europe, a radical homosexualist lobby group, with more than 1 million Euro of taxpayer’s money every year – a contribution without which this fake “non-governmental organization” would simply cease to exist.

But in the meantime, the real civil society is slowly awakening. The foreseeable outcome of the referendum in Croatia will provide further encouragement. [Emphasis added]
I conclude with Matt Barber, who writes in WND's article "America's chief export: Immorality":
Indeed, under this president, America’s chief export has become immorality. Sexual deviancy, murder of the unborn, redistribution of wealth and other evils have been sanitized and propagandized as “basic human rights.”

Thus, when this arrogant man stands before the U.N. and decries those nations that refuse to embrace his special brand of pagan relativism, we shouldn’t be surprised if those nations push back.

And so they push back...

For instance, there has been, of late, great weeping and gnashing of teeth among mainstream media – and other circles of intolerant “tolerance” – over successful efforts by several foreign governments to stem the tide of “LGBT” propaganda within their own sovereign borders.

Russia, India, Croatia, Peru, Jamaica and even Australia, for instance, along with other nations, are now moving to inoculate themselves from the fast-metastasizing cancer of sexual relativism.

Having witnessed, from afar, the poisonous results of such propaganda here in the U.S. (the hyper-sexualization of children, the deconstruction of natural marriage and family, the rampant spread of sexually transmitted disease, religious persecution and the like), there seems an emerging global recognition that the radical “LGBT” agenda – a pet cause of Obama’s – is not about securing “human rights,” but, rather, is about promulgating moral wrongs.

The world is finding that forcing others to “tolerate” – indeed, to celebrate – unfettered licentiousness, under penalty of law, is as harmful to society as is said licentiousness to those who practice it...

While America may be lost (though I pray not), it would seem that her traditional values – values still shared by many, if not most, of the American people – are, nonetheless, gaining momentum abroad.

And that is encouraging.

Now let’s pray those values come full circle.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Fight Against Redefining Marriage Is Not Over

I've received the latest email news from Coalition for Marriage, saying that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has climbed down from its proposal of merging official figures for same-sex and traditional marriage with “no differentiation possible”. This would have airbrushed true marriage from official data.

Before the proposal was implemented, an ONS consultation asked whether it was “important” that “some tables” could show separate heterosexual and homosexual marriage figures, which received an enormous volume of responses from Coalition for Marriage supporters insisting for separate figures.

The ONS has now released a statement saying that it is not going to combine the figures, but “will publish marriage and divorce statistics in the future where figures for opposite sex and same sex couples are shown separately”.

Coalition for Marriage comments: "So the statistics for traditional marriage are not to be a state secret."

After the passing of the homomarriage law in Britain, several people have given up hoping and fighting.

This episode shows that there are still many differences that we could make. The homosexual marriage experiment may still not succeed, especially in the long term. Changes made can be reversed.

A piece of evidence for that comes from the PS to the email, saying:
[T]he Australian High Court has overturned a same-sex marriage law in the Australian Capital Territory. The law was passed a few weeks ago, but the judges unanimously ruled that it was inconsistent with federal law, which defines marriage in Australia as the union of one man and one woman.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Historically Distorted Perceptions of Islamic Violence

Vienna, Schönbrunn Palace

Towards the end of the last millennium, when the year 2000 was near, many people were asked what was in their view the most important invention of those thousand years. The majority gave answers like the television, or the computer, or the internet.

The Italian philosopher Umberto Eco answered: the cultivation of the bean, whose introduction in the Middle Ages freed the European peoples from the spectre of hunger. In an essay translated and published in the English newspaper The Guardian, he argued in favour of the "humble bean", this highly-proteic, wholesomely-nutritious vegetable.

He explained how it's easy to focus only on the most recent inventions, for the same distortion or optical illusion which is at the root of perspective in art.

I agree with him on that: closeness in time causes events near to us to appear bigger than they objectively are in relation to other events, in much the same way as closeness in space makes near things appear bigger.

Faced with the increasing threat of Islamic terrorism, people in the West have tried to understand it in terms which are near to us and our modern views of the world: Third World poverty, the so-much repeated mantra of the "widening gap between rich and poor nations", the Palestinian cause, the perceived injustice of Arab and Muslim humiliation, and similar.

Very rarely one hears or reads a commentator capable of placing this modern phenomenon into a wider temporal context, of putting it into historical perspective.

And yet it would be sufficient to listen to what some leaders of that terrorism are saying. Osama bin Laden openly referred to the West as Crusaders (as well as Zionist).

This is exactly the way the Muslim world sees us: descendants not only of the Crusaders, but also of those European states who defeated the Ottoman Empire when it was about to conquer Vienna in the 17th century. That was the moment when their seemingly never-ending expansion was put to a halt. It happened only three centuries ago: after all, it's not such a long time in the three-thousand years of history of the Western civilization. Especially, it's not such a long time for people like the Muslims. Again, time is perceived differently according to what is being done or happens during that time. Many things have happened to us, Europe in 1647 was hugely different from now; but not so many changes have happened in the Islamic world.

Photo by Nagesh Kamath (Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0).

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Why When We Say 'Racism' Do We Think of White Racism?

Dubai Marina

Some time ago I found an interesting post in a blog by an Indian in London.

The post, now removed, was entitled "Dubai - Still Racist?", and said:
Dubai (and the UAE) then and now is arguably one amongst the more institutionally racist places in the world with a strict hierarchy of privilege. Arabs are at the top of the heap, followed closely by Western Europeans and US (called the Whites in Dubai), Eastern Europeans, Philipinos and finally Indians and Pakistanis. The different communities were completely isolated from each other in terms of housing, schools, social clubs – it was like two different worlds – a glittering world inhabited by the Whites and the Arabs, and a more dreary one by us lot…

Advertisements for jobs explicitly state – "No Asians Please". Salary differentials based on nationality abound…

What is really interesting is that most of the younger Whites who live in Dubai often come from pluralistic, tolerant societies and are as embarrassed about the obvious racism as we are.
I find it so interesting that, when people think of racism, they almost invariably think of white racism against other ethnic groups or cultures, whereas in fact white racism is a minuscule phenomenon in comparison with the racism you find among other peoples.

Since then, I encountered many other online sources of information on racism in Dubai, from which I picked up a few lines.

From Dubai: wretched hive of racism and bigotry:
Israelis are not allowed in.
Dubai is a racist state.
From Silent discrimination – a fact of life in Dubai:
[D]iscriminatory job ads, racist door policies in bars and restaurants and stereotypical expectations are still everyday occurrences that – and I’m not condoning this at all – often slip by with barely a raised eyebrow.

While job ads these days don’t tend to mention physical attributes, photos are always required with the application, and it’s still common and accepted for employers to specify “Westerners only”, “Filipinas required” or “Indian national wanted”. Furthermore, there’s an unspoken understanding that the salary offered will depend on the nationality of the applicant. An Indian passport-holder, for example, will be paid less for the same job than a similarly qualified man of Indian origin holding a British passport.

(Interestingly, housemaids, when placing ads seeking work, are also guilty of this: Many request a job with a “white” or “Western” family, the implication being that the terms will be better and the salary higher than from any other type of employer.)

On a daily basis, this “silent” racism translates as a European sometimes getting served ahead of an Indian in a queue; a taxi driver picking up a Westerner rather than the Filipino he saw first; a European biting her tongue when an Emirati pushes in front at the till. While perhaps not agreeing with it, over time, many expats become desensitised to it, which is presumably how the China Times ad – which would have been inconceivable in the West –slipped through the net.
From Ten things I hate about Dubai :
Would it be racist of me to say that the Arabs are kind of racist towards us South Asian folks?

They have their nose in the air and most of the times don’t prefer to interact with South Asians. There is no such thing as labourer rights too, by the way. Most of the labourers are Pathans from Pakistan.

My brother and his South Asian friends are often stopped by the police and told to carry all his identification documents at all times.
From U.A.E Racism Against Immigrant !!!:
I believe U.A.E is one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to justice,fareness [sic] and human rights.
From Racial Discrimination In Dubai:
Those arabs are very racist, the first day I arrived in dubai airport, the immigration officer was speaking english to the rest of the white guys and when it got to my turn he became deaf and dumb and was behaving funny to me, I had to ask him what his problem was and why he was not treating the rest in the same manner he treated me.
From Racism in Dubai:
the emirati arabs are the most racist people i have ever come across. i am a well educated british/pakistani that has had to put up with subhuman treatment. ive been sworn at, gotten into fights and spat on in the street by [expletive] arab knobends.the arabs seem to be very proud of themselves but they dont have much to be proud of, they are just a group of bedouin morons. they are arrogant and are always rude to asians. it is strange to think that i left the uk because of some racist people i was unfortunate to work with, but in dubai it is even worse. i hope the usa decides to bomb the uae next, because these people make me sick!
From Why I left Dubai and won’t come back:
The UAE is a racist country, sometimes playing it subtle and some other times being too awkwardly open about it. This is not the UAE’s fault by the way. It is the collective prejudice of all the different cultures that get mixed up in Dubai.

Ever since I started dating someone from a different race, I noticed this differentiation way more than before. So much that sometimes, eating at a restaurant, after my Indian partner pays the bill, I have heard staff saying things such as “Thank you M’am. Please come again M’am”. As if ‘Sir’ was invisible.

Work discrimination based on country of origin is ridiculously common. Where else in the world would you read job ads that include sentences such as:
“Only UK/Australians”
“Seeking maid. Filipino only”
“Indians please abstain”
“Job position for Arabs only”.

With work discrimination comes salary discrimination. There is an unofficial rule that the job market in Dubai seems to follow: a person should get double the salary that he/she would earn in their country of origin. This should be enough to justify someone to move but… how does this make sense when everyone living in the same city would have the same level in expenses?

This ad leads me to think that an [sic] European hairdresser makes more money than many Asians in higher positions

This changes it all from here onwards. Depending on your race and country of origin, you will be more inclined to live in certain parts of the city that you can afford according to your job category. You will eat at certain places, you will use certain means of transportation. And you will feel outraged and, not so unlikely, be racist yourself, not by discriminating others directly, but by developing prejudices that will end up serving as fundament to racist and ethnocentric behavior.

If you ever have trouble with a local, it will probably be your fault. You don’t want to be in a car accident that involves an Emirati, even if he/she was the person colliding with you. In many cases, the law will tend to help the local person, in detriment of the other, no matter who’s fault the event was to begin with. Depending on your nationality and race, you might be better off. If you are white (specially US American or British) you will probably do fine. If you are from Southern Asia… good luck to you. For everyone else: it’s 50/50.

Photo by Fabio Achilli (Creative Commons CC BY 2.0).