People always find reasons to apply for political asylum. Sometimes it’s only because they find, or want, a better life for themselves than their country of origin can provide. Other times it’s for legitimate reasons, like the Iranian diplomat who applied for and received political asylum in Norway after he defected in protest against Iran’s abysmal treatment of its citizens. Sometimes it’s even a matter of life and death; people who fear for their lives if they return to their homeland. Whether it’s a legitimate fear is hard to gauge, and some people have been refused, but many have been granted asylum all over the world.
The latest appeal is from a Saudi Arabian diplomat who has asked for asylum in the U.S. on the basis of the fact that he is gay and was friends with a Jewish woman, two offenses he claims could cost him his life. Ali Ahmad Asseri, is the diplomat in question and was attached to the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles, until he was fired and his diplomatic passport was revoked, or so he claims. Apparently the Saudi government found out about his misdeeds.
‘My life is in a great danger here and if I go back to Saudi Arabia, they will kill me openly in broad daylight,’ Asseri told NBC in an email message.
Asseri posted a letter on a Saudi website criticizing his country’s ‘backwardness’ as well as the role of ‘militant imams’ that have ‘defaced the tolerance of Islam,’ NBC said.
In the letter Asseri also threatened to make public embarrassing information on members of the Saudi royal family living in the United States, NBC said.
Homosexuality is considered ‘immoral’ in Saudi Arabia and treated as a serious crime.
He’s right about the backwardness and that militant Muslims across the globe have ‘defaced the tolerance of Islam”, but according to the DailyMail.UK article, the treatment of gays in Saudi Arabia doesn’t sound as horrendous as Iran, where they are hanged for being homosexual.
Earlier this year, a twenty-seven year old Saudi man was charged with homosexuality and impersonating a police officer when he posted a comical video of himself on-line, where he discussed popular culture, shows off his chest hair and flirts with the camera man.
He was sentenced to a year in prison, with 1,000 lashes, and ordered to pay a fine of 5,000 rials (US $1,333).
Asseri’s request is being looked at by Homeland Security. A smart thing to do since most of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis. If he comes up clean, he’s welcome here.