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Lebanon the most “racist” Arab country, second globally


According to two separate surveys by the ‘Insider Monkey’ report on ethnic relations, Lebanon has scored an advanced position among Arab states as the most racist country, and ranked second after India on the global map. While the first survey included a question about whether a person minds having neighbors from other ethnicities, the second was more direct in asking about the person’s reaction if he/she was exposed to or if he/she witnessed a racist incident. The main findings of the above survey which targeted over 85 thousand people in some 61 countries  between the years 2014 and 2015, have shown the following: Nearly 36.3% of Lebanese respondents said they were intolerant to neighbors from a different race, and 64.3% confirmed to have witnessed incidents of a racist feature. On the subject, Al Akhbar daily considered that the Lebanese discriminatory tendency was first demonstrated with the arrival of the Palestinian refugees and was later exacerbated with the influx of migrant women domestic workers, Syrian laborers and climaxed with the inflow of displaced Syrian nationals. In this respect, the former labor minister, Charbel Nahhas, pointed out to a deep-rooted bigotry in Lebanon largely exhibited in ministerial communiques. He mentioned the 1992 memo published by the labor ministry which sorted out foreign workers into different categories. The first category includes representatives, agents and CEOs of foreign companies, in addition to owners of commercial and non-industrial businesses and the second comprises all the remaining foreign employers; the third category embraces foreign laborers working at national or foreign establishments, and this, was sub divided into three hierarchal classes based on a scale of salaries. The fourth and last category includes MWDWs working at employers houses. In his criticism of the above classification, Castro Abdallah, head of the National Federation of Trade Unions in Lebanon, said that while the concept in itself seems fair and customary in terms of stamped fees, it is rather racist in application. (Al Akhbar, June 24, 2016)


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