JEDDAH, Feb 12: Former US vice-president Al Gore on Sunday said that the US government had committed ‘terrible abuses’ against Arabs living in America after 9/11 attacks, and that most Americans did not support such treatment.

Mr Gore said the Bush administration was playing into Al Qaeda’s hands by routinely blocking Saudi applications for US visas.

“The thoughtless way in which visas are now handled, that is a mistake,” Mr Gore said at the Jeddah Economic Forum. “The worst thing we can possibly do is to cut off the channels of friendship and mutual understanding between Saudi Arabia and the United States.”

The former US vice-president told the largely Saudi audience, many of them educated in US universities, that Arabs in the United States had been “indiscriminately rounded up, often on minor charges of overstaying a visa or not having a green card in proper order, and held in conditions that were just unforgivable.”

“Unfortunately there have been terrible abuses and it’s wrong. I do want you to know that it does not represent the desires or wishes or feelings of the majority of the citizens of my country.”

He explained that American emotions were running high after the attacks.

Mr Gore complained of ‘endemic hyper-corruption’ among Tehran’s religious and political elite and asked Arabs to take a stand against Iran’s nuclear programme because of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statements against Israel.—AP

Opinion

Courts & the poor
Updated 20 Jun 2021

Courts & the poor

Justice eludes those whose homes have been demolished.
No choice but to leave
20 Jun 2021

No choice but to leave

The influx of Afghan refugees into Pakistan is likely to increase again with the US withdrawal.
Cost of enforced modesty
Updated 19 Jun 2021

Cost of enforced modesty

By inviting mullahs to regulate biology textbooks the PTI government has put Pakistan in reverse gear.

Editorial

20 Jun 2021

More vaccines needed

THE vaccination rate in the country has slowed in recent days and could result in a crisis if not addressed...
20 Jun 2021

Balochistan protest

THE clashes outside the Balochistan Assembly on budget day were unfortunate. But they had been waiting to happen. ...
Silent victims
Updated 20 Jun 2021

Silent victims

THE deafening silence of political authorities, including leaders from the religious right, on the Mufti Azizur...
19 Jun 2021

NA peace — for now

AFTER a session of utter pandemonium and a distasteful war of words, normalcy finally returned to the National...
India uranium theft
Updated 19 Jun 2021

India uranium theft

REPORTS emerging from India about the theft of uranium and possible sale on the black market should be a cause for...
19 Jun 2021

KCR rigmarole

THURSDAY’S proceedings in the Supreme Court clearly demonstrated how divided the stakeholders are when it comes to...