The Arab leaders of the Persian Gulf states condemned Thursday "hostile, racist" remarks against Muslims and Syrian refugees as anti-Islam rhetoric and hate attacks are on the rise in several countries in the West, including their ally the United States.
The remarks were made during the 36th meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the Saudi Capital Riyadh.
"The Supreme Council expressed its deep concern at the increase of hostile, racist and inhumane rhetoric against refugees in general and Muslims in particular," the GCC statement said.
Anyone done an inventory of Donald Tump's business interests in the Middle East and GCC states?— Salman Shaikh (@Salman_Shaikh1) December 7, 201
The statement comes days after leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called for a ban Muslims entering the U.S., as a reaction to a mass shooting in California believed to have been perpetrated by a U.S.-Muslim couple.
The statement also called for "providing the necessary protection for the displaced and refugees who are fleeing the twin fires of unjust rule and terrorist groups."
Trump and other Republican candidates in the U.S. have called for action to stem the flow of refugees into the U.S. and made other comments against the Muslim community in the country.
Following the terror attacks in Paris, believed to be the work of the Islamic State group, Ben Carson, another Republican presidential candidate, and Trump called for a database to track and keep tabs on all Muslim citizens and residents in the U.S.
However, the statement by the Arab Gulf countries is symbolic at best. It is noteworthy that Trump has many businesses in various Gulf states and is eyeing more projects in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
“Dubai is a top priority city for us. We are looking at multiple opportunities in Abu Dhabi, in Qatar, in Saudi Arabia, so those are the four areas where we are seeing the most interest,” Ivanka Trump, Trump Organization executive vice president of development and acquisitions, said during a conference in Dubai in May.
Also, the Trump Organization owns 17 golf venues around the world, with the Trump International Golf Club in Dubai due to be completed in early 2016. His UAE partner DAMAC Properties told CNN that Trump’s comments “wouldn't have any impact on the golf club's future.”
Most high-level firms in the UAE and other GCC countries are closely connected to governments. The GCC statement did not make any mention of crackdown on Trump businesses in the region.
Away from business dealings with the controversial businessman, the countries, some of the richest oil and natural gas producers in the world such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar, have been accused of doing very little to help the Syrian refugees, or any other Arab or Muslim refugees.
Saudi Arabia and other GCC nations have taken in zero Syrian refugees since the beginning of the Syrian conflict some five years ago. Activist and nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution Luay Al Khatteeb reported that Saudi Arabia has not taken a single refugee, likewise Kuwait.
The six GCC nations are not signatories of the United Nation's convention on refugees, which has governed international law on asylum since World War II. Thus, those countries do not have a legal category for refugees.
Also, those countries have been supporting the insurgents and rebels in various ways, at times the extremists, further fueling the conflict and plight of the Syrian people.
Also, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and eight of their regional allies, have been bombing Yemen in a bid to support the pro-GCC Sunni president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, in the process producing millions of refugees and internally displaced people.