The sickening hypocrisy of Starbucks and Apple

“She was only 17 years-old when she died. Her father cut out her tongue and burned her alive,” Michael Brown writes for Townhall. “What was her crime, and why did this man kill his own daughter in the most horrific imaginable way? He was a Saudi Arabian official who worked with the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice – the religious police – and when his daughter became a Christian, he butchered and murdered her.”

“What does this have to do with Starbucks and Apple? Both these companies blast Americans who stand for religious liberties and conservative moral values, even threatening states that will protect those liberties and values, claiming this discriminates against gays and lesbians,” Brown writes. “Yet they have stores all over Saudi Arabia, a country where gays can be executed and where Muslims can kill their own family members if they convert to Christianity, as happened with this 17-year-old in 2008.”

MacDailyNews Note: There are currently no Apple Retail Stores in Saudi Arabia.

Brown writes, “What sickening hypocrisy… and their moral hypocrisy glaring. And so, when they pull their businesses from countries like China, with all its human rights violations, and Saudi Arabia, with its atrocities carried out in the name of Islam, we can take their indignation seriously. Until then, the louder they protest here in America, the louder they shout their hypocrisy.

Read more in the full article here.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs: ‘I’m going to just stay away from all that political stuff’ – August 25, 2004

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


    1. You are correct if Apple does not have an on-line presence in Saudi Arabia. otherwise, you are blind.

      Unless I am mistaken, isn’t the discrimination against gays et al a Muslim thing? Therefore, by extension … (you fill in the rest if you can wrap your mind around it).

      By extension, Apple should not be selling to Christians anywhere, unless it’s a money thing.

    2. The article is correct and MDN is wrong in the sense that Apple does have a store in Saudi Arabia. They have an online retail store for it. They have authorized Apple resellers in Saudi Arabia.

      So yes, Apple is a hypocrite. That’s why Cook needs to shut up and run a tech company and not play politician. Apple is interested in one thing: profit. They won’t pull out of China, etc. for social reasons because they’re only interested in profit.

      Jobs was right. Stay out of politics, you just make yourselves look like idiot hypocrites.

      Phone Apple as a gay man when you’re on the street dying of AIDS. See if they help you. They won’t.

      So Apple and Mr. Cook, please, pretty please, stop playing games and get back to work.

  1. As we all know, on the internet, you don’t have to write truthful things. You only have to get people’s attention in any way you can. If one person anywhere in the world does something wrong and it happens to be the in the political limelight of the month, everyone who can jumps in with their twist on something to make it fit the meme.

    Apple has a partnership with a Saudi company in Riyadh to sell Apple products but so far, there is not a true Apple Store there. If you follow Saudi news, you will find that the Saudi mutawa (religious police) have had their power to enforce any laws revoked and they have been given direction to apply gentle reminders about the Islamic/Saudi traditions. Women here now have the right to vote and things are changing.

    I am presently in Saudi Arabia teaching industrial automation to young Saudis and have to buy my Apple products from a book store. There are no Apple Stores.

    1. PS. – Saudi Arabia is a hell hole because it is full of Samsung phones and not because a man did something horrible to his daughter. If you look at the US of A, you will find that there are men who do terrible things also.

      1. “Saudi Arabia is a hell hole because it is full of Samsung phones…”

        This may be your definition of a hell hole, but to the 80+% of cell phone owners who choose, for whatever reason, to purchase an alternate brand, your comment reeks of brand snobbery.

        But then, I guess that’s the core reason MDN exists. Not to relay Mac news, but to allow fanboys to write untruthful things and highly biased opinions inbetween ad pop-ups.

        1. Scathing, but off point. I think Reality Check’s logic is disturbing. If he cares more about a brand of cell phone than the rights of women, then he’s not thinking logically.

          Apple may never outright condemn religions that abuse the rights of people, but I think we would all be much more proud of Apple if it did a better job choosing its business partners & locations. Apple today seems primarily focused on profit above anything else. That is sad because Cook personally delivers enormous lip service to human rights. And Apple hands empty suits like Ahrendts tens of millions of dollars to walk in the door while lowly Foxconn employees essential to Apple product production are given ridiculously low working condition standards for this day and age. Apple, and all western corporations, can do far better.

          1. Empty suits like Ahrendts?

            I’m curious to see why you think she’s an empty suit. She is shaping Apple retial and the values that are reflected in Apple Stores arguably more than Ron Johnson did. And it shows…

            Without Angela, the Apple Store would be a misguided entity. She’s a very passionate, committed, and caring person. She’s also very maternal and caring of her teams.

            You should look in to her time at Burberry. It’s clear that she’s with Apple for a reason, and it isn’t because she’s empty.

        2. I never said anything that was ‘brand snobbery’ related. I do despise Samsung for ripping off intellectual property from several companies including Dyson and Apple. Samsung’s rip off is what makes living around their products a hell hole.

          It is sad that readers of this article can’t see what is happening to people right in the US of A. Remind me, where were the most ‘witch’ burnings done? How about beating and killing people of African descent? Perhaps you forget mass killings at elementary and high schools? What is the rate of gun deaths in the US of A compared with every other country in the world? Maybe you are interested in the biggest financial rip off in the world. Where did that happen? Shall I go on?

          1. “Remind me, where were the most ‘witch’ burnings done?” – Reality Check

            Okay, you’re reminded!

            “4. Where did the Burning Times occur?

            Throughout Europe and in the British American colonies. The persecution was most intense in central Europe, and generally got lighter the further you traveled away from that area.

            The worst Witch-hunting occurred in Germany, Switzerland, France, Scotland, and (perhaps) Poland. Thousands of Witches were killed in each of these countries. Germany was the worst hit. Approximately one half of all Witches killed in the Burning Times were German — an estimated 25,000 people all told.

            Moderate Witch-hunting occurred in England, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. In all of these countries, hundreds of Witches died. Portugal, Ireland, Iceland, the Baltic countries, Russia and America all killed less than 100 Witches.”


            Shall I go on?

            1. Oh, right! It wasn’t Saudi Arabia, it was Europe and the US of A. Shouldn’t Apple pull out of these countries also because women were horribly killed by men for stupid misguided reasons?

            2. Wait – you sound to earnest… Are you talking about ‘real’ Witches being burned?
              – Just curious to see if you are seriously stating facts about Witch burnings…. (and not ordinary women who were no longer fancied by their husband – or any other myriad reason that was used to oppress women in old times.)

      2. I feel sorry for someone who doesn’t see the difference between a dump like Saudi Arabia and the U.S. In Saudi Arabia it is part of the culture. The way the people view the world. In the U.S. there are instances of insanity. If you can’t tell the difference Reality Check, it really is time to get a new name.

        1. As I recall, you fully support the gun culture of the US of A but it seem like you aren’t aware that it doesn’t exist in most countries in the world. Can you not see that the huge number of killings in your part of the world are terrible? This article points out ONE instance of a horrible death by a misguided man. I feel sorry for people who live in the US of A and have to fear gunmen around every corner.

          1. Actually I can do math. There are over 300,000,000 guns in the United States by most estimates. Over 100,000,000 gun owners. On a high year there are about 11,000 gun related homicides. If you assume each of the 11,000 were different people with different guns, that would show that less that 0.004% of the guns in the country were being used to kill. Barely a blip over zero statistically speaking.

            Contrary to the gun hating kooks who say that there is some kind of crisis, it would appear that the United States is the most firearm disciplined nation on the planet.

            When you get into things like who is actually doing most of the killing, by race, gender, and geographic location, it becomes clear that black males in particular have a problem with guns, not the vast majority of law-abiding gun owners.

            So your assertion about fearing gunmen around every corner is completely born of ignorance.

            1. By your own reasoning, 11,000 gun related homicides are statistically barely a blip. The attack on the World trade centre was just over a quarter of the deaths and therefore, it must rate even less on the scale that you are working on. You sure know how to work your statistics.

            2. Wouldn’t you be using the number of hijacked planes leading to deaths to compare against number of guns owned leading to deaths in that case?

  2. Wow, just WOW!

    This guy thinks that it’s a businesses responsibility to solve the world’s problem? When did corporations take over the responsibility of governments, law enforcement or basic human rights?

    Michael Brown should ask these corporations for some money and go over to Saudi Arabia and China and go tell them what they are doing wrong and fix it for them. I’m sure Apple and Starbucks will be glad to give him some grant money for a one way trip. Hell, while he’s at it let’s get him a ticket to North Korea also.

    What as bitch. It’s easy for him to be brave when he hides behind the fence and has freedom of speech to protect him. He must be a college student.

    1. when did corporations take over the responsibilities of governments?

      are you familiar with the role of blackwater in the iraq war?

      and by the way, the people that were butchered by insurgents and precipitated our all out assault in the battle of fallujah… they were not american soldiers… they were for, lack of a better term, mercenaries, employed by blackwater.

      it is a long sad story….

      1. When???? I’ll tell you.

        When corporations bought the democratic processes or gerrymandered their way into effective control of the government by funding their choice puppets in the corrupt political parties that today don’t even pretend to represent the people. When these pawns drove governments so far into debt promising the people services while privatizing government functions and funnelling no-bid contracts to corporate cronies, private consultants, and the military-industrial complex. When corporations were granted the rights of a citizen without any of the risks or costs of being a citizen. When public elections and propaganda were handed to for-profit enterprises through layers of shady political action committees who dominate news coverage. When corporations reneged on the social promise to employ the people and instead have created elaborate offshore financial shelters, shell companies, and other highly irregular games exclusively designed to enrich the few corporate leaders at the expense of everyone else.

        That’s when corporations bought the responsibility to solve societal problems.

      2. Oh, don’t miss understand I get your point but are you saying Apple and Starbucks should go to Saudi Arabia and prosecute the psycho who killed his daughter?

        Again, my point was it’s easy for Michael and others to say and write what they want from behind the fence. I doubt he would be so damning if he was in front of the fence. Hey, pick up a gun and stand point before criticizing is all I’m saying.

  3. I still don’t get this argument when it comes to technology that helps people connect to others and possibly help them out of horrible situations such as the crime that is mentioned in this article. And possibly one of the best ways to feed our way of life into this society would be to show them how we run businesses like starbucks and apple. It is one thing for arms dealers to sell weapons to people we are completely against that could endanger our very own lives, but I would contend apple’s products are helping the people in these bad situations rather than hurting. It is also not like you can change the world with the flip of a dime, you try to do the best you can where you can. Apple feels they should speak out for the LGBT community in these states that are passing these religious freedom bills, just as much as they probably feel their technology is helping in the middle east. Although Egypt hasn’t been doing so well as of late, the protests a few years back was remarkable and a lot of it had to do with phone technology.

    1. I agree 100%

      I’d add that it’s not hypocrisy, it’s inconsistency and it’s justified for the exact reasons you mentioned.

      To be clear, since I’ve seen MDN commenters claim hypocrisy as well, it would be hypocrisy if Apple was vocal about a state for passing a bill that allowed LGBT discrimination and then turned around and discriminated against its own LGBT employees.

      That’s different from being inconsistent in not being as vocal against a country that has much worse LGBT laws. However as muddygun points out, there are reasons for this that are highly justified.

  4. The world is full of sickening cultures. Saudi Arabia is making changes for the better though not quickly enough, IMHO. I do not understand our relationship with Saudi Arabia. We only get 8% of our oil from that country. Only 12% from the Persian Gulf in general. Surely we could buy more from Latin America.

    The connection must be far more geopolitically complex than just oil.

    1. Yes, the USA took over after WWII from England. After the Allied Powers created Israel, the US has been on the hook to try and make 2 thousand years of hatred between Jews and Arabs go away.

      Not Possible. That’s probably why we pursued sending a man to the moon, it turned out to be a much better bet.

        1. Pay attention little ones. I mean the U.S. relationship with specifically with Saudi Arabia. We treat them with kid gloves. Let them get away with murder. Bush and Obama have close personal ties to the royal family. They are known to sponsor terrorism. 15 of the 19 911 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, but we went off and bomb the crap out of Iraq. We’re constantly selling them billions of dollars in arms. For the last 8 years we’ve been closer to Saudi Arabia than Israel.

          Just last week a bipartisan bill to restrict arms sales to Saudi Arabia was introduced, but no one expects it to go anywhere.

          The NYT reports (via Zeroedge) “…Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks…”

          It this the reason Obama has his head stuck up the Saudi asses, as did Bush before him?

          This is he kind of trouble big deficits get you into.


          “And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers.”
          ― Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

          Just sayin, yo.

  5. People who shout “Hypocrite!” at others are usually pointing at themselves, too.

    Michael Brown is using an old trick. He wants people to believe that because of Apple and Starbucks, the little girl was killed and others are being killed.

    This is an argument that will work well on religious types, but I do not respect it.

      1. I did read the article, and his use of “Hypocrisy” is cheap and done for effect.

        It was still employed as a ploy to make the reader connect Apple and Starbucks with the killings. The technique is a little subtle, but frequently used in Parliamentary/Oxfordian debates.

        Not quite the same as saying the rooster causes the sun to rise, but in the ballpark.

        You fell for it.

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