Ten­sions be­tween Canada and Saudi Ara­bia.

The Miracle - - Opinion - By: Dr. Mo­hamed El­masry, Water­loo, On­tario

I do not agree with the way our fed­eral gov­ern­ment is han­dling Canada’s re­cent hu­man rights dis­pute with Saudi Ara­bia. When the Saudi king­dom re­moved re­stric­tions on women driv­ing and al­lowed them to at­tend con­certs and sport­ing events, Canada did not of­fer a sin­gle word of sup­port. When the coun­try’s movie the­aters were opened to the pub­lic, again no recog­ni­tion from Canada. If the fed­eral Lib­er­als want to address hu­man rights is­sues in Saudi Ara­bia, I feel they should have done so with greater re­spect and in­tel­li­gence. Why didn’t For­eign Af­fairs min­is­ter Chrys­tia Free­land call the Saudi Am­bas­sador di­rectly about Canada’s con­cerns? We do not know yet who ac­tu­ally did it, or if Free­land and PM Trudeau ap­proved the word­ing in ad­vance, but to pub­licly Tweet a de­mand that another state “im­me­di­ately” free any in­di­vid­u­als jailed un­der its ju­ris­dic­tion is a big mis­take. If this is re­ally a mat­ter of voic­ing Cana­dian val­ues to the world, then why is our gov­ern­ment not ad­vo­cat­ing for the hu­man rights of Pales­tini­ans in Is­raeli jails, or con­fined to Oc­cu­pied Ter­ri­to­ries? Please, enough with the dou­ble stan­dards! Jus­tice, un­for­tu­nately, takes time to pre­vail; it took Canada years to re­dress the wrongs done to Ma­her Arar, for ex­am­ple. The Lib­er­als’ so­cial me­dia re­sponse to Saudi hu­man rights is­sues will not achieve any­one’s free­dom – and some sec­tors of the Cana­dian econ­omy are al­ready pay­ing the price.

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