Justin Trudeau has been noticeably unconcerned about Islam. He’s been criticised for his failure to recognize the genocide, by Muslims, of Christians in the Middle East. He was eager to hand over to Omar Khadr, the Muslim who killed one American soldier, Christopher Speer, and blinded another, Layne Morris, the quite unnecessary sum of eight million dollars, for having spent ten years imprisoned at Guantanamo (some might well think that a short sentence for a murderer). Indeed, Trudeau handed over the money with such unseemly haste that the families of Speer and Morris, who had won civil judgments against Khadr in Utah, had no time to try to block the payment. Although he talks a lot about human rights, Trudeau has been noticeably silent about human rights in Saudi Arabia, one of the most repressive regimes in the world, possibly because he doesn’t want to do anything to endanger a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
So it has been fascinating to see the Saudi reaction to just one tweet by Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Foreign Minister, after the Saudi government jailed several women’s rights activists, including the sister of Raif Badawi, a human rights activist now in a Saudi prison. Here was the tweet:
“Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi’s sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this difficult time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi.”