Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Friend and Ally?

Whippings, beheadings, stoning, and even crucifixions. These are terrible forms of torture and execution that no civilized nation could tolerate. That's why we must offer a united response to a terrorist organization such ISIS or ISIL. Except that this describes forms of punishment meted out by Saudi Arabia, one of our Canadian allies. Not only an ally, but a nation to which we are selling fifteen billion dollars worth of armed personnel carriers.

I am angry and ashamed that Canada is so willing to partner in almost every way with the Saudis, who have such a dismal human rights record. I am dismayed as a Canadian and as a Christian. The arms contract was brokered under the Conservative feds but the new Liberal government certainly has no intention of backing away from the deal.

A CBC report points out that last year Saudi Arabia executed more than 150 people, many of those foreigners (mostly poor migrant workers). It executes people for "crimes" such as adultery and sorcery that are not considered offences in other countries. Early in January they executed another 47, including a religious leader whose death has deepened Middle East tensions.

Sure China and Iran execute more people each year than the Saudis. I don't consider either of those nations to be shining examples of human rights. How can we follow the One whose crucifixion is the hinge of our faith experience and not uphold the rights of those who are dying in the same fashion?

Our Prophet from the Rock, Rick Mercer, had something to say about all this recently. Take a look.



Judy said...

I was very dismayed when I heard about this deal, during the election - I cannot understand why the present government is allowing the deal to go ahead - there must be better ways we can provide jobs, ways that will not support the human rights atrocities that we know happen in Saudi Arabia - is there a petition we can sign????

roger said...

Yes, it makes one cringe knowing we have dealings with Saudi Arabia. I know Muslims who are just as outraged at the country because many of us think the Kingdom and its extremely conservative ways is a true representation of Islam. It has a strict interpretation of the Quran, and one with which many Muslims do not agree. A friend is quick to point out that many of their practices are culturally based, not religiously based.