Friday, October 30, 2015

Stephen Harper, Raif Badawi, and the Barbaric Practices of Saudi Arabia

He liked to portray himself as a champion of human rights, and the leader of the war against cultural barbaric practices.

But Stephen Harper never lifted a finger to ask the barbaric regime in Saudi Arabia to stop savagely flogging the blogger Raif Badawi. 

Even though his family lives in Canada...

Because he was too busy cuddling with the King and selling him armoured cars.

Even though as Nicholas Kristof points out, there is no more barbaric regime. 

Any day now, our Saudi Arabian allies may behead and crucify a young man named Ali al-Nimr. His appeals following his court sentence for this grisly execution have been exhausted, so guards may lead Nimr to a public square and hack off his head with a sword as onlookers jeer. Then, following Saudi protocol for crucifixion, they would hang his body as a warning to others.

Saudi Arabia’s medieval criminal justice system also executes “witches,” and flogs and imprisons gay people.

Even though it's a monstrous misogynistic theocracy, the very nexus of Islamic terrorism, a bloody sewer of brutality and hypocrisy.

A Saudi prince, Majed Abdulaziz al-Saud, was just arrested in Los Angeles in a $37 million mansion he had rented, after allegedly drinking heavily, hiring escorts, using cocaine, terrorizing women and threatening to kill people. 

“I am a prince,” he declared, according to an account in The Los Angeles Times. “And I do what I want.”

Or outright depravity.

And Raif Badawi is one of its many innocent victims...

One bright young writer, Raif Badawi, 31, called eloquently for women’s rights, education reform and freedom of thought, and Saudi Arabia has sentenced him to 10 years in prison, a $267,000 fine and a flogging of 1,000 lashes (50 at a time, with one session administered so far). 

His wife, Ensaf Haidar, tells me that his flogging is to resume soon after a long suspension, and that she fears he will not survive the entire lashing.

So I'm glad to see that his wife has appealed for help to Justin Trudeau, who in the past has called for the blogger to be set free.

And I'm even happier to see that Badawi's humble human right's struggle has been rightfully honoured. 

Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger and activist sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam, has won the EU’s Sakharov prize for human rights.

“The European parliament has sent today a strong political and humanitarian message to Saudi Arabian authorities,” said Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Liberal bloc. “We urge His Majesty King Salman to release Raif Badawi from prison and in any case to end the barbaric punishment of flogging.”

And that others are trying to spare him from a fate that Stephen Harper never did ANYTHING to try to prevent.

Because the self styled human rights champion, and Great Leader of the War on Cultural Barbaric Practices, shared so much in common with the barbaric Saudi regime...

And all I can say is how low did that monster take us?

How could he have beheaded our values for so long?

Thank goodness we got rid of him.

And of course, free Raif Badawi TOMORROW...

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  1. Anonymous4:06 AM

    Harper did next to nothing to seek the release of Fahmy. It was only the citizens behind the scenes that eventually persuaded the Egyptian president to release him. With Badawi, there is hope that Trudeau can exert some influence to get him released.

    1. hi're right, Harper did nothing to get Fahmy released, and I'm glad that fahmy has made his feelings clear. No government has done less to help Canadians in trouble abroad, and for that alone was unfit to remain in office. Hopefully Justin Trudeau will do better, and that combined with pressure from others will help free Badawi. But of course nothing will truly improve the situation in Saudi Arabia until that murderous regime is finally overthrown...

  2. Anonymous7:16 AM

  3. If we hadn't gotten rid of Harper, then Canadian Bloggers would be in big trouble, EH?

    1. Well judging from earlier examples with NGOs and charities yes, but, at least at first, it probably would just have been some nasty audits by the Canadian Revenue Agency although with C 51 passed who knows?

    2. hi Kathleen...yes it did cross my mind what might happen to bloggers in this country if Harper had got another majority. But while it was an unpleasant thought, I wouldn't have stopped blogging or attacking him and his foul regime, because I've donate for years, and they could never scare me...

    3. hi jrkrideau....yes I think Harper would have used Bill C-51 to try to intimidate his opponents. And because I couldn't trust the Canada Revenue Agency I have been forced to have my taxes done by a reputable accounting firm. But the fact that we are even talking about this tells you how low the Cons have taken Canada. I am looking forward to a more lawful and more Canadian future....

  4. Anonymous12:03 PM

    Hey Simon: I am your polling "expert" (remember?) who will now morph into your electoral reform expert. :)

    Harper had beheaded our values for so long because our antiquated FPTP electoral system had allowed him to command a majority (54%) of seats in Parliament even though he had only won 39.6% of the popular votes in 2011. It is the same system that had just allowed the Liberals to win 54% of seats in Parliament also with almost the same percentage of popular votes (39.5%) on Oct. 19.

    We have to ensure that Trudeau keeps his promise to enact electoral reform in time for 2019. Let us all work together (here is your next project, Simon, Lol) to keep the pressure on the Liberals just in case they are having second thoughts now that the same flawed FPTP has given them majority power.

    PR (Proportional Representation) is the only form of electoral system that will allocate the same percentage of seats in Parliament as the percentage of popular votes. In other words, it is the only system that will implement the voice of the people fairly. PR will also ensure that no vote is wasted (e.g. if you were a Cons or NDP voter in Atlantic Canada, or a non Cons voter in most ridings of Alberta, your vote had been wasted as it did not count towards determining the winner). With PR, every vote goes towards determining the final number of seats in Parliament and is not wasted. The most common form of PR used in the majority of countries is the MMP (Mixed Member Proportional) :

    The RB (ranked ballot), also known as AV (alternative vote)/IRV (instant run off)/PB (preferential ballot) that the Liberals apparently prefer is not as good as PR and will NOT result in the same percentage of seats as the percentage of popular votes. It is basically the same majoritarian system (a system which allows the candidate with the most number of votes) as the FPTP. You can see here that RB/IRV is placed in the same category as FPTP:

    Therefore, RB also faces the same major problem as the FPTP system in that the votes of a substantial segment of the voters in the riding are wasted if they do not select the winning candidate. We can talk about this in more detail later as more people become more informed about the differences between the electoral systems.

    For now, we need to institute electoral reform. Specifically, we need to get rid of FPTP and institute some form of PR in time for the next election so that Parliament truly reflects the choices that voters had made on election day.

  5. hi anon...thank you for this comment, which is as excellent as your contribution to our polling questions. And yes, I agree with you, proportional representation would be a better system. And yes I will strongly encourage the Liberals to adopt it. What is also clear to me is that the sooner we can get the discussion going the better, because it is more complicated than the present system, and we need a massive campaign of public education to help people understand why one system is better than another. But I'm sure we can do it, and the ultimate reward couldn't be greater...

  6. Harper was a complete fool as far as foreign policy was concerned, and an idiot for hanging everything economic on the western Canada oil industry. He had no sense of humanity - so he is fairly compared to the Saudis, who are less than human in their practices of so-called "justice".