Welcome to Canada Rahaf Alqunun!
I’m so happy that CANADA has stood up AGAIN against the barbarism and human rights disgrace that is Saudi Arabia … and has granted you … a TRUE refugee … asylum.
Rahaf’s major offence? Daring to reject the Islamic faith and wanting to get away from an allegedly abusive family situation….so she fled to Thailand in a bid to reach Australia and seek asylum. And she said she feared she would actually be killed if she returned to Saudi Arabia.
In the face of voiced threats and delays by Australian authorities, Rahaf accepted Canada’s offer of asylum.
Whether she remains here permanently as a landed immigrant or eventually seeks entry to another country, Canada has made its point: THIS is a country that supports human rights.
WE are indeed increasingly a country prepared to speak up and take stands in support of the dignity and rights of human beings worldwide, despite threats and retaliatory actions hurled at us from horrific regimes and the malevolent dictators who run them.
Saudi Arabia has LONG been known as a state where brutality, torture, beheadings … and now even the murder of journalists… are the hallmark of a dictatorship that regularly ignores and abuses human rights of its own citizens …. women, free-speech advocates, gays, and yes, members of EVERY other religion other than Sunni Islam, even those “allies” who live/work in the kingdom.
In fact, on my just-completed recent cruise, I met/dined with a Christian Catholic couple who had worked in Saudi Arabia for the US government.
Most of us would not be able to imagine the religious oppression they faced in Saudi Arabia … even inside their US compound: the secret actions/practices/subterfuges they had to engage in and endure just to arrange and hold mass with their fellow believers.
Intolerance is the hallmark of the Saudi Kingdom … and it makes ME feel very good to see Canada take a stand against them.
Lest we forget, before Rahaf fled her home in search of religious freedom, Canada was already in the Saudi’s bad books.
As the Washington Post so eloquently reported five months ago ” Saudi Arabia expelled the Canadian ambassador in Riyadh, recalled its own ambassador from Ottawa, froze any new trade and investment, and suspended the scholarships of the roughly 15,000 Saudi students in Canada. Officially, this was in response to fairly mild and standard criticism of the detention of Saudi human rights activists a few days earlier by the Canadian foreign minister and the Foreign Ministry itself.”
Bravo … as I wrote at the time!
And then the Saudis MURDERED a Washington Post Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, right inside their own consulate in Turkey … because he was lightly critical of how the Saudi regime operated! Barbarians!!!
And again, Canada spoke up boldly … while most of the “free” world disgraced themselves and obfuscated or stayed silent.
Bucks for too many free world nations/leaders/politicians overrule principles. Very sad.
But notice the Saudis …. despite interrupting, messing up the lives of thousands of their own citizens studying, working in Canada … did NOT cancel their pending $11 Billion purchase of Canadian-made military vehicles.
Canada did the right thing in offering asylum to Rahaf; Canada has done the right thing in standing up against Saudi brutality and incivility.
And we are now the real “shining light on the hill” for the world.