It’s About Time We Denounce Saudi Barbarity!

Well, there goes my vacation: but the current flailing about and frothing at the mouth by Saudi Arabia because Canada DARED to call it out for its latest disgraceful human rights violations are well deserving of comment.

Saudi Arabia is a barbaric medieval society where arrests, imprisonment, torture, executions are still commonplace … not just for major crimes … but for the tiniest amount of dissent, protest or even for women, minorities, gays, bloggers, intellectuals … anyone just trying to express ideas and beliefs critical of the ruling dictatorial regime or the Wahabi religious extremists who terrorize the kingdom.

Kudos to Canada for speaking up … and taking a stand!

For far too long, too many countries have sacrificed their values and moral standards for economic trade and political alliances … and remained silent or averted their eyes and ears as human rights are trampled in far too many nations around the world.

And Saudi Arabia has been among the worst!

Hard for Canadians … and anyone living in other civilized countries …   to imagine a society where public beheadings and public lashings are still carried out today at all.  And not just for murder, but almost incredibly, in Saudi Arabia,  for a whole list of other “capital” crimes including: burglary; adultery; blasphemy; and … how’s this … atheism.


Of course, most world governments … hungry for Saudi oil …  seldom point out the abysmal Saudi record and practices … preferring to heap praises on the new Saudi Crown prince for “progress” … like permitting women to drive and allowing the opening of movie theaters.


Those are causes for celebration in 2018?  When protestors/dissenters are still rounded up, beaten and tortured …sometimes to death?

In fact, the number of executions in Saudi Arabia have actually been on the RISE for several years: 79 (2013); 90 (2014); 158 (2015); 154 (2016); and 146 (2017).

In the latest cases, which finally drew condemnation from the Canadian government, the Saudis have jailed two women’s rights activists, Samar Badawi and Nassim al-Sadah.  For daring to suggest women deserve equal rights!  Despicable!!

But there’s more. Clearly the Saudi government/establishment is trying to send a wider harsher message

As CBC has reported: “Badawi is the sister of Raif Badawi, a Saudi dissident blogger who has been imprisoned by the Saudi government since 2012 on charges of apostasy and “insulting Islam through electronic channels.”

Think about that.   Raif has been imprisoned in a Saudi prison for SIX YEARS for blogging his ideas!  And he has also been sentenced to 1,000 LASHES … still to be carried out.


The Saudis DESERVE to be called out on their barbarity … and in this case, Canada had a special role to play, because Raif Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, and their three children live in Quebec,  after fleeing the kingdom in 2015.

If I have any disappointment at all, it’s that MORE countries have not spoken out in support of Canada in exposing Saudi’s inhumanity and demanding the country join the civilized world if it wants respect.

Instead, the Saudi’s are throwing a tantrum, trying to bully Canada into apologizing.

Nuts, I say!

Harv Oberfeld

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16 Responses to It’s About Time We Denounce Saudi Barbarity!

  1. e.a.f. says:

    Welcome back from vacation for this topic! Good on you. Saw it over on The Gazetteer.

    What Saudi Arabia is doing to Canada, they have done before to Sweden and Germany for the same reasons, speaking out about S.A.’s disgusting human rights record. This is S.A.’s way of attempting to control democratic countries with decent human rights records. They don’t like being called out for what they are.

    Lets not forget the war S.A. is waging on Yemen either. Every one condemns Syria, as they should, but nothing is said about S.A. constantly bombing the whole of Yemen into rubble. The return of cholera to Yemen hasn’t even stopped the Saudis long enough for international aid workers to get into Yemen to vaccinate children against cholera.

    Russia has already sided with Saudi Arabia and Trump says he’s not involved. My take on it, given the 3 countries, might be a way of attempting to put the squeeze on Canada.

    That image of the jet liner heading towards the CN tower was no mistake by some enthusiastic youth. That was a message, loud and clear. We ought to remember it were Saudi citizens who committed those acts of terror on 911. Bin Laden, from S.A.

    Saudi Arabia exports terrorism on a constant basis disguising it as promoting Wahhabism, their version of Islam. Many consider Wahhabism as causing disunity within the Muslim Community. It has also assisted in the rise of the house of Saud.

    The U.S.A. goes to some lengths to condemn and try to isolate Iran, but really, when it comes to the export of terrorism, in my opinion Saudi Arabia is way ahead of Iran. At least Iran holds elections.

    If Saudi Arabia pulls its money out of Canada, I’m good with that. Many Canadians are only interested in ethical investments so why would we want unethical people investing in our country. Let the crown prince of Saudi Arabia take his money and go to hell, perhaps he can see what he has already created for the people of Qatar and Yemen and his own citizens.

    If Trudeau decides to spend some real money on jets for our air force it might be a good idea. We can no longer count on the U.S.A. for anything and Trump’s reaction to this incident is simply more proof, we need a strong military in Canada.

    It was interesting to not on the CBC blog some are advocating Canada no longer purchase oil from S.A. but rather use Alberta’s for all of Canada. Interesting times.

    As to pulling out their students, only Saudi Arabia will loose. Canada will be able to replace those students easily. Given the U.S.A. has become a very uncomfortable place for many foreign students, I’m sure many of them will be more than happy to get their educations here. Those stocks the Saudi’s are dumping, they will loose money, but some one else will pick them up and we will continue.

    Doing business with countries like S.A. and then have them try to black mail us, well its about the same as doing business with the likes of Hitler and Pol Pot.

    So to the crown prince of Saudi Arabia: GO TO HELL! you aren’t worth spit. You aren’t even a good Muslim.

    (Response: How ironic: Saudi Arabia executed a man today by crucifixion! Barbarians!!! They can keep their money: we will keep our values, which are worth a lot more. h.o)

  2. NVG says:

    “In Saudi Arabia, the practice of ‘crucifixion’ refers to the court-ordered public display of the body AFTER execution, along with the s…..

    (Response: Display of a beheaded body for up to three days outdoors in a public place, where temps often reach 40 C and higher … shows what uncivilized BARBARIANS Saudi officials are! h.o.)

  3. Diverdarren says:

    Good to see you back sooner than expected, Harvey. Unfortunately in the end I doubt this issue deserves a shortened vacation.

    Can’t argue with the fact that Muslim nations are barbaric. But, I also think that no one could argue that it’s their country. This is an internal matter.

    If Trudeau the Younger had any ability at foreign affairs he probably shouldn’t have caused an international incident via a Tweet. Only our Prime Poser, could think diplomacy comes in 120 characters or less. After impotently chastising the Saudis did he put a sad face emoji at the end?

    We’ll, the Right Honorable Twatter learned fast what real diplomatic action looks like. Saudi Arabia took real action to show their thoughts on the matter, and ended up leaving the PM looking the fool. Our PM’s whole plan was to “mean tweet” the Saudis. Where is his next move?

    Did he get our allies in line for a unified push against Saudi human rights abuses? Nope.

    Did he prepare a sanction package so Canada can put some muscle behind its tweet? Nope.

    Did he seek condemnation by the UN Gen Ass against the Saudis? Nope.

    Did he once again show ineptitude on the world stage? Yup.

    Between running home from China tail between his legs, taking a terrorist to India on a trade mission, failing to negotiate NAFTA, and now this, there only one thing to say… #trudeauisanidiot.

    (Response: I don’t agree with your position …that I know many share … that human rights are an “internal” matter. Basic human dignity and respect is an international right: the world has a DUTY to speak up when people are abused, tortured, treated like slaves in countries like Saudi Arabia … or, for that matter, China, Iran, Syria, Cambodia, Sudan, Somalia and Nazi Germany. Hw can WE, as a civilized society, say and do NOTHING when someone is sentenced to imprisonment, death or 1,000 lashes for blogging??? Or daring to peacefully protest against injustice. An internal matter? NO. The Saudi Crown Prince is now on his spoiled brat rampage from his gold-encrusted palace … but he knows the WORLD is watching and has become more aware than ever of the brutality and despicable nature of Saudi society … thanks to Canada. h.o)

  4. DonGar says:

    Reverse line 9: energy east and do away with buying Saudi oil. But that will never happen as Quebec doesn’t want it to happen as they prefer getting oil from Saudi’s rather than Alberta. And we know Justin is loyal to Quebec.

  5. 13 says:

    So if Trudeau wants to take on the regimes across the globe that he thinks need to live up to our standards so be it. Lofty goals are a okay especially if its not just grandstanding .
    I think it was an oops moment for Justin but now that he has tossed the glove on the ground and the Saudis have picked it up and slapped him back its a wait and see .
    Next move should be Justins, I await his measured and pointed response to the lack of respect the Saudis have shown for his concerns

    (Response; I have no doubt Freeland and Trudeau did not expect the over-the-top reaction from the Crown Brat of Saudi Arabia: nevertheless, I believe it’s about time Canada and other nations start calling out dictatorial regimes who abuse, torture, kill people wantonly. The fact that no other countries are standing up for Canada’s bravery says more about them and their moral/ethical cowardliness than us. In the face of the inhumanity of the Saudis, how can or should we remain silent!! h.o.)

  6. DonGar says:

    Justin apology to the Saudi’s likely to be released shortly as two major Quebec firms and major Liberal party donators have raised their concerns about lost business.

    (Response: No doubt the government would be looking for some way to de-escalate… but I sure hope we do NOT apologize for doing the right thing. h.o.)

  7. Gilbert says:

    Of course we don’t like the practices of the Saudi fovernment, but we need diplomacy.

    (Response: Yes … but Raif Badawi (the blogger) has been in jail since 2012 … Canada tried diplomacy since his wife and kids are now in Canada … and got nowhere. In fact, another sister was arrested recently for supporting women’s rights. I’m glad the WORLD … mesmerized by “progress” like letting women drive , now is much more aware of the brutality that STILL governs Saudi Arabia. h.o.)

  8. e. a. f. says:

    diplomacy has not worked with the Saudis in the past and it isn’t going to in the future. Its their way or nothing. They want the world’s approval, that they’re the “good guys” and the House of Saudi wants to enusre the U.S.A. keeps them in power, which they have been doing since about 1932. One can not say they are like the rest of the royal houses around the world. they were simply put in place, to rule the country so oil could be extracted. then they started to believe their own press, like in they’re royal. they’re not.

    as to saying its their internal matter, so I can conclude you think the holocaust was an internal matter? Or the killing of 3 million Cambodians by Pol Pot was an internal matter or the killing of the Royhinga in Myramar is an internal matter, or Rawanada was an internal matter. One could say even though the world has a boycot on south Africa for years, their apartheid was an internal matter.
    there are internal matters and then there is tortoure , racism, murder, that the world needs to stand up to. this is one of those cases.

    The constant bombing of Yemen by S.A. is not an internal problem. Its a war on another country. S.A. blockade of Quatar isn’t an internal problem, its an economic war on another country. This also appears to have been approved by Trump.

    One ought not to describe all Muslim countries as barbaric and they aren’t the only ones who can be barbaric or have we not looked south to see the serperation of children from parents.

    perhaps this is just part of Trump;s plan to put the squeeze on Canada to soften us up for his version of NAFTA. Its interesting that I have been reading comments elsewhere that this simply may be part of it. Russia got on board so fast, it made one’s head spin. Neither the U.S.A. nor Russia is all that happy with Canada. how nicely this works for them. by making an e.g. of us, they can sofften up other countries to achieve their goals.

    (Response: Exactly! Staying silent because human rights abuse, torture, executions are an “internal” matter is a cop out: NOT acceptable for a civilized society. The fact that so many other supposedly civilized nation’s leaders have stayed silnt says a lot about them … none of it good. Not only am I happy with Trudeau/Freeland’s stance …I wish we would call out MORE countries where people are being imprisoned, tortured or even executed for simply speaking out. h.o.)

  9. Eldon says:

    I’ve never criticized another poster, but Diver Darren is way off base here. This is an example of a Conservative supporter being blinded by hatred for Trudeau. Canada is being applauded by Western media for doing the right thing while other leaders sit paralyzed.

    I will add that I always read a Diver Darren post, as it makes me think even when I don’t agree. It is the bratty prince of SA who has made a fool of himself.

    (Response: Interesting that the EU …as a group (they were too cowardly as individual nations to offend the unelected, dictatorial Crown Brat and stand up for human rights in Saudi Arabia) … has now also raised questions about the Saudi arrests. Canada has shamed not only the Saudi brutality …but the silent supposedly civilized, freedom-loving world. Bravo! And let’s keep it real: any Saudi snit will be short-lived or have little long-term effect on a great freedom-defending nation. h.o.)

  10. Diverdarren says:

    Harvey, there’s an air of simplicity in response to my comment from some. It’s easy to try and suggest that my criticism of Trudeau means support for Saudi Arabia. Creating a false narrative is a simple distraction from the real issue. That being that Trudeau the Younger thinks tweeting is diplomacy.

    Does Saudi Arabia need to be called out? Ya. In fact all the barbaric Islamic nations need to be called out.

    Is a tweet the way to put pressure on the Saudis, or anyone for that matter? No.

    When one nation wants to deal with another and negotiations aren’t an option, then there’s three options left.

    1. The nation goes alone and sanctions the other. Expel Diplomats, cut trade, seize assets, blockade, Ect.

    Did Trudeau do that? Nope.

    2. The nation goes to a world body, ie. UN, WTO, and seeks sanctions against the other nation that is binding on all the member nations of that organization.

    Did Trudeau do that? Nope.

    3. You go to war.

    Does anyone want that, with Trudeau the drama teacher at the helm?

    I for one, think civil rights deserve more than a tweet to defend them, but the way some on the blog are praising Trudeau you’d think he made the Kennedy 1964 Ich bin ein Berliner speach.

    Go ahead Trudeau, show that you’re more than a Twatter. Prove rights deserve more sacrifice than your typing finger getting a blister. Expel the Saudi ambassador, freeze their assets in Canada, and cancel the 15M armored tank deal.

    Oh… and eaf, what were the names of the non barbaric Islamic nations? You left that off while you made a false analogy between Saudi Arabia and the USA.

  11. Harry lawson says:


    I agree with the liberal government calling out Saudia Arabia, their liquidation of Canadian assets has more to do with their own internal economic issues rather then punishing Canada.

    We as a country should not trade with any barbaric countries.

    (Response: Even the Saudi response to a mere tweet shows how uncivilized the Crown prince is… ordering ALL Saudi students and even hospital patients undergoing treatment here to leave Canada immediately. Just think of how that is disrupting people’s lives ..even possibly putting some in danger. That’s what you get when a dictatorial leader goes off kilter. h.o.)

  12. G, Barry Stewart says:

    In response to Diverdarren at #10… there is a fourth option: make your little jab and walk away, while the offended one goes into a raging tantrum.

    We don’t need to fuel the rage. There are other issues to focus on, internal and international. The Saudis can’t keep the fire going on their own, so walking away is a good move.

    As well: your changing the spelling of Twitter to describe our Prime Minister… which vulgar meaning did you intend?

  13. RIsaak says:

    What about China, Somalia, Iran, Israel, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Russia, Venezuela and many other suppressive, authoritarian regime governed nations, just curious why the Saudi’s while many other nations act in similar manners, without a Freeland or Trudeau twitter bomb?

    If tweeting about human rights is a tactic of choice, why does that tactic seem to spare some? Consistency is somehow compromised and selective targeting is very questionable, unless a UN security council seat is so important it eclipses common sense and consistency.

    (Response: Actually Trudeau did condemn Israel recently for the death of a Canadian activist at one of those Gaza border violent protests and Canada has raised the issues (not strongly or often enough in my view) of human rights in Iran, China, Venezuela …without the same ridiculous over the top response we got from Saudi Arabia. h.o)

  14. RIsaak says:

    @Harvey, none of the other small protestations on human rights were Twitter based, just for comparison purposes and keeping apples seperate from oranges.

  15. e.a.f. says:

    Interesting item on the Island CHEK 6 news. A former Saudi student, now an accepted refugee, has continued to speak out regarding the lack of human rights in Saudi. His brother has been arrested. The brother has phoned him, from prison and requested he cease his critism as have many of his other family members and friends. He as simply refused. He says if he gives in Saudi has won ane he wont allow that.

    The Saudis must be terrified , of something to go after Canada in the manner the have and one former citizen.

    Also read an interesting article by a media watch organization, whose name escapes me at the momemnt, but it tracted the reporting on Russia by CNN and MSNBC, During the 7,000 times they mentioned Russia, they failed to mention Saudi Arabia and their actions even once.

    My suspect that Saudi investment in many organizations and countries have gotten them to shut up. Never a good thing.

    As to the other countries, they do get reported on i the press and they do get called out. Canada did have Peterson go and investigate the treatment of the royhinga. As to Somolia, one could barely call it a country these days. Its simpl a war zone, with war chiefs running the show.

    While Iran has a long way to go regarding human rights they are way ahead of Saudi Arabia and they do have elections. You may not like how they operate all facits of their society, but progress is being made and I’ve got a feeling that is why the U.S.A. likes to vilify them. Saudi Arabia, “hates” Iran and sees them as a major competitor. They did however sign the Paris accord, which Trump walked away from. My sense is that with in the next 50 years Iran will have become a much greater country in the middle east than others with a vibrant society and economy.

    Please dont refer to all Muslim countries as barbaric. Have you looked at non Muslim countries lately. Jordon is a very decent country.
    some others were in the past before war over took them. How those wars were encouraged and started is also very interesting.
    Many of those countries with poor track records to day were all supported adn encouraged by the U.S.A. in an effort to keep out communism/USSR. It becomes a case of what you sow is what you reap.

    Good on Trudeau and Freedland for their positions.

    (Response: That’s why I have never called Jordan barbaric… or said ALL Muslim nations are barbaric. But when ANY nation … Muslim or not … is barbaric in its laws, its governance, its treatment of minorities and protestors … whether it’s China, Russia, Iran, Syria or, yes, Saudi Arabia I’ll call them out on it. I am very happy that Canada’s stance has received so much attention around the world and focussed attention on the barbarity of Saudi society. And seems to me the fallout is not only hurting Saudi Arabia’s place in the world terribly, but taking more of a toll on the thousands of Saudis studying and being treated in Canadian hospitals… than on Canada itself. Now I’m hoping our government is quietly seeking oil sources from friendlier sources , so we can stop importing the small amount of oil we’ve been buying from Saudi Arabia. h.o.)

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