Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Does Canada Defend Its Citizens?

Nazia Quazi, a citizen of Canada, is being forcefully detained in Saudi Arabia by her father. The Canadian government is not doing anything to help Nazia leave Ryadh and go home. According to The Nation's brilliant Katha Pollitt
More than one person I've talked with has suggested that the fact that the Quazis are Muslim is relevant: the embassy in Riyadh doesn't want to get involved in what it apparently views as a Muslim family dispute.
A country is supposed to protect its citizens even - or especially - when they find themselves overseas. This is not the first case, however, when Canada refused to defend the rights of its citizens:
Nazia's case offers the Canadian government a chance to redeem itself after its shocking refusal this past October to help Nathalie Morin, a Canadian living in Saudi Arabia whose husband refuses to let her and her children out of the country.
This insanity is a result of Canada's notorious fear of anything having to do with "religion". I put "religion" in quotation marks because it is extremely easy to sell any kind of insanity as a valid religious experience to the Canadian government. Canadian governments are always so terrified of the word "religion" that they are willing to bend over backwards to accomodate any kook claiming to be religious. For a while, the Supreme Court of Canada actually considered the introduction of Shariah laws in Canada because apparently some people's rights to stone women are more important than the rights of the rest of the population not to witness such horrors. A Sikh boy won the right to carry a dagger at school because his right to have a scary weapon in class is more important than the right of other children to safety. Who cares about your safety if you are not "religious", anyways? Muslim and Orthodox Jewish women almost succeed in forbidding other, non-religious women to have their husbands and partners present in birth preparation classes.

And now a citizen of Canada is being detained in another country against her will but nobody cares because her abusive father is claiming that this is a religious matter. If there is truly a separation between Church and State in Canada, the "we-are-religious-so-the-government-owes-us-special-treatment" arguments should not work.

1 comment:

Veronica said...

This is nothing new at all- look at Abderazik for example, they wouldn't let him come home for 5 years due to false terrorism charges.