Canada’s murky arms deal with Saudi Arabia

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Editor

Dhu al-Hijjah 17, 1436 2015-10-01

Editor's Desk

by Editor (Editor's Desk, Crescent International Vol. 44, No. 8, Dhu al-Hijjah, 1436)

Only one political leader, Tom Mulcair of the NDP, has spoken out against the Conservative government’s $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Muclair, however, is facing pressure from a union at the manufacturing plant that says its members would lost jobs if the deal were cancelled. Jobs are clearly more important than Muslim blood of lives!

To understand how dirty politics can be, consider this. The Conservative government headed by Stephen Harper signed a $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, one of the worst human rights offenders in the world. During the September 28 leaders’ debate on foreign policy, Harper defended the deal describing the medieval regime as an “ally”.

That this ally routinely tortures people and has thrown 40,000 human rights activists in jail does not bother Harper. On August 29, a Saudi court released the rapist preacher, Layhan al-Ghamdi who had brutally assaulted his five-year-old daughter crushing her skull and breaking her back. The preacher had accused the little girl of ‘losing’ her virginity!

Among political leaders, only the New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Thomas Mulcair has taken a strong stand against the deal, brokered in secret with a regime with a deplorable record on human rights. He has faced a strong challenge from a union—the traditional support base of the NDP.

Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union, representing employees at the General Dynamics plant in London, ON, has warned Mulcair against publicly criticizing the contract. The plant manufactures armored vehicles being supplied to ‘Saudi’ Arabia. The Union says its cancellation could throw thousands of people, including many of its members, out of work.

Obviously jobs are more important than human lives, especially those of Muslims. The union’s conduct is as deplorable as that of Harper’s.

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