08 May 2007

Why are we tight with these Saudi misogynists?

While we send soldiers to Afghanistan to do battle with the Taliban, ostensibly to promote human rights in that country, particularly for women, we remain cozy with the most misogynistic country on the planet, Saudi Arabia. Even when they shove their misogyny in our face.

Just last week, at an education fair in that benighted country, the religious police shut down a Canadian embassy booth, as well as a booth run by LaSalle College, because they were staffed by women. According to George Chrysomilides, president of the Canadian Education Network, "... the religious police were very rude. They shouted at them in a way that was disrespectful ..." The women were then run off the grounds.

The Canadian embassy claims it had prior permission for the women to be there, but this cut no ice with the Saudi Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Because the women were staffing these booths alone, Canadian organizers had even gone to the trouble of separating them from the main pavilion to show respect for Saudi sensibilities. Even that humiliating act of deference
apparently wasn't enough.

So why do we defer to these barbarians? Well, in this case it may have something to do with the fact they send hundreds of very rich students to Canadian universities and colleges. One wonders if the Taliban were flush with oil wealth, and were willing to send a little our way, we might be willing to overlook their idiosyncrasies.

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