Trudeau’s Rahaf Muhammed: The Truth Behind “Tolerance” Politics
On January 5th 2019, Rahaf Muhammed Al-Qanun – a Saudi teenager – was detained at Bangkok Airport as she was trying to “escape” her family and claim asylum in Australia. As the Thai authorities tried to deport her back to Saudi Arabia, Rahaf claimed that her family was physically abusive, and that she could not return to Saudi as the government would kill her for apostatizing from Islam.
While her family has consistently denied the allegations, Rahaf’s claim to refugee status was approved by the UNHCR and she was aided by Human Rights Watch. Rahaf was able to prevent the Thai authorities from deporting her to Saudi by barricading herself in a hotel room and appealing to these Western Non-Government Organizations (NGOs).
The Government of Australia agreed to consider granting Rahaf asylum through their normal process (which can take some months, and she would need to remain in Thailand for the duration), but Canada processed her claim and granted her asylum a day later. Rahaf was received at the Toronto airport by Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland herself.
The importance of Rahaf
In an era when millions of people all around the world are risking their lives to flee war and genocide, why would the case of a wealthy teenager from Saudi Arabia provoke this kind of a response within the Canadian government?
After all, when somebody makes an asylum claim, it initiates a process that can normally take up to two years to complete, after which the application may or may not be accepted. In the case of Rahaf, the process took a single day, and the Foreign Minister herself went to receive the teenager.
Domestically, there are at least 1,000 indigenous women who are missing in Canada. According to the Washington Post, “indigenous women make up only 4.3 percent of the Canadian population, they accounted for 16 percent of murdered women and 11.3 percent of missing females.”
According to a December 2017 article by the CBC, Statscan and major police forces don’t even track the statistics, indicating just how unimportant such an issue is to the Canadian government – this is despite all the election promises made by the current Prime Minister that he would address this issue.
So, what can explain this great importance of Rahaf’s case to the Trudeau government?
The idea of saving a woman from the clutches of repressive Islamic culture is a narrative that is definitely beneficial to Western governments.
Plus, this is an election year, and the Liberal government will face scrutiny from the xenophobic elements in Canadian society on its immigration policy. If Trudeau can position asylum-seeking to demonstrate the superiority of Western values over Islam, it will be to his favor in the elections. Rahaf’s case has already been championed by people with an anti-Islamic agenda.
If pandering to these xenophobic, anti-Muslim elements in society is the reason for Rahaf’s spotlight in Canada, it is a cause of concern – but ultimately not surprising.
The Liberal Party in Quebec has consistently supported anti-Niqab legislation in order to garner votes, and Trudeau himself supported surveillance legislation that disproportionately affects Muslims, citing his concern that – if he didn’t – he would allow the Conservatives to win the national security debate.
It should be clear that the policies and actions of those who hold political office in Canada are based on shifting interests as opposed to established values.
The truth about Canadian tolerance
Many in the immigrant community in Canada speak gushingly about Canadian multiculturalism. And while it is true that many Canadians demonstrate tolerance and decency towards newcomers to Canada, we should not credit the opportunistic Capitalist elite for this show of character.
The ruling class of Canada has spent a century and a half brutalizing the indigenous people of Canada, using terms like “Gradual Civilization” to rip apart families and expose children to disease and criminally abusive residential schools.
These same ruling elite created all kinds of restrictions for immigrants who come from the “wrong” countries, such as the Continuous Journey Regulation (designed to curb immigration from India) and the Chinese Immigration Act (which imposed a head tax on immigrants from China).
The Canadian security apparatus, namely the RCMP, has helped facilitate the internment of Italian Canadians and Japanese Canadians – and even Muslims were sent to the Kapuskasing internment camp in Ontario, Canada, during World War I.
In fact, the Canadian government’s formal push towards “multiculturalism” in the 1970s came as a response to Quebec’s separatist claims, which were rooted in the notion of biculturalism.
It should be clear that tolerance in the hands of the political elite is nothing more than a tool that can be used to serve political goals, or abandoned. Rahaf finding asylum in Canada serves an opportunistic political purpose, and nothing more.
Correctly channeling our outrage
While it is tragic to see a young person abandon her Deen, and it is infuriating to see opportunistic politicians use her to achieve their own political agendas, our ultimate outrage has to lie with the tyrannical regime in Saudi Arabia, which – in its capacity as a puppet state for US imperialism – creates the culture of deception and oppression that is a fertile ground for apostasy.
While the actions of Rahaf are Islamically inexcusable, instead of focusing on the behavior of a teenager, it would be more fruitful to ask what kind of Islamic environment she received in the country that claims to be the “land of Tawheed.”
Saudi Arabia is nothing more than a colonial outpost run by a vicious tribalistic family that manipulates and misapplies Ayat and Ahadith to justify their illegitimate rule.
The Saudi regime – under the supervision of the United States and the Capitalist powers – imprisons scholars, impoverishes workers, maintains an environment of tribalism, and drops bombs on Yemeni children. It limits Islamic discourse to only the opinions of a few state-approved scholars. These scholars either lack the knowledge or lack the spine to question the tyrants of Aal Saud over their Riba-based economy or their blood-soaked foreign policy.
Under new leadership, the Kingdom is also importing pop music, wrestling matches, and other organized distractions to prevent people from talking about how bad the economy has become and how far removed the government is from the Deen.
This environment of hypocrisy and treachery to the Ummah can cause all forms of damage to young people, especially those who are already experiencing doubts. It also effectively ruins the image of our Deen in the minds of sincere non-Muslims around the world.
Furthermore, this incident teaches us that we are not immune to what happens in the Muslim lands. The Fitna and Fasad (corruption) spread by the Saudi regime and other tyrannical regimes in the Muslim lands has a direct impact on us here. With the Canadian government showcasing this teen as a “model Muslim,” it will impact the Islam of our youth and the Muslim community at large.
Therefore, we must recognize that our comfort and security relative to the rest of the Ummah is fragile at best. We are not immune to the liberal ideological pressures to abandon our Deen. With opportunistic politicians in the West and brutal tyrants in the Muslim lands, the only way forward is the revival of the Islamic way of life.
This can only be achieved by re-establishing of the Khilafah state in the Muslim lands, which will restore the guidance of our Creator to the Ummah and mankind. In other words, the Khilafah state is the only state that can provide a shelter to those who are oppressed and seekers of truth around the world. So, we must do whatever we can to aid its re-establishment.
May Allah (swt) protect our Ummah from those who seek to cause us to abandon our Deen, and hasten the victory of this Ummah, cleansing the Muslim lands from illegitimate rulers and colonial occupiers. Ameen.