By Ezra Levant, QMI Agency, Toronto Sun
Saudi Arabia has hired lawyers to threaten Canadian broadcasters who dare to run a TV ad critical of Saudi conflict oil.
I know this because I am the volunteer chairman of EthicalOil.org, the non-profit website that promotes Canada’s oilsands as an ethical alternative to the conflict oil of Saudi Arabia and other OPEC dictatorships.
Alykhan Velshi, who runs EthicalOil.org, produced a 30-second TV ad comparing the treatment of women in Canada with the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia. That’s a place where women can’t drive, can’t vote and can’t even get medical care without the permission of their husbands/owners.
Compare that to Canada, where the mayor of the oilsands capital, Fort McMurray, is a young woman named Melissa Blake.
Saudi Arabia doesn’t like criticism like that, though. They are a fascist state without a free press or any opposition political parties. And now they’ve hired one of the world’s largest law firms, a 2,600-lawyer monstrosity called Norton Rose, to threaten Canada’s media into silence, too.
Rahool Agarwal, one of the lawyers at Norton Rose, has been contacting broadcasters across Canada, threatening them if they air the ad. Already two networks have capitulated in the face of such threats, including CTV, Canada’s biggest private broadcaster. Agarwal has also threatened EthicalOil.org with a lawsuit, too. He won’t say for what he clearly has no legal case. But the point is silencing dissent. And it’s working.
The only way we heard about this campaign of threats was when one concerned Canadian who received a threat tipped us off. When our lawyer contacted Agarwal, he sounded genuinely surprised that he was caught. The Saudis prefer to operate under the radar.
Saudi Arabia is an enemy of Canada. They’re an enemy of the West. They’re an enemy of freedom. This is not a new revelation. Fifteen out of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden was from a prominent Saudi family. Saudi Arabia continues to finance terrorism around the world.
Normally, Islamic extremists focus their hatred on the Great Satan the United States. But Canada is now an enemy of the Saudis, too. Because we’re competitors to them for oil. Within ten years, the oilsands could totally replace Saudi exports to the U.S.
Recently, Saudi billionaire Prince Walid bin Talal said it was in his country’s interest not to let the price of oil get too high, lest alternative sources of oil become practical. Well, the largest unconventional oil reserves in the world are in the oilsands. He didn’t use the word, but he clearly meant it.
Like Greenpeace, the Saudis hate our oilsands. They’re usually content to let Greenpeace do the heavy lifting. But this time, the Saudis were caught red-handed.
The oilsands can take care of themselves. But what about Canada?s media? At least two broadcasters have already caved to this Saudi legal pressure. The Saudis are destroying our culture of freedom and replacing it with their sharia culture of tyranny and bullying.
Foreign Minister John Baird must summon the Saudi ambassador at once. If their foreign meddling and bullying doesn’t cease immediately, he should be expelled.
Canada is free, and our media should be free no matter what some dictatorship wants, and what that dictatorship’s well-paid lawyers threaten in secret.