Thursday, March 10, 2011

Saudi Arabians With a Gripe

The University of Ottawa has been accused of violating the "human rights" of a trio of medical students from Saudi Arabia (where the only "human rights" to speak of are the ones decreed by sharia). From the Globe and Mail:
Waleed Al-Ghaithy is one of three medical residents, all from Saudi Arabia, who have told the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario that they faced undue criticism and unfair treatment because of their background, and were targeted with reprisals and intimidation when they took action.
At a moment when Ontario is courting more top-flight international students, the complaints cast a spotlight on ongoing claims by the university’s student federation that visible minorities are routinely treated differently.

Dr. Al-Ghaithy said that before his dismissal, he filed an internal discrimination complaint against Eve Tsai, a neurosurgeon and teacher. On Wednesday, Dr. Al-Ghaithy, Khalid Aba-Alkhail and Manal Al-Saigh released e-mails that they said were sent between senior faculty members and distributed through an e-mail account identified only as Neuro Leaks.

The complainants also released an e-mail that they alleged was from Jim Worthington, a senior vice-president of the hospital where they did their residencies, advising recipients at the university and its affiliated hospitals that the e-mails contain confidential information and should be deleted.

One e-mail allegedly describes Dr. Al-Ghaithy as “a real destructive force within the program,” and says, “If the complaint against [Dr. Tsai] is dismissed there are going to have to be some significant consequences for the involved parties (dismissal/suspension) or we are going to be facing this ad infinitum.”

A later e-mail that the complainants said was from the same person and addressed to Dr. Tsai, deals with whether Dr. Al-Ghaithy might go to the Human Rights Tribunal, but adds: “I can predict with certainty that fixing Al-Ghaithy would deter the others from doing so.” The e-mail calls Dr. Al-Ghaithy “a strong resident and probably the best we have, at least from an academic perspective,” but assures Dr. Tsai “the university will not sacrifice one of its faculty members for the sake of few disgruntled … residents.”...
Other than to note that this is the first instance I'm aware of involving imported students complaining to a "human rights" body about being criticized too harshly (they should try being, say, a pro-Israel student in a history/humanities/sociology course at an Ontario university), I'm not going to weigh in on the particulars of this case. I would point out, however, that reserving lots of spots for "top-flight" medical students from places like Saudi Arabia may benefit those countries and enrich university coffers, but it's hard to see what good it's doing Canada or Canadians.

Update: From the Canoe report:
The group has retained the services of noted freedom of expression and human rights lawyer Douglas Christie.
FYI, Doug Christie is the Jew-haters' attorney of choice. (And, of course, at a "human rights" hearing, the legal fees of the complainants get picked up by you and moi.)

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