The dispute between Canada and Saudi Arabia just keeps getting more bizarre.
It all began on August 3rd, when Global Affairs Canada tweeted criticism of Saudi Arabia's treatment of a women's rights. The restrictive absolute monarchy was swift and severe in its response.
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The Saudi government cut diplomatic relations, ceased new trade, recalled its students, and refused to restore normal exchange until the Canadian government aplogizes for what it perceives as an interference in domestic affairs and a national security threat.
But perhaps strangest of all have been the public statements coming out of Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the spat. Saudi state officials and media have continuously berated Canada on Twitter.
The ridiculousness seemed to reach a head when a state media outlet posted a photo of what appeared to be a 9/11-style attack in Toronto. That Twitter account later apologized, but other Twitter threats have persisted.
In a Twitter thread posted at the end of last week, writer and activist İyad el-Baghdadi listed some of the strangest points of the Saudi media smear campaign against Canada.
The most eye-catching accusation is that Canada brutally persecutes women. The irony is hilarious. According to el-Baghdadi, one figure on Saudi state media has claimed that, in fact, Canada has "the world's highest rates of persecution of women." Who knew?
I mean, Canada still has much to improve but we can't be that bad!
Saudi Arabia also accuses Canada of mistreating Nazi sympathizer, Ernst Zundel, who was actually returned to Germany over a decade ago.
The Saudi media has also criticized Canada's treatment of indigenous people, but those critique are more well-founded.
Vocal support for the separatist movement in Quebec is also common in Saudi channels.
There's really no telling where this conflict will go next. Hopefully, Canada can maintain its stand for human rights. What other country in the world will do that?