Saudi Arabia v Canada: a diplomatic spat

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by airtel, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. airtel

    airtel Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why a set of tweets resulted in Saudi Arabia snapping ties with Canada


    Saudi Arabia has rapidly escalated the dispute by calling back its ambasssador and sending back Canada's ambassador, and other measures including cancelling all flights by its national carrier to Canada.


    By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 9, 2018 1:31:49 pm

    [​IMG]
    Riyadh has a record of responding robustly to Western criticism under Mohammed bin Salman (in pic). (Source: REUTERS/File Photo)
    The breakdown in diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Canada over a set of tweets has raised questions over the kingdom’s foreign policy under its crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia has rapidly escalated the dispute by calling back its ambasssador and sending back Canada’s ambassador, and other measures including cancelling all flights by its national carrier to Canada.

    What started the dispute

    On August 2, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted, expressing concern over the arrest of a women’s rights activist, Samar Badawai, in Saudi Arabia. The tweet also urged the Saudi authorities to release the women activist, and her brother Raif. Raif, a blogger, had been arrested earlier and is presently in prison.

    Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi’s sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this difficult time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi.


    — Chrystia Freeland (@cafreeland) August 2, 2018


    A day later the Canadian Foreign Ministry tweeted seeking the immediate release of all civil society and women’s rights activists:

    Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists.


    — Foreign Policy CAN (@CanadaFP) August 3, 2018


    The tweet did not go down well with the government in Saudi Arabia. On Monday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir criticized Canada’s statements, and accused the country of “blatant interference in the Kingdom’s domestic affairs, against basic international norms and all international protocols”. The Saudi Arabia government said that Freeland’s tweet was a “major, unacceptable affront to the Kingdom’s laws and judicial process, as well as a violation of the Kingdom’s sovereignty.”

    It also said that “any further step from the Canadian side in that direction will be considered as an acknowledgement of our right to interfere in the Canadian domestic affairs”.

    Who are the people at the centre of the controversy?

    The tweet by the Canadian Foreign Ministry came after the arrest of internationally recognized women’s rights activists Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah in Saudi Arabia. Badawi is one of the most prominent women’s rights activists in the Middle East kingdom, who campaigned for driving rights for women and the lifting of the rule which required women to have male guardians to act on their behalf.

    Badawi, besides advocating women’s rights, has been campaigning for the release of her brother and former husband, also in jail for his work on human rights.

    Since May, women’s rights activists have been facing a crackdown by the government, which has led to the arrest of more than a dozen activists.

    However, Saudi Arabia is also believed to be unhappy about Badawi’s sister-in-law Ensaf Haidar, being granted Canadian citizenship on July 1. Haidar has been leading the protest for the release of her husband Raif, a blogger, who was sentenced to 10-years imprisonment for apostasy and “insulting Islam through electronic channels”.

    [​IMG] In this Dec, 16, 2015 file photo, Ensaf Haidar, wife of the jailed Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi, holds a portrait of her husband. (AP Photo)
    The other factor that has annoyed Saudi Arabia

    Bill Law, the Middle East analyst for Al Jazeera, wrote that the Canadian media has also been scrutinising a $15 bn arms deal between the Canadian unit of US weapons maker General Dynamics Corp and the Saudi government. Under the deal the weapons manufacturer has to supply light armoured vehicles (LAVs) to Saudi Arabia.

    The 2014 deal was touted as the biggest advanced manufacturing export deal in Canadian history. But criticism from media and human rights groups over how the armoured vehicles could be used in Yemen and to quell internal dissent hasn’t gone down well with Saudi Arabia.

    What the Saudi government has done so far

    Riyadh on Sunday recalled its ambassador from Canada and gave the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave.

    The government – through its state-controlled press agency – said that it would ban any new trade agreements, cancel all flights of state-owned carrier Saudia to Canada, cancel and divert scholarships of Saudi students in the country and annull existing medical cooperation programs.

    A pro-government Twitter account also provoked outrage when it posted a 9/11-like digitally altered image showing a plane flying towards the Toronto skyline. The post was later deleted and the account apologised for it as well.

    How Canada has reacted

    The Canadian government has refused to apologise for supporting human rights activists in Saudi Arabia. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, “Canada will always stand up for human rights in Canada and around the world, and women’s rights are human rights.”

    She also said that it would be a shame for Saudi students if they were deprived of the opportunity to study in Canada.






    On Tuesday, the US State Department urged both countries to resolve the matter through diplomatic dialogue.

    US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, “Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together. We can’t do it for them, they need to resolve it together.” She also said that the state department had raised the issue of arrest of civil rights activists with the Saudi government.

    Human rights group Amnesty International said that it is time that the Western countries not get intimidated by the treatment meted out to dissenters in Saudi, and act in solidarity by raising their voices against it.

    “Saudi Arabia is shooting itself in the foot. If you want to open up your country to the world, you don’t start expelling ambassadors and freezing trade with countries such as Canada,” Joost Hiltermann, regional program director for the International Crisis Group, told Reuters.


    https://indianexpress.com/article/w...udi-arabia-snapping-ties-with-canada-5297247/
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
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  3. airtel

    airtel Senior Member Senior Member

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    Saudi-Canadian Feud Hits Absurd Heights With Tweet Evoking 9/11-Style Attack :pound::pound::pound::pound::pound:

    [​IMG]


    By Benjamin Hart@realaxelfoley

    [​IMG]
    Not a fan of human-rights tweets, apparently. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri - Pool/Getty Images
    Saudi Arabia vs. Canada may sound less like a bitter international feud than an opening-round World Cup matchup, but a strange dispute between the countries, which only really got going on Friday, is escalating fast. How fast? On Monday, a Twitter account associated with Saudi Arabia appeared to threaten Canada with a 9/11–style attack.

    A now-deleted verified account called infographic_ksa tweeted an image that was reminiscent of the September 11 attacks on the United States — which were carried out by 19 hijackers, 15 of them Saudi.

    This is the threatening tweet posyed by a Saudi agency threatening Canada with a 9/11 type attack on the CN Tower in Toronto. The tweet was later deleted. pic.twitter.com/EuBH67hMhZ

    — Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) August 7, 2018
    Amid (understandable) outrage over the incendiary photo, the Saudi embassy in Washington tweeted that it would be investigating.

    The post was deleted as it should have been. the account associated with the post clarified and later apologized. @Media_KSA is investigating. https://t.co/rRN2hhg180

    — سعود كابلي (@saudkabli) August 6, 2018
    Later, the Saudi Ministry of Media ordered the infographic_ksa account, which had 350,000 followers and billed itself as a “voluntary non-profit project […] managed by a group of Saudi youth” to shut down altogether.


    Based on a complaint filed to the ministery of Media about a post by @Infographic_ksa, the ministry has ordered the owner of the account to shut it down until investigations are completed, according to electronic broadcasting laws in KSA. pic.twitter.com/jD2maoOyEV

    — وزارة الإعلام (@media_ksa) August 6, 2018

    The fracas that led to this surreal moment began when Canada deigned to express concern over the treatment of Samar Badawi, a prominent women’s rights activist who helped lead the campaign to grant Saudi women the right to drive. Months after that right was finally granted by the reformer/authoritarian Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is trying to sell himself as a bold, Western-friendly leader, Badawi and other like-minded activists were arrested on unclear grounds.

    Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists.

    — Foreign Policy CAN (@CanadaFP) August 3, 2018
    Canada’s objection seemed relatively standard, perhaps even the kind of thing the United States might have done back when it cared about human rights.

    But Saudia Arabia reacted as if Canada had just declared war. In a statement released on Sunday, the country accused Canada of “blatant interference in the Kingdom’s domestic affairs.”

    But that was just the beginning. Saudi Arabia proceeded to order the expulsion of Canada’s ambassador, suspend flights to Toronto, and cut off “all new businesses transactions and investments linked with Canada.” On Monday, the country announced that it would relocate about 7,000 Saudi scholarship recipients studying in Canada.

    It remains a bit of a mystery why Saudi Arabia is responding to a fairly routine piece of international criticism with measures that seem torn out of the playbook from its diplomatic war against Qatar.

    But between this and President Trump’s beef with Justin Trudeau, it’s been a bad few months for Canadian reasonableness.


    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/08/canada-saudi-arabia-feud-9-11-tweet.html
     
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  4. airtel

    airtel Senior Member Senior Member

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    Saudi Arabian Propaganda Calls Canada 'Worst Oppressor Of Women' :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:



    Saudi Arabia’s attack against Canada is helmed by the statement, “Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” The irony is unmistakable.
    [​IMG]

    After Canadian foreign ministry criticized Saudi Arabia over its appalling human rights record and specifically called for the release of Samar Badawi, who is the sister of Raif Badawi, a writer and secular activist who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for “insulting Islam through electronic channels” in 2012, the ultraconservative kingdom has started a bizarre propaganda campaign.

    At first, the Saudi kingdom expelled Canadian envoy and suspended all new trade and investment deals with the country. Moreover, it also pulled all Saudi students from Canadian universities.

    Meanwhile, Saudi propaganda against Canada has only intensified.

    Rather ironically, Riyadh is concerned about the oppression women face in Canada. A Kuwaiti commentator, Fahad Alshlimi, appeared on Saudi TV and claimed Canada has one of the world’s highest rates of oppression against women.

    In Saudi Arabia, even as Mohammed bin Salman allowed women to drive without a male guardian, the regime continued to arrest women’s rights activists.

    Saudi women are not allowed out without “permission” from a male guardian. Marital rape is not criminalized. Domestic violence is not criminalized. And in case anyone forgot, this is what a conference on the subject of “Women in Society” looked like.

    Saudi Arabia holds all male women's rights conference. Pix doing rounds belatedly but still amused me http://t.co/fQxsdsSEbV via @Konbini

    — Belinda Goldsmith (@BeeGoldsmith) February 4, 2015


    The royal kingdom has retaliated by expressing support for the Quebec cause and concern for the fate of Indigenous women in Canada.

    Saudi news channels have run entire segments lamenting the “human rights abuse” by Canada and government-friendly Twitter users periodically shared articles on homelessness in Canada.

    Twitter user Iyad el-Baghdadi, an Oslo-based refugee and commentator on Arab affairs, walked his followers through the many accusations Saudi Arabia has racked "prisoners of conscience.”

    Government-owned Al Arabiya ran a sympathy campaign for Ernst Zundel who has purportedly been imprisoned for three years.

    Zundel was a Holocaust denier and was convicted of spreading false news in harm of public interest. extradited to Germany in 2005 and did not visit Canada afterwards. He died in 2017.

    Saudi owned @AlArabiya is calling out Canada's persecution of prisoners of conscience, pointing to the case of Holocaust denier and Nazi sympathizer Ernst Zundel (!), who hasn't been in Canada anyway since getting extradited to Germany in 2005. Also he died last year. pic.twitter.com/4VMhP8Dpyz

    — ?yad el-Baghdadi | ???? ???????? (@iyad_elbaghdadi) August 7, 2018


    Another person who awakened Saudi Arabia’s humanist side was Jordan Peterson, whom Saudi Arabia claimed was another “prisoner of conscience.”

    As anyone who does not live in a highly policed state where the production and inflow of knowledge are heavily surveilled, Peterson is a bestselling author of books whose plays sell out across continents. Unlike Badawi, who has been sentenced to 1000 lashes and 10 years in prison, Peterson enjoys a pretty good life.

    So according to Saudi-owned @AlArabiya, other Canadian prisoners of conscience include @jordanbpeterson and @denisrancourt, "arrested due to their political beliefs" pic.twitter.com/YwGkx3WCoL

    — ?yad el-Baghdadi | ???? ???????? (@iyad_elbaghdadi) August 7, 2018


    Peterson is a controversial psychology professor who has spoken out against political correctness but has never been arrested.




    Saudi news channels also dwell on Canada’s treatment of its minorities.

    Commentators on a Saudi TV agreed that Canada treated its minorities worse than Myanmar treated Rohingya.:pound::pound::pound:
    This seems strange coming from a country where non-Muslims are not allowed to practice their faith openly.

    Guy on Saudi TV: "Canada treats its native population like [Myanmar treats] the Rohingya". Other guy agrees and says "Yes it also has the highest suicide rate". https://t.co/gWDRVvxrog

    — ?yad el-Baghdadi | ???? ???????? (@iyad_elbaghdadi) August 7, 2018


    Saudi news channels seem to have hit gold after they discovered this image of a protestor carrying a placard that read “Canada land of the Homeless.”

    #????????_????_??????_??????
    :
    There is no homeless in #SaudiArabia such as #Canada because our government knows how dealing with citizens very well ????
    :@CanEmbSA
    : pic.twitter.com/RucAWVRGVa

    — ?. ??????? ??????? (@ENGFARIS11) August 6, 2018


    Canada does have a problem with homelessness.

    Currently, approximately 30,000 Canadians are homeless every night, an appalling statistic for a wealthy country. But this does not acquit Saudi Arabia.

    According to a 2007 report, there were 83,000 homeless children in the KSA, many of whom are foreign workers who would rather be homeless than live under abusive employers.

    Guest "expert" on Saudi television: Canada had the world's highest rates of persecution of women https://t.co/ibLyz93l4n

    — ?yad el-Baghdadi | ???? ???????? (@iyad_elbaghdadi) August 7, 2018


    Saudi Arabia’s attack against on Canada is helmed by the statement, “Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    Maybe, it’s time Riyadh reflects on the statement as it applies to the kingdom.



    https://www.carbonated.tv/news/saudi-arabia-propaganda-canada-worst-oppressor-women
     
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  5. airtel

    airtel Senior Member Senior Member

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    ‘We don’t have a single friend’: Canada’s Saudi spat reveals country is alone :laugh::laugh::laugh: ( Saudi-Arabia is showing Canada it's Aukaat :bounce::bounce:)


    As Saudi officials lashed out at Canada, the US remained on the sidelines, signaling a blatant shift in the relationship

    Ashifa Kassam in Toronto

    [​IMG]
    Justin Trudeau said Canada will continue to speak firmly on human rights issues ‘wherever we see the need’. Photograph: Christinne Muschi/Reuters
    Soon after Donald Trump took office, it became clear that the longstanding relationship between the United States and its northern neighbour was about to change: there were terse renegotiations of Nafta, thousands of asylum seekers walking across the shared border and attacks on against Canada’s protectionist trade policies.

    A tweet, then a trade freeze: latest row shows Saudi Arabia is asserting new rules
    Read more

    But this week laid bare perhaps the most blatant shift in the relationship, as the US said it would remain on the sidelines while Saudi officials lashed out at Canada over its call to release jailed civil rights activists.

    “It’s up for the government of Saudi Arabia and the Canadians to work this out,” state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said this week. “Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together. We can’t do it for them.”

    Canada’s lonely stance was swiftly noticed north of the border.“We do not have a single friend in the whole entire world,” Rachel Curran, a policy director under former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, lamented on Twitter.

    The UK was similarly muted in its response, noted Bob Rae, a former leader of the federal Liberal party. “The Brits and the Trumpians run for cover and say ‘we’re friends with both the Saudis and the Canadians,’” Rae wrote on Twitter. “Thanks for the support for human rights, guys, and we’ll remember this one for sure.”

    The spat appeared to have been sparked last week when Canada’s foreign ministry expressed its concern over the arrest of Saudi civil society and women’s rights activists, in a tweet that echoed concerns previously voiced by the United Nations.

    Saudi Arabia swiftly shot back, expelling Canada’s ambassador and suspending new trade and investment with Ottawa, making plans to remove thousands of Saudi students and medical patients from Canada, and suspending the state airline’s flights to and from Canada, among other actions.

    Speaking to reporters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister urged Canada to “fix its big mistake” and warned that the kingdom was considering additional measures against Canada.

    Analysts and regional officials said the spat had little to do with Canada, instead characterising Riyadh’s actions as a broader signal to western governments that any criticism of its domestic policies is unacceptable.

    Several countries expressed support for Saudi Arabia, including Egypt and Russia. But Canada continued to stand alone, even as state-run media in the kingdom reported the beheading and “crucifixion” of a man convicted of killing a woman and carrying out other crimes.

    Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, said Canada was continuing to engage diplomatically and politically with Saudi Arabia. “We have respect for their importance in the world and recognise that they have made progress on a number of important issues,” he told reporters this week.

    He insisted, however, that his government would continue to press Saudi Arabia on its human rights record. “We will, at the same time, continue to speak clearly and firmly on issues of human rights at home and abroad wherever we see the need.”

    In this particular dispute, Canada did not need US help, said Thomas Juneau, a professor at the University of Ottawa. “Saudi Arabia-Canada relations are very limited, so there’s not a lot of damage being done to Canada right now,” he said. “But this should be a source of major anxiety: when a real crisis comes and we are alone, what do we do?”


    The week’s events have added impetus to a conversation that is slowly getting under way in Canada, Juneau said. “We are starting some serious soul-searching in the sense of what does it mean for Canada to have a US that is much more unilateral, much more dismissive of the rules and the norms and of its leadership role in the international order that it has played for 70 years?”

    These changes south of the border have clearly emboldened Saudi Arabia, Juneau argued, describing the kingdom’s recent actions in Yemen, Qatar and Lebanon as a pattern of aggressive, ambitious and reckless behaviour.

    He saw no immediate end to the row, particularly as neither side is suffering significant costs in the dispute. Saudi Arabia has shown little inclination in recent years to walk back from its reckless and impulsive behaviour, he said, while Canada’s federal government – facing an election in 14 months and already under fire for signing off on the sale of more than 900 armoured vehicles to Riyadh – is loth to be seen adopting any kind of conciliatory posture towards the conservative kingdom.

    While some in Canada had been disappointed to see the UK and Europe opt to publicly stay out of the diplomatic spat, Juneau described it as unsurprising. “When Saudi Arabia had comparable fights with Sweden and Germany in recent years, did Canada go out of its way to side with Sweden and Germany? No, not at all,” he said. “We stayed quiet because we had nothing to gain from getting involved. So on the European side, the calculation is the same.”

    Canada’s lonely stand for women’s rights in the kingdom did earn the support of some around the world; this week saw the Guardian and the New York Times publish editorials urging Europe and the US to stand with Canada. So did the Washington Post, going one step further by publishing their editorial in Arabic.

    Their call was echoed by a handful of prominent voices in the US, including Bernie Sanders. “It’s entirely legitimate for democratic governments to highlight human rights issues with undemocratic governments,” the US senator wrote on Twitter. “The US must be clear in condemning repression, especially when done by governments that receive our support.”




    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/11/canada-saudi-arabia-support-us
     
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  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Trudeau has failed diplomatically with so many different countries. His India visit was also a disaster. EU and trump are trying to come to his rescue? Countries that have a habit of sticking their noses in other countries business sometimes get it chopped off. If Saudi Arabia can bully Canada then India did the right thing by not giving Trudeau the time of day on his visit.
     
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  7. prohumanity

    prohumanity Senior Member Senior Member

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    Is anyone paying attention to TURKEY these day?
    Turkish Economy is spiraling downwards with Turkey Lira losing its value 2/3 in last 3 years. Inflation reaching 15 to 20 percent. Turkey is going to implode just like Greece, Venezuala, Argentina .
    I remember, that bufoon ,Erdogan who went to India last year and issued threats against India and in favor of Pakistan.
     
  8. indus

    indus Living in Post Truth Senior Member

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    Am I thinking too much or its a coincidence that Sunni influenced countries like Pakistan, Turkey are becoming economically vulnerable. These can be juicy targets for color revolutions in coming years.:confused1:
     
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  9. dhananjay1

    dhananjay1 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Canadian record of dealing with natives would make a Jihadi nod in approval. All the bs about Canada being polite and liberal is a very recent thing.
     
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  10. SREEKAR

    SREEKAR HELLRAIDER21 Senior Member

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    What ???
    Never heard about this thing. Did that clown ErDOGan did issue threat to India during Indian visit? Seriously???
     
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  11. indiatester

    indiatester Senior Member Senior Member

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    He was speaking against India in Turkey. I don't remember him visiting India though.

    On the topic, its so wonderful to see Canada being put in its place by so many countries. I await the soul searching they speak of.
     
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  12. SREEKAR

    SREEKAR HELLRAIDER21 Senior Member

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    Next time germany bitches on behalf of Naxals , give them similar treatment.
     
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  13. Chatrapathi

    Chatrapathi Regular Member

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    It is sad that many Indians don't know what happened to red Indians in Canada,USA, South America, Australia and etc in medieval period by colonial western invaders.

    Even genocide,mass murder,mass-rapes,butchering are small words for those barbaric bast*** crimes against natives.
     
  14. avknight1408

    avknight1408 Regular Member

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  15. indiatester

    indiatester Senior Member Senior Member

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    Very true. We must identify these countries for what they are, hegemonic. They will change the rules to what suits them. It will be either bringing democracy, or culture, or human rights or what ever to suit their agenda.
    They did it to native Americans in the North and South Americas. They did it to aborigines in Australia.

    We also forget the no less an evil of wiping out entire species of animals and birds.

    If we compare those with what we did and do in India, we will know who is more human and kind.
     
  16. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    Canada does not have the moral or economic or military muscle in international arena like the US or Russia to issue such statements. They will end up causing greater harm to the liberals in KSA.
    Prince Salman has been taking baby steps to open up and is facing a backlash from the ultra conservatives. Such a public statement cannot be ignored by him. Canada should have taken up the issue through proper diplomatic channels.
     
  17. prohumanity

    prohumanity Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sreekar,
    Yes...Erdogan did issue veiled threats. Watch his video on You Tube during India visit. He said " Issue of Kashmir is major issue between India and pakistan and should be resolved MULTI-LATERALLY...and he added that "We can Help."
    I ask this joker Erdogan...Who are you ? Takes care of your own economic shit ? Don't poke your stincky nose into India's internal matters. Only last year this clown was in India and talking like a Paki on Indian soil.
     
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  18. prohumanity

    prohumanity Senior Member Senior Member

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    There are two types of fanatics in the World...conservative fanatics AND liberal fanatics...both are rabidly fanatic....
    True liberal is liberated from all hate...
     
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  19. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    The measurement and also attempt to make islam (invasion) movement into the west to be mild and accommodating is a bound to fail. its a time bomb waiting to explode be it in the west and otherwise. and the control over islam by west is the talking point above. fascinating. control over islam ... freedom of islam - interesting times we live in. someone said in an article who and how you define a islam king and leader?

    self-determination. appearance. actions. purpose. dynastic.

    in aadhar, there is biometric, fingerprint, eyes, status, d.o.b, and even photo + more. is that enough ... blood group ... how to see ... you are who you are. indian?

    why the fear of many on the treatment of woman ... liberalism ? its (rightful) fear !!
     

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