ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Social media users have criticized Saudi Arabia for an image published by a Saudi-based group which appears to threaten Canada with a 9/11-style attack following a recent spat between Ottawa and the Kingdom.
A group called “Infographic_KSA” posted the photo to their Twitter, Instagram, and Telegram accounts on Monday amid a diplomatic quarrel between Canada and Saudi Arabia over the latter’s human rights record.
The image shows an Air Canada airplane appearing to fly toward the world-famous CN Tower in one of Canada’s popular capital cities, Toronto.
Accompanying the image is the message: “Sticking one’s nose where it doesn’t belong! As the Arab saying goes: ‘He who interferes with what doesn’t concern him finds what doesn’t please him.’”
One user, James Brownsell, said the image depicted the terrorist attack on the New York Twin Tower buildings on Sep. 11, 2001.
“Err, guys, you do know this looks suspiciously like you’re threatening to hijack a Canadian passenger plane and fly it into the CN Tower,” he tweeted.
Err, guys, you do know this looks suspiciously like you're threatening to hijack a Canadian passenger plane and fly it into the CN Tower unless Canada recants its criticism of Saudi Arabia...? That's not a good look, even 17 years after 9/11. https://t.co/28iYpMMqLv— James Brownsell (@JamesBrownsell) August 6, 2018
Another user, Elizabeth Tsurkov, pointed out that the image had been deleted but reposted “with the reminder of 9/11 removed.”
The account later posted an apology, admitting the image was “inappropriate” and the airplane was meant “to symbolize the return of the Ambassador.”
Earlier we posted an image which was inappropriate, which is why we deleted the post immediately. The aircraft was intended to symbolize the return of the Ambassador, we realize this was not clear and any other meaning was unintentional. We apologize to anyone who was offended.— إنفوجرافيك السعودية (@Infographic_ksa) August 6, 2018
On Friday, Foreign Policy Canada posted a tweet expressing its “grave concerns” about the detention of “civil society and women’s rights activists” in the Kingdom.
Saudi’s Foreign Ministry responded, also on Twitter, stating it believes Canada’s “position is a grave and unacceptable violation of the Kingdom’s laws and procedures” and announced it is expelling Canada’s ambassador while recalling its representative.
“The Canadian position is an overt and blatant interference in the internal affairs of [Saudi Arabia] and is in contravention of the most basic international norms and all the charters governing relations between States,” it added.
On Monday, Canadian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Marie-Pier Baril said Ottawa was “seriously concerned” and “are seeking greater clarity on the recent statement from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Kurdistan 24 received no comment from either government about the image posted by the Saudi-based group @Infographic_KSA.