Don’t Tell the Liberal Scolds, but Saudi Arabia Is Still Terrible

Saudi Arabia: A wretched hive of scum and villainy (Image via Flickr user marviikad)

Way back in March—a veritable eon, in Internet Outrage time—the Very Serious People were Very Seriously Upset that ABC Family planned on producing Alice in Arabia, a show in which, horror of horrors, Saudi Arabia was going to be portrayed as a place that wasn’t terribly keen on things like “gender equality” and “human rights.” As …

Saudi Arabia: Land of Enlightenment!

How free are you, ma'am? (AP)

I’m legitimately surprised by the number of people on the left who have decided that defending Saudi Arabia’s record on human rights and freedom in the name of tolerance is a good idea. For instance, you have the fine folks over at ThinkProgress praising the cancellation of a television show that would’ve dared portray the medieval theocracy in a negative light. Notes TP:

The show got off to a bad start — the short summary released by ABC Family featured kidnapping, a royal patriarch, repression of Muslim women, and the phrase “behind the veil.” That was enough to provoke a backlash and trending topic on Twitter, and concerned statements from the Council of American-Islamic Relations and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. ABC Family and the pilot’s writer, Brooke Elkmeier, responded predictably, with assurances that the show would be a “nuanced and character-driven” take, without disputing that the central conflict would be “backwards East” versus “liberated West” as implied in the blurb.

Emphasis mine because, well, that is the central conflict in the world right now.

Reality Versus the PC Scolds

A photo from the land of the free (AP)

The Perpetual Outrage Machine got a workout a few days back when ABC Family revealed it was working on a show called “Alice in Arabia.” The very basic synopsis disclosed that the show was about “an American teenage girl who is unknowingly kidnapped by her extended Saudi Arabian family after her parents die. She finds herself a stranger in a new world, a prisoner in her grandfather’s royal compound, but is intrigued by the country’s offerings and diverse people.” Oh noes! Stereotypes! Microaggressions ahead!

BuzzFeed snagged a copy of the pilot’s script and, oh my, it’s so problematic. Here’s BuzzFeed’s Rega Jha:

Al Qaeda Threatens to Assassinate Iranian Military Leader

IRGC Gen. Qassem Soleimani / AP

Al Qaeda said that it is planning to assassinate Iran’s top military general, underscoring tensions in the rocky relationship between Tehran and the global terror network.

Al Qaeda claimed in a recent statement to have sent two of its terrorist forces into Iran with the goal of killing Qassem Soleimani, the general of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).