I have read a lot of misinformation and yes, bigotry, about Saudi Arabia. I have never been there personally, and so I can’t write in depth about the human rights abuses I have read about. They may exist, and they may not. But remember that the media is a liar collectively, and when someone in the media tells the truth, at least in the West, it is an accident and just because at that particular time, the media’s agenda happens to coincide with the truth.
There are many wonderful things to say about Saudi Arabia. Although I have never visited there myself, but I have been a private tutor for international students, most of whom are from Saudi Arabia, and I have noticed several things.
One is, that there is a very large difference between Saudi Arabia’s form of Islam, and that preached by radicals like Daesh. What Daesh does is violent, and therefore automatically wrong. But if you take the ideas of Daesh, they are not all bad. Part of my brand is to look at both sides of issues and to attempt a certain amount of emotional intelligence on any controversial matters.
Deash beheads people. There is no way that can be explained away, nor should it be. However, just because they behead people, does not mean they are wrong in every single thing that they believe. One area where they get it right (there are two that I will discuss) is that they see a clear difference between the male and female role in society, something that is shared by Saudi Arabia’s brand of Islam. I know a student who, when his wife’s friends come over to visit, all of the men’s circle rent another apartment where they can go, where they are away from the women. Women are not less. They are just different.
Another area where I think Daesh and Saudi Arabia both have it right is that there is a certain dislike of the America that the United States has become. From my perspective, the original America was a great idea by the Fouding Fathers. But the contemporary America is not like what was originally envisioned. America is no more righteous than Saudi Arabia, although President Barack Obama does have some fantastic ideas, such as his welcome stance on true diversity in the nation. America gives women too many rights. Is it better to protect a woman from not driving and demand she have a male guardian with her at all times for her own protection, or is it better to protect her rights by letting her get drunk and pregnant, leading to the ultimate evil of abortion? Beheading someone as Isis does is no worse than a woman killing her unborn child (unless she is doing it in self defense, where if she has the baby, her own life is in danger). Self defense is always a justifiable reason for murder, after all.
Maybe if, instead of giving a knee-jerk reaction to evil, or what we perceive as being evil, which accomplishes nothing, we should take a little good here and a little good there. Then we appreciate all of humanity, which is what Jesus Christ taught us to do. The sun shines on the unjust, as well as the just, on Daesh, or Isis, or Isil, whatever you want to call it. God loves the Isis fighter as much as he loves the Catholic nun, and anyone who does not understand that is operating at a disadvantage when it comes to human, and divine, nature.
Saudi Arabia and Isis are two different entities, obviously. But there are similarities. And some of those similarities represent a force for good, rather than evil, as is popularly supposed, for the reasons I have described above.