Agree, but I think "piety" and "resisting sin" is also their way of expressing a will to make some conditions more fair and to combat the kinds of crime that are destructive to any society - fraud, trafficking, embezzlement and so on. The Saudis would be couching some of this in religious language.
Well, I'd hope you're right, but history tells me that on the other hand it might be a facade for them to justify striking down on terror-groups at first, but eventually being able to use false claims to attack oppositions and.. Well, anyone they dislike. There still, to this day, is no crystal clear, universally agreed-upon definition of terrorism and what makes a terror-group after all.
Leading up to the recent election in Denmark about whether to increase the influence of the EU here or not, the parties advocating an increase in EU involvement used scare-tactics. You could go so far as to say that they were using a form of subtle terrorism if you wanted.
If these countries want to finally take a strong anti-terror stance then I'm 100% in support of that, but I find myself unable to support it or agree with it as long as there is still some religious element involved. Unless it goes beyond that, there's every chance that they'll take the enemy's place rather than simply vanquish them.
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As for the Star Wars thing: This happens with every major production, doesn't it? Lord of the Rings was racist, The Hobbit was racist, etc. Happens with videogames too, people arguing that everything is racist or sexist.
My stance on it has always been that we should focus on the real world. Eliminate racism and sexism out here and it'll eventually disappear in there as well. Fact of the matter is that you can argue both for and
against any such claim using very rudimentary and short-sighted logic, so no one side can ever be right.
Sure, you can look at the Tusken and go: "That's a racist portrayal of Middle Eastern culture!" Except.. It's not. It's a perfectly fine portrayal of a fictitious culture on an alien planet. Perhaps some inspiration was drawn from the Middle East - They are living in a desert after all - but that still doesn't make it racist. Only if you choose to be offended on the Tusken's behalf.
I'm no big Star Wars fan, but "Controversies" like this pop up with every major release of anything
and they (in my opinion) only serve to distract us from the real issues, and that's where the real problem lies. There's plenty of racism to go around - You don't need to look at big Hollywood productions for it.
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In other news, by the by, has the whole "Drone Control"-topic been brought up here yet? The fact that the US seem way more keen to control the use of toy aircraft over, you know, lethal murder-machines? (Some call them "Guns")
Alright, I'll admit it: I regularly visit a shooting range for sport. I, however, live in a country where I have to be registered in order to own a gun, and said gun will have to be stored at said shooting range for two years, after which I will be required to invest in a government-approved gun cabinet for storage, and may be subject to random, unannounced inspections. I will also be required to hand over my weapon straight to the authorities if ever I suspend my membership at said shooting range and I'm not a licensed hunter. (Which I'm not, on moral grounds.)
I don't even own a gun, but I have had to register in order to borrow one at a shooting range. I have to make it known to the government here that sometimes I may come into contact with firearms, and that I am capable of handling one.
But.. You know, toy helicopters are scary too I guess.
How insane is that on a scale from 1-10? That the US government has the authority and power to control toys that may
be used for something illegal or by creepy voyeurs, but not the power to control guns, a tool designed purely for killing?
I know it's an old and tired debate but.. It's just always shocking to me, living in one of the most peaceful (If not outright boring) countries on earth, where even a policeman can be prosecuted and jailed for drawing his gun without it being the absolutely last resort.