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Greg Bishansky writes...

This is a question about Bialya and Qurac. These are both Middle Eastern countries (and according to wikipedia, both are located near Saudi Arabia and Iraq), and I am wondering about their conflict.

How long has this been going on? Since before Queen Bee took power in Bialya? After? Is there a Sunni vs Shi'ite element at work here, too?

Queen Bee's powers provide an explanation for how she is able to keep such absolute power in Bialya, given her gender in a Middle Eastern state... but her power only works in close range, so I wonder how much loyalty she has from her military and police force. Either way, it seems like a pretty liberal country by the standards of that region... which makes me think Bialya is, at least on paper, a Shi'ite state... at the very least, it doesn't appear that wahhabism has taken root in either state.

So, I guess what I'm asking is, in your mind, what are the religious politics of these two countries?

Greg responds...

These are all fair questions, but I haven't invested the time to work the answers out.

I think Queen Bee's powers combine with her intelligence to make her military feel pretty good about serving her. It probably helps that the male half of the royal family is non-existent. Some military men may rationalize their service by thinking she's a figurehead - until they're around her. They might on occasion question her decisions except for this - she's keeping them in power too.

As for the Sunni vs. Shi'ite thing, I don't feel comfortable locking down an answer.

Response recorded on August 06, 2015