Wednesday, May 18, 2011

An Englishman in Dubai

Even in modern, moderate Dubai, as a non-Muslim you must conform to Muslim norms.  Tourists are usually given a bit of leeway, after all it is their dollars which help fund the lavish and decadent Dubai lifestyle.  In this case, the tourist, only identified by the initials AG, claims he did not say anything bad about Muhammad but did make a comment about terrorists in Pakistan.

Well that certainly is grounds for arrest.

From The National May 18 by Salam al Amir

Briton insulted Islam, Prophet in Dubai shop, court told  

DUBAI // A 40-year-old tourist appeared in court this morning accused of insulting Islam during a conversation about the Taliban, calling the Prophet Mohammed a terrorist.

AG, a Briton, appeared in the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours wearing shorts. He was sent away to change into more suitable clothing before he returned to the court to deny charges of insulting Islam and a Pakistani shop employee.

“I told him he was crazy, but I didn't say any of the other things he claims,” AG, who is staying at a hotel in Abu Hail area, told the court.

“I spoke with him about the problems between the Pakistani government and Taliban, and when I understood from his responses that he was a supporter of the Taliban, I told him he was crazy because they were terrorists and they kill people and carry out bombings,” AG told Bur Dubai police. “I didn't say anything bad about Muslims and the Prophet."

Making any statement about any aspect of Islam, including the Taliban will be seen as an insult to Muslims and Islam.  It doe snot matter whether he said anything directly about Muhammad, as a non-Muslim he is not allowed to say such things.

According to records, AG visited the E-Max shop in Mall of the Emirates on the night of March 3, 2011. He met HH, 21, the salesman, greeted him and asked him where he was from.

When HH told him he was from Pakistan, AG responded that Muslims in Pakistan were not normal because they are killing each other and outsiders, records say. HH also told investigators that he told AG he was a Muslim and that the greeting he said
to him was "namaste" – which is Hindi.

“I asked him how I can help him, to end the conversation,” HH said, adding that AG continued anyway and told him Pakistan would soon come to bad end.

Read it all

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