I think I agree with the Muslims on this one.
Posted by sanityinjection on September 24, 2008
News media around the world have been captivated by the story of the arrest and trial of two Britons for having sex on a beach in Dubai, the cosmopolitan capital of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates. (Except in the US, where we are too busy with our political navel-gazing to pay attention.)
The story is being played out as another example of the conflict between secular, liberal Western culture and religious, conservative Islam. The UAE is an Islamic Arab nation not unlike its neighbor Saudi Arabia. Unliek the Saudis, however, the UAE has used its oil wealth to attract Western business and tourism to Dubai, but along with the money comes Westerners who behave like, well, Westerners.
In fact, Dubai has gone to some lengths to accommodate the lifestyle of its Western visitors. In the tourist areas, hotels and resorts cater to Western tastes. Alcohol can be easily purchased and consumed even while it is forbidden to the country’s Muslim citizens. Western ladies can sunbathe in bikinis that would be considered evidence of prostitution in other Arab countries.
The one thing the Emirates don’t want to budge on though, is public displays of affection. That can mean anything from public sex acts to simply kissing. These are considered immoral and scandalous in most of the Arab world and Dubai is no exception. And this is where our British friends ran afoul of the law. Apparently, they met at a hotel champagne breakfast, got good and drunk, and proceeded to fool around on the beach in public view. They are now facing possible jail terms.
Having given it some thought, I cannot muster up much sympathy for these people. The local government bent over backwards to accommodate their lifestyle, but they just had to push it too far. In fact, sex on public beaches is illegal in many secular countries including the United States. Even in Provincetown, Massachusetts, one of the most liberal communities in the US and a place where homosexual lifestyles are celebrated, it is still illegal to have sex on the public beach.
If these two idiots had simply returned to their hotel rooms to bang each other silly, no one would have known or cared. Instead, they decided to behave boorishly, and now they are facing the consequences. One of the accused has let it out that he came to Dubai to start a business, which he is no longer inclined to do. Boo-hoo! I’m sure the local Chamber of Commerce will cry its eyes out.