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Saturday, June 19, 2010

What CAN You Do Today?

  Dubai and other Emirates have been touted as playgrounds of the wealthy, a somehow modern tourist destination , a kinder, gentler muslim nation. They have ATMs that dispense gold and skyscrapers. Their national airline is a major World Cup sponsor. It seems like a fun place to see and be seen, but under the glamour it is still a theocracy. And like every other it is one bad place to be if you are found guilty of some draconian wrong.

  The United Arab Emirates holds and enforces laws that can imprison gays for life, and presumes guilt. Foreigners have been incarcerated for possessing poppy seed bagels, dirty magazines, and israeli border stamps on their passports. It is here where women still suffer under the weight of an unwavering allegiance to a book written by a paedophillic butcher while men are viewed as kings because of the luck of their birth. Make no mistake, under the gilded facade lies a place that no decent person should travel.

  In February a British couple was arrested because they dared to admit that the wife had been raped by an employee of the hotel they were staying at. The local man enjoyed his freedom whilst the couple languished in jail. It was only after they agreed to withdraw the complaint that they were permitted to leave the backward nation.

  This is not an isolated instance in a nation that views women and children as responsible for the shame of being attacked by men who view it as their right to take what they want from anyone they desire. Victims seldom report rape because the legal system provides no advocacy and frequently imprisons or floggs the victims as opposed to the accusers. If a woman has a consentual relationship with a man, he may assume that all of his soccer team can have her and it will be her who will spend years behind bars.

  As an example, this week a Dubai woman was sentenced to one year in prison for "extramarital sex" after she admitted to being raped by six men. She was permitted no legal representation nor witnesses, but the men were given large state-enabled defenses. She was considered to at least partially consent because she got into a car with a policeman. She was unaware that his car full of entitled beast buddies was trailing them to the location where she was raped and tortured for hours on end.  As is customary, none of the men were convicted of rape, but 3 only of morals offenses because they couldn't shut the girl up 

  The only shocker in this case is that the attack was reported to police. The United Arab Emirates may have riches and technology that look attractive to the outside, everyday citizens exist in fear of their oppressive customs. Foreigners and the wealthy party on the same land that hosts honour killings. The money that you spend in Dubai supports the kind of terrorism that we can all stop.

  There are plenty of places to have fun in the sun, but please avoid the UAE. We may not be able to stop all of the world's tragedies but every dollar not spent funding oppressive regimes is a nail in the coffin of terror. If you know of the horrors and still party with the enemies of freedom, you are a traitor. Your dollars can be weapons of war and it is your choice as to which army you represent.

 Do the right thing and boycott the United Arab Emirates .

The image above is of the punishment meted out to a woman convicted of being raped and was carried out by the state, not her attackers.

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