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Woman jailed for reporting rape in Dubai


Scotty

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Dubai. It invokes images of a much more moderate Arab Muslim state than the ones which give us so much trouble. It's not one of those crazed fundamentalist places like Sudan or Iran. It has tall, gleaming skyscrapers and a more relaxed attitude towards religion.

Well, not really. A Norwegian woman who made the mistake of going there was raped. Then she compounded her mistake by reporting it to the authorities. Little did she realize Dubai was, like many Muslim states, still stuck in a time warp. It seems in order to prove rape four adult males must testify to that effect, or the rapist must confess. Barring that happening, the woman does by reporting it is confess to having sex outside marriage. So she was convicted of that and tossed into jail.

Dubai is part of the UAE, again, an entity with a more benign reputation in the West (probably because it's paid some very high priced public relations agencies a lot of money). Recently, a British man was jailed for four years because on entering the country the authorities discovered a 0.003 gram trace of cannabis stuck to the bottom of his shoe.

People travel to Dubai and other UAE states believing their gleaming towers and reputation for 'modern' attitudes mean they're something like the West. But all it seems to show is there are no moderate Muslim states.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23381448

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Hardly surprising, nor is it the first story of this sort. Western travelers to places like this really need to either learn the local laws and steer well clear of them, or just not go to such places. Honestly, she should count herself lucky that she isn't actually being made to spend time in a UAE prison. It's actually moderately impressive that the alleged rapist also received a prison sentence. Surely he would have gone free if she hadn't been a Western traveler.

On a somewhat related note, here's a quote from the article:

But it remains a deeply conservative region, and its strict laws have caught out foreigners in the past.

Why describe these kinds of practices as "conservative"? You see the same phrasing frequently used by the CBC as well in describe backward Islamic regimes. Trying to associate barbaric practices with the word conservative seems like blatant politically motivated manipulation of language. Pure propaganda.

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Why describe these kinds of practices as "conservative"? You see the same phrasing frequently used by the CBC as well in describe backward Islamic regimes. Trying to associate barbaric practices with the word conservative seems like blatant politically motivated manipulation of language. Pure propaganda.

I think its just reality. Consvervatism by definition means... "Holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation."

In many cases, and especially in islamic states "traditional attitudes" is not exactly great news for women. Even here in the west, social conservatism and "family vaules" conservatism is basically a euphamism for the abuse the disempowerment of women.

Its really just calling a spade a spade.

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I have no idea why any in the West would want any more than the minimum interaction with barbaric cultures. In today's global economy I understand that some interaction is necessary but certainly, tourism is not one of them.

When these cultures modernize out of the Paleolithic then and only then should we accept them.

In the meantime, they should be shunned.

This is the sort of thing that got Morsi booted out of power. Progressive people in these countries have become sick of it!

Edited by Wild Bill
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Horrible what happened to that woman. You really need to research where you're going when you travel. It's especially tough for homosexuals, where there are countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, parts of Nigeria etc. where committing "same-sex sexual acts" can get you the death penalty, and many other states it will be imprisonment or even life imprisonment (especially African and middle-eastern countries, surprise!). Oddly, there a couple dozen countries where it's legal for females to be gay but not males.

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I have no idea why any in the West would want any more than the minimum interaction with barbaric cultures. In today's global economy I understand that some interaction is necessary but certainly, tourism is not one of them.

When these cultures modernize out of the Paleolithic then and only then should we accept them.

In the meantime, they should be shunned.

This is the sort of thing that got Morsi booted out of power. Progressive people in these countries have become sick of it!

I disagree. More interaction is the best hope to drive change and eventually bring an end to "barbaric practices" in these cultures.

Yes, we need to expose all barbaric acts and demand justice and change but your rhetoric and suggestions make the situation worse. It is especially not helpful to name entire cultures as "barbaric" and "Paleolithic". When the West uses these kinds of words they are so easily used by theocratic leaders as justification for things like continued jihad and the silencing of any local progressive people.

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Guest American Woman

I have no idea why any in the West would want any more than the minimum interaction with barbaric cultures. In today's global economy I understand that some interaction is necessary but certainly, tourism is not one of them.

She was there on business. Of course the men she was drinking with weren't arrested for drinking. No surprise there.

Her sentence has been dropped and she is allowed to leave the country after the world was outraged by the charges/sentence.

Edited by American Woman
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The average person on the street in many of these countries is just like you and I. It's easy to dismiss them all as barbaric... but it is also lazy and silly.

It is less about the people and cultures being "barbaric" and more about the ruling class being this way. The political rulers and the religious leaders are the problem. And the problem is huge.

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Guest American Woman

It is less about the people and cultures being "barbaric" and more about the ruling class being this way. The political rulers and the religious leaders are the problem. And the problem is huge.

Isn't what the ruling class does, the laws of a nation, part of that nation's culture?

The world reacted with outrage - did the people of Dubai?

Edited by American Woman
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Isn't what the ruling class does, the laws of a nation, part of that nation's culture?

The world reacted with outrage - did the people of Dubai?

No, I don't believe that the ruling class defines a culture. They sure try to do that... and they impose... and they oppress... but the culture of a people will still come out at times despite this.

You think a place like Czech Republic was communist because of their culture? Or did they have communist oppressors in power? No different in the Middle East.

The people of Dubai may have had their heads bashed in if they decided to protest... not because bashing protestors is a cultural practice, but because the ruling class doesn't want protests.

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Isn't what the ruling class does, the laws of a nation, part of that nation's culture?

The world reacted with outrage - did the people of Dubai?

Yes, but the key word in your first sentence is "part".

I am not sure how the people of Dubai reacted. If you lived in the UAE, how would you react?

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/life-uae-we-expect-anything-authorities-we-are-afraid-everything-2013-05-24

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Guest American Woman

Yes, but the key word in your first sentence is "part".

Culture is made up of "parts," not one thing. So yes, it is part of their culture.

I am not sure how the people of Dubai reacted. If you lived in the UAE, how would you react?

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/life-uae-we-expect-anything-authorities-we-are-afraid-everything-2013-05-24

From what I know, being a woman, I wouldn't react. Wouldn't that be part of their culture? Women being afraid to react, report rapes, etc? You think religion and the monarchy et al isn't part of their culture? Edited by American Woman
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Culture is made up of "parts," not one thing. So yes, it is part of their culture.

From what I know, being a woman, I wouldn't react. Wouldn't that be part of their culture? Women being afraid to react, report rapes, etc? You think religion and the monarchy et al isn't part of their culture?

Yes, it's part of their culture, it's looks like we are in full agrement.

When you asked earlier:

The world reacted with outrage - did the people of Dubai?

What point were you trying to make with this question?

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Guest American Woman

When you asked earlier: The world reacted with outrage - did the people of Dubai?

What point were you trying to make with this question?

Either they were in agreement with the charges/sentence, indifferent, or they were afraid to protest and/or express outrage as many in other parts of the world did. Whether or not people protest is generally part of their culture. In this instance, being that their culture is in large part based on Islamic traditions, it's difficult to know the reasons behind the lack of protest - but it is part of how their culture differs from ours, which was my point.

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Either they were in agreement with the charges/sentence, indifferent, or they were afraid to protest and/or express outrage as many in other parts of the world did. Whether or not people protest is generally part of their culture. In this instance, being that their culture is in large part based on Islamic traditions, it's difficult to know the reasons behind the lack of protest - but it is part of how their culture differs from ours, which was my point.

Yes, parts of their cultures are different from ours, but there are also similarities, I have to agree with The Squid:

The average person on the street in many of these countries is just like you and I.

My guess is that most ordinary UAE residents are as outraged by the case as we are (if they even know about it), it's just that if they speak out against their leaders they face a risk of punishment.

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Guest American Woman

Yes, parts of their cultures are different from ours, but there are also similarities, I have to agree with The Squid:

My guess is that most ordinary UAE residents are as outraged by the case as we are (if they even know about it), it's just that if they speak out against their leaders they face a risk of punishment.

Does that "most" include the men?

The UAE adjudicates family law and personal status matters for Muslims pursuant to interpretations of Islamic law, with no option to seek adjudication pursuant to a civil code. The law in particular discriminates against women by granting men privileged status in matters of divorce, inheritance, and child custody. Emirati women can obtain a divorce through khul’a (a no-fault divorce) thereby losing their financial rights. They may only ask for a divorce in exceptional circumstances. Females can only inherit one-third of assets while men are entitled to inherit two-thirds.

The law further discriminates against women by permitting Emirati men, but not women, to have as many as four polygamous marriages and forbidding Muslim women, but not men, from marrying non-Muslims. Emirati women married to non-citizens do not automatically pass citizenship to their children, a right enjoyed by Emirati men married to foreign spouses.

Despite the existence of shelters and hotlines to help protect women, domestic violence remains a pervasive problem.The penal code gives men the legal right to discipline their wives and children, including through the use of physical violence.The Federal Supreme Court has upheld a husband’s right to “chastise” his wife and children with physical abuse.

http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-united-arab-emirates

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Guest American Woman

Yes.

When men or women criticize the government of UAE they face serious repercussions:

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/life-uae-we-expect-anything-authorities-we-are-afraid-everything-2013-05-24

Oh, please. So all of those men enjoy the privileges allotted them by the government out of fear? They treat women as second class citizens out of fear? <_<

Edited by American Woman
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Oh, please. So all of those men enjoy the privileges allotted them by the government out of fear? They treat women as second class citizens out of fear? <_<

Every man does that? A majority? A larger proportion than North American men?

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Oh, please. So all of those men enjoy the privileges allotted them by the government out of fear? They treat women as second class citizens out of fear? <_<

The majority of men do not enjoy any such priviliges. They see their mothers, sisters and daughters suffereing and are powerless to stop it.

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Guest American Woman

Every man does that? A majority? A larger proportion than North American men?

No North American men are afforded those rights. But you already knew that, right? Edited by American Woman
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The average person on the street in many of these countries is just like you and I. It's easy to dismiss them all as barbaric... but it is also lazy and silly.

It is less about the people and cultures being "barbaric" and more about the ruling class being this way. The political rulers and the religious leaders are the problem. And the problem is huge.

I'm sure there are some moderate elements within UAE society. I'm equally sure they are enormously outweighed by the more tradition minded who see the laws expounded in the Koran as the word of God and who wish to live their lives by it. You won't find a majority in many Muslim countries willing to go against the laws of the Koran. Regardless of how brutal or barbaric those laws are. Many Arab countries still have laws on the books which say that if a rapist is willing to marry his victim there won't be any punishment. Egypt had such a law until recently, but it hardly matters as Rape, while not legal in Egypt, might as well be.

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Every man does that? A majority? A larger proportion than North American men?

It would be impossible to prove one way or another given the lack of statistics, and the fear most women have of reporting violence, much less sexual violence. Also, violence against family members is either legal or simply ignored in many Muslim states. Marital rape, for example, is not a crime in most Muslim countries.

But given the nature of the cultures involved and the lack of laws enforcement violence is certainly there in a larger proportion than in western nations.

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Guest American Woman

The majority of men do not enjoy any such priviliges. They see their mothers, sisters and daughters suffereing and are powerless to stop it.

So you think those who benefit from the laws do so under duress? The majority of men get such privileges - as it's the law. The law gives them the advantage in the situations I cited.

Edited by American Woman
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No North American men are afforded those rights. But you already knew that, right?

Society in general didn't pick this government or vote and "rights" afforded to men and not women. And those that try to change the government/fundamentalist Muslim control are promptly put in their place with the use of force.

And you clearly didn't understand my question...

How many men treat women as second class citizens there? All of them? The vast majority? How many?

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