I must confess, sometimes after writing a blog I sit in fear that the helicopters are going to start circling and a SWAT team will drop out on wires and take me down. I have to work my syntax very carefully. Yesterday I happened to come cross an article in a national publication with the headline “Blogger is jailed for 10 years”. I gulped. I opened the article and began to gingerly read it. It turns out that the guy – a Kuwaiti in Kuwait- was insulting Islam and of course that is not on, so was punished accordingly. I breathed a sigh of relief and let my belly hang out over my belt once more.
I like to keep my finger on the pulse so each day I religiously read the Britainish press online. I like to read the broadsheet papers The Daily Telegraph, to sooth my own views and The Guardian so I can prime my arguments for the leftists and Monbiotists. For dessert I amuse myself with two highly popular tabloids: The Sun and The Daily Mail. For those of you that aren’t aware, The Daily Mail is a running joke in the UK. Between all the pictures of Kim Kardashian it’s full of end of the world this and killer disease that stories and is about as factually accurate as a 2 year old child. The Sun runs through a similar vein, sucking you in with inaccurate headlines, Imogen Thomas’s and low-brow puns.
The British (well, Murdochian) tabloids enjoy nothing more than a good old fashioned swipe at Dubai. Whenever one of these articles comes to the fore I am compelled to read it before laughing at it. Those of you that also read the British papers may have noticed that over the last year or so there has been an increase in stories emanating from Dubai about British people getting into all sorts of jams and scrapes.
Now I am not going to start sifting through the cases and judging the poor bastards that are thrown away over here, the point I wish to make is how factually inaccurate the British papers are. They refer to Dubai as a “devout, strict Islamic country”. First of all, Dubai is not a country. Dubai is a state, a member state of the United Arab Emirates. The word “state” in Arabic translates into “emirate”. The clue is in the name. Never trust a paper that cannot differentiate between the two.
Next, when it refers to Dubai (the country…) it calls it a “devout, strict Islamic country”. Yes, it is an Islamic country state, its people are all proud Muslims. But it is nowhere near as strict as neighbouring Saudi Arabia. The late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the countries popular founder and first President, wanted tolerance. Other cultures were welcome to enjoy the UAE on the understanding that they would show a bit of respect to the countries Islamic principles. You then read the readers comments beneath the red-top header, none of whom have been to the country of Dubai, and they all just repeat what the article says and state the seemingly obvious… “don’t go there”, “why would anyone want to go there”, “it’s your own fault” Waa… Waa… Waa. The tabloid comments section is the meeting ground of the ignorant and the uneducated.
Lately there have been lots of reports of Brits in trouble over here. There are two sides to every story, and with a little bit of local knowledge you can usually read between the lines and make out what probably happened. No, I don’t think that the latest victim – who The Sun describes as a “buxom beauty” – was romping in the back of a taxi with an Irishman. She did however confess to not remembering much and confirmed to having a beer bottle in her hand, and let’s be honest, was probably swearing at the driver as he was several social classes beneath her and therefore not a real person… As such the driver may have hammed up the story a bit to the Police, and we’ll see what happens after the trial…I hope justice is served accordingly.
It’s a shame and I do feel sorry for her. If the episode had happened back home she would have been branded “a binge drinker” and used as a portrait of “the problem with society today” followed by a modelling contract and an appearance on I’m a Celebrity Jungle. But no, because she was in the country of Dubai we must sympathise that she wasn’t able to do as she pleases and potentially faces the horrid fate of jail.
I’m not saying that things have been amazingly thought out over here. I mean why serve alcohol in the first place if you can’t be drunk in public? Well, business’s in Dubai need to make money too. We Westerners all have cash on the hip and like to party, so we’re a great market to exploit. Without us there wouldn’t be as much money for the treasury. You cannot stop globalisation, it’s inevitable.
Maybe that’s what The Sun is trying to do? Trying to stop us taking our money east? I mean I just read the article at http://www.thesun.co.uk for free…jealous much, Rupert? Or will you send the helicopters?