05 July, 2006

Link (Article): High life in Dubai

Here's an interesting piece by the Guardian's Brian Whitaker about the Dallas Austin affair:

The treatment of a music mogul arrested in Dubai on drugs charges smacks of double standards.


Also, note the anecdote in the first user comment.

Personally, I wonder what would have been more expensive for Dubai: Jailing Austin or freeing him ?

2 comments:

BD said...

Personally, I wonder what would have been more expensive for Dubai: Jailing Austin or freeing him?

The obvious conclusion is that this is exactly what motivated Sh. Moh'd to grant the pardon. It's all about sending the right message overseas. A lot of things are permitted, de facto, in Dubai that are technically illegal or at least against traditional moralities. There is always the risk that the wrong message will be sent, that Dubai is heretical (religiosly speaking), lacking in moral standards or guilty of double-standards with regard to the law.

But of course none of these are the intended message. The intent is simply to say that Dubai is a welcoming and tolerant state. Visitors need not fear being arbitrarily subjected to harsh laws.

In order to send this kind of message while at the same time avoiding what is described above as the wrong message, Dubai has to walk a very difficult tight rope. What happened with Austin is a clear example of this attempt to balance tolerance against adhering to high moral and legal standards.

Anonymous said...

The privileges of entertainment. Wouldn't Mr. Austin be entitled to an arrest when he returns to Atlanta for possession?

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