09 May, 2007

And the wheels of injustice roll on...

Four years in jail for 0.17 grams of marijuana

Three years in jail for sexually abusing a toddler


Sex and Dubai said...

Surely the discrepancy can't have anything to do with their nationalities!? *gasp*

Cunnilingus on a 3 year old? Appalling is an understatement.

bu said...

are u saying that injustice is in the uae?

Hatem said...

Why you are always interested in such disgusting trivial news? In the last few hours an American helicopter shot some primary school pupils dead, while chasing an ‘armed group’ in Iraq. Do you call this justice? Have you ever published any positive news of the UAE or the region? Have you ever published any negative news of the western world?

Anonymous said...

hatem, do you consider the sexual abuse of a 3 year old trivial?

Anonymous said...

To Hatem,

1) This blog is about the UAE

2) SD did post positive news about the UAE before

3) The worst response to such posts is trying to divert attention to crimes by the USA or any other country .

ArO said...

Anon@10:29 : you're being silly. That's definitely not what Hatem meant.
And I think he's got a point there. There are some guys here, including secretdubai, that spend way too much of their time, energy and talent on exclusively blindly criticizing the UAE. Sometimes the issues they raise are simply "trivial" when compared to what is happening just around the corner around.
The limit between criticizing for the sake of criticizing and criticizing for improvement is usually very clear. Now how should we classify a group of expats, sitting on anonymous blogs and criticizing the countries where they're working continuously and with determined rage, albeit usually in a "classy" and "literate" wording. What good , if any, does that do to anyone? Being expats usually from western countries, would they wet their shirts and get involved in some real useful action, knowing that they risk no "real" prosecution or "fatal" persecution ? Let them bloggers answer that if they want.
Some blogs I read because I enjoy reading them, some others just to refresh my perspective on things by seeing how low the blogsphere can go.
PS: to Anon@11:00
It should not be allowed to take part in a debate without a minimum of identification. Leave the Anon cloak and stand up for your opinions.

secretdubai said...

Anyone who reads my blogs knows I post a balance of material.

I believe that there are currently severe problems with the justice system of the UAE. And guess what?

Sheikh Mohammed agrees. Just read his recent remarks.

Do you call this justice? Have you ever published any positive news of the UAE or the region? Have you ever published any negative news of the western world?

1. It's not a topic that is specifically relevant to the UAE. If people want to blog Iraq then fine, but my focus is Dubai and the UAE.

2. If you genuinely had to ask that question then why not read my blog and find out for yourself?

3. Ditto both the above points.

Hatem: frankly you appear to be nothing but a negative, rude, whingeing moron that looks to take offence and find fault with everything I post. I regard you as a poorly educated, pointless, angry little person who frankly it is hard to take seriously. I suppose I feel sorry for you if anything, because you are an example of what is wrong with this part of the world and humanity in general: thank god you are (hopefully) the exception and not the rule.

And in future I will delete irrelevant comments like your one here which has nothing to do with the topic on hand and just seeks only to insult me.

Anonymous said...

To aro:
"Anon@10:29 : you're being silly. That's definitely not what Hatem meant."
He clearly said:
"Why you are always interested in such disgusting trivial news?" as a comment to the news of the abuse of a 3 year old... That's why I am asking HIM, not you, to clarify his point...

secretdubai said...

What good , if any, does that do to anyone?

Sometimes perhaps no good, but it makes us feel better. And I think people should be allowed to express their personal rage and emotions through their personal blogs, because I support and encourage freedom of expression.

You don't have to visit those blogs, you don't have to read those expressions of emotion. It's their right to express, it's your choice whether you read it.

Anonymous said...

Hatem, this is a UAE blog, commenting on subjects concerning the UAE. Maybe SD has commented elsewhere on the topics you mention. Maybe she hasn't.

Have you?

ArO said...

I believe that the world is full of people preaching bad things: hatered, racism, violence, lies, etc. So when one is the author of a popular blog and gets more and more people reading them, they receive a responsibility.
You are responsible for the effects expressing your opinion has on people. You can't just say "read it if you want and get lost if you don't". It doesn't work like that.
SD, are you aware of this charge? or do you prefer denying/ignoring it?
So yes, it is no more a matter of expressing your opinion, not for you. And it has to do some good to as many as possible.
Call me naive.

ArO said...

To Anon@11:59

You will notice that Hatem was addressing SD, NOT you ;-)

Anonymous said...

To aro: You are comparing oranges with apples. I didn't answer hatems's question to SD on her behalf, but you did answer in hatem's behalf the question I made: "That's definitely not what Hatem meant."
Anyways, all I wanted was for HIM to explain his position, because that remark he made is appaling...

Seabee said...

Come on, get real.

Are we supposed to list atrocities in order of 'importance' and only talk about the top one? And who decides which is the most important topic in the world at any given time anyway?

We can't discuss injustice in the UAE legal system because of deaths in Iraq? We can't discuss deaths in Iraq because there have been more in Darfur? We can't discuss the smoking ban because we should be discussing labourers' rights? We can't discuss road deaths because there's been a murder?

Post about anything and someone can say 'there's something more important happening' - but any and all problems, injustices, atrocities need discussing. At the same time.

We have minds that are capable of dealing with more than one issue at a time. To ignore all but the one subject someone thinks is the most important is infantile.

Anonymous said...

So as always discussions in the UAE turn into yet another exercise of " us" and "them".

secretdubai said...

So when one is the author of a popular blog and gets more and more people reading them, they receive a responsibility.

You are responsible for the effects expressing your opinion has on people. You can't just say "read it if you want and get lost if you don't". It doesn't work like that.

Well I can say that, and it does work like that. You are adult human beings and you are responsible for your reading choices as much as I am responsible for my writing choices. I am not your nanny. If you can't read it without getting upset or offended, then you need to rethink your internet use.

I deliberately avoid some sites - for example right-wing American sites - because I find them so upsettingly hate filled and offensive. Such as Ann Coulter and her ilk. Do these people have a responsibility to me to change their content because they are well known with high traffic and I am hurt at their ignorance and racism? Perhaps they do. But I think the decision is mine to go elsewhere: they keep to their space, I keep to mine. And realistically speaking they are not going to shut up no matter how much I weep and wail and gnash my teeth, so I may as well continue to avoid them.

And the fact that I've blogged for five years now and not been blocked (except temporarily) or banned or arrested speaks volumes as to the levels of responsibility I operate under. I have not - yet, at least! - been sued, or even had a legal or official demand to remove or edit content.

This country is very quick to block negative websites including even individual negative news articles about it. So someone somewhere has judged that my blog is not some undiluted screed of offensiveness, hatred and negativity. If it was, I don't think anyone would read it.

And likewise this community has over 200 active members and a huge range of content and tone.

What I object to is people thinking they have the right to hijack a topic and turn it into a personal attack on me or anyone.

Thank you to those people that did stay on topic. You are the ones that make the effort worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

If there was such thing as justice in the UAE, then the people from Europe would be the first ones to be deported following them the other %75 of this country's population.... *Capiche?*

DUBAI JAZZ said...

There is nothing wrong in criticizing a certain flaw in the UAE’s judicial system, but to be honest, the situation here is much better than other countries in the neighborhood (the least you could say that courts in the UAE are not corrupt)…

H.H. Sheikh Muhammad did indeed criticize the courts after his surprise visit, but if I remember correctly, his criticism was directed toward the administrative conduct of the courts, not toward the legislative part of it.

Hatem, calm down buddy :-) , in fairness to SD, she did mention once that she opposes the occupation of Iraq. (not that she needs vindication, but I digress…)

Secret Dubai thanks for bringing up these stories….
I am not a lawyer. So I have a very limited knowledge about the legislation process in the UAE.
What do you think could have been done to improve either of these two sentences: reduce the sentence of the narcotics bearer, or simply increase the sentence of the pervert?
Do you think it is appropriate to use your ‘Rage’ gauges in order to determine an alternative, more sensible and suitable sentence?

For instance, the guy who carries drugs in his pocket DOESN'T BOTHER ME AT ALL! Let him sniffle to his heart content! why should I care? In that case my ‘Rage’ indicator is showing ‘0’, hence he could be acquitted (according to me…)- but wait, possessing narcotics is punishable by the law? Why is that?

I am confused… if you come from a legal background, please enlighten me..:)

Seabee, Amen to that, I couldn’t agree more. People should be encouraged to post and get things off their chests.

secretdubai said...

dubai jazz - I know the UAE has something of a zero tolerance policy on drugs, and that's their right. But there seems to be no room for discretion unless one is famous, in which case they get off every time. So it's hypocritical as well as heavyhanded.

It's not about expats getting heavier sentences: I would be just as outraged if a young UAE national guy got a lengthy sentence for small possession. What's the point of that? Is he unsafe? Is going to jail for the best years of his youth going to make him a better person, less likely to be an addict? I should think that it would most likely drive him to despair and heavier drug use.

Dealers - fine. They're scum. Deal with them however. But people accidentally bringing in miniscule amounts from Europe, obvious drug mules whose bags were slit and stuffed with drugs, young people who stupidly "rebelled" by smoking a joint, people travelling with legal prescription medicine the Arabic-only courts can't translate - for god's sake let's have some sense and deal lightly and mercifully with these people.

And for the child abuser: well let's just hope he gets some kind of rehabilitation in jail. I'm far from convinced that most child abusers are rehabilitateable, can paraphilias ever really be "cured"? They need some kind of system here where such people are tagged after release, banned from working with children, and have their offences disclosed to current and future spouses. After all, one should know if the person one plans to start a family with is at risk of harming children.

You can't lock a guy up indefinitely for one abuse offence. But you can make damn sure you keep an eye on him for life - costly though that is - if and when you have to let him out. After all the safety of innocent people and children is beyond price.

DUBAI JAZZ said...

"there seems to be no room for discretion unless one is famous, in which case they get off every time"

True, I remember the Austin Dallas case from last year....

"can paraphilias ever really be "cured"?"

This is really a very tough call. Because if it is proven to be incurable, you are left with two hard choices: either let him go after fulfilling his sentence, which will create a potential danger to his community. Or, lock him in all his life, which is ostensibly a harsh penalty.

Thanks for the clarifications and the feedback....

Anonymous said...

'In the last few hours an American helicopter shot some primary school pupils dead, while chasing an ‘armed group’ in Iraq.'

If this label appeared on this blog, some jerk(s) would spring out of the woodwork seeking its relevance to UAE. When SD posts, & this label is local news, accusations fly.

Can someone please set the guideline on relevance, which'll then be complied with subject to (our) acceptance of its relevance.

Fair, no?

ArO said...

To SD:
Your blog has been selected as one of the top 1000 by blogger buzz, in the travel category. Congratulations!
Now unless you simply hate this place we live in, you might want to prove me (and some of us here) wrong when we claim the tone of your blog is too aggressive towards and simply (almost?) exclusively critical of UAE. It wouldn't be any less good if it was not like "look at those local morons and towel-heads..".
That's not what your blog is about? great! Sorry that me and everyone I know (IRL at least) got the wrong impression.
That's my opinion. If you keep meeting it with a "whatever attitude" then...whatever...
To Seabee:
That's not what I meant. One can express whatever they want and all atrocities should be put under light. Some of them are simply more revolting than others and one can show some understanding towards those who get enraged by children genocide.

Last, this is a general community blog. Enforcing a rigid stic-to-topic approach would not be good. Not only would it kill most threads, but it would only serve as good excuse to those with censorship tendencies to erase all comments they don't like. Then again, as a community blog, it is about subjects that matter to the UAE community, and not some simple local news review forum.

BIG PS: this is not (yet) a country where law and justice are words the system knows how to pronounce, less spell. And I am not talking in "theory" as (luckily) most commentators do here. The system sucks and I had to pay myself not long ago. Just so that everyone know I am not against criticizing the system when it goes wrong.

secretdubai said...

aro - you are free to interpret the tone of my blog as you wish. I'm well aware that satire often goes over a lot of people's heads and some people assume that any critcism=hate of the UAE.

I can't "prove" anything - all you can do is go and read the entire blog from start to finish, and make your own judgements based on that.

Hatem said...

To anon who was asking me to clarify my point: my point is that whenever you see the screen name of secretdubai, then expect to see a black point in this part of the world under the microscope. It’s black, I agree, but there are so many other white points here that never pass on her glasses. If she is really concerned about the UAE and Dubai in particular as she says, because of the blog name at least, then I would expect a real balanced material. I don't think that 90 black and 10 white is called balanced in English language(?)
I didn’t want to go off topic, and the proof is that I didn’t link the story to its source (BBC Arabic for the sake of credibility) for not distracting the readers, but I wanted to say how this black spot in the UAE is relatively too small compared to killing 6 kids and injuring same number in a primary school in a place not too far from the UAE who shares with the UAE the same language, religion and most of the cultures. The real people of UAE themselves will be much more concerned about this if she wrote about it, but no… this is outside Dubai (and more important: who did it??), so who cares? Let’s focus our grief on the traffic jams! I still have a lot to say, but no need to go further.

To Aro: thanks for your support and understanding my point. I really appreciate it.

To Dubai Jazz: I am OK :) I usually get offended by people ignoring the humanity of others than people insulting me personally on a blog. Thanks my friend.

To secretdubai: I could easily return your insults, but I won’t gain anything by doing this, I will just lose my self-respect, instead. I just want to tell you that I am not the exception of the rule as you think. The fact that you are foreigner and not able to speak the language of this part of the world (I don't mean Dubai of course), made you surrounded by people of your same interests, or people who don’t want to embarrass you; and hence, you don’t really know the real feelings of many people who don’t hate the west because of some racist reasons, but they hate the biased media (which you highly represent), who like to show only the black points of the Arab world and only the white points of the western world, and hate the people who make their judgments based on double-standards, and hate the people who like to stick any evil event to the whole Muslim world, and hate the people who think of this part of the world as only a source of oil and forget that there are also human beings living beside this oil who have their own cultures and traditions and rules that they don’t want to change, simply because they are happy with it.

A question to ask yourself: what is the ratio between Arabic / Non-Arabic speakers, who use the United Arab Emirates Community Blog (administrated by…)? It’s not a matter of language, and I hope that you get it.

P.S. I don’t have anything against westerns who have real “balanced” minds (this is not the same word you used). Many of them are real friends…

secretdubai said...

A question to ask yourself: what is the ratio between Arabic / Non-Arabic speakers, who use the United Arab Emirates Community Blog (administrated by…)? It’s not a matter of language, and I hope that you get it.

Firstly - this is an English language blog. There is a counterpart Arabic blog here: http://emiraticommunity.blogspot.com/ Naturally there will be more non-Arabic/English speakers here, because it is an English language blog.

Secondly - we have never, ever excluded anyone from here on basis of race or anything. We have actively encouraged more UAE locals to join on several occasions. But the two main problems is that (1) there are less UAE locals than expats, and (2) there are even less fluent English speaking UAE locals.

Further to this I even set up a dedicated blogroll for Arabic/non-English blogs, and I add those blogs on faith because I cannot verify the content. We have declined to list a couple of English language blogs with inappropriate content, so trust me, there is a (mild) screening system. I also made a dedicated blogroll for Islamic blogs.

So you should consider retracting your bizarre and unjustified insinuations. You have jumped to so many erroneous conclusions about me and my beliefs and my judgements that I think your opinion of me says more about you than it does of me. You misjudge my politics, my character, my intentions, my attitude, my likes and dislikes: honestly you have no clue about me.

What do you think I really think about six children being killed in Iraq? Do you honestly think I consider that to be OK? Do you think anybody in this entire country thinks that the death of six tiny children is no big deal? Are you so blinkered and blinded yourself that this is the kind of opinion you have of us? You remind me of Americans who actually believe that Arabs "cheered" 9/11. They are just as deranged and bigoted as you are. All of you see what you want to see. You look for faults in the other, not actually caring for the truth.

You want to believe I am some evil white anti muslim western imperialist, so that is what you look for and continue to accuse me of even when you can't find the evidence. You assume it, you make it up, you pull accusations out of thin air. Does the fact that I didn't blog the tragic plane crash in Africa make me racist? No. And nor does the fact I didn't blog the latest Iraqi tragegy.

But frankly there is no point me really responding to you when you yourself are afflicted with the severe prejudices that you wrongly accuse me of.

And I reiterate: this is not the forum for you to do so. Either do it on your own blog, or email me if you are really so angry. But continually casting unfounded public aspersions at me is neither appropriate or fair.

Hatem said...

I didn’t mean you by all what I said. I am only accusing you by playing the role of the biased media who can tell any story from a certain angle to deliberately deliver a certain message to the readers. I mentioned the rest of examples to tell you that there are millions living in this part of the world who hate those types of people, but probably you didn’t have a chance to talk to many of them, and that’s why you considered me the exception, not the rule. That’s why I spoke about the language subject.
I mentioned what happened in Iraq because I read it just before reading your “news flash”, and I found myself comparing the two events in my mind. I am not blaming you for not publishing what happened in Iraq; everyday similar things happen there, but I wish that the day comes when I see each news article is being put in its real size, and getting the proper reaction from the readers!

Mme Cyn said...

Err... to get back to the story line, how much IS .17 grams of pot? Two seeds and a bud?

fellow atheist said...


Wrong. Fact is, most Arabs and Muslims _did_ cheer 9/11. I bet Americans would cheer the same thing if it had happened in Saudi. Point is, the world is full of hate.

hatem is an idiot, you're better off ignoring him.

Anonymous said...

How can you state that the justice in this country is Poor?
All what you know, and all the other bloggers in here, are the stuff that are mentioned in papers, mainly the Unprofessional 7days and others?
If you are not in the court room, and do not know what the judge knows, DO NOT COMMENT ON THAT !!

If someone is accused of rape from a women who agreed to have consensual sex with him, what are you going to read in the newspaper?

Man, You all know how to critisize only !!

Al Mulhama, The Inspired said...

Hatem, aro, anon, anyone, tom, dick, harry.
Oh for God's sake! Firstly as mentioned it's a UAE blog, therefore good AND bad are mentioned, if we are at liberty to critisize in a non defamatory manner then great! If we cannot accept the criticism, then that is our misfortune.

Oh and PLEASE can everyone stop talking on behalf of Iraq and Iraqis! Truly the people are very literate, educated, cultured and knowledgeable to be able to speak for themselves on their own distinct blogs. We have had enough people interfering. so enough already.

I wont trivialize any amount of innocents in the world being killed, BUT I WOULD NEVER categorize sexual abuse/molestation of a 3 year old as trivial.

I guess you have no child of your own. the mere thought of it if you're a parent would make the bile rise in ones throat.

So in a true "democratic" spirit epitomizing freedom of expression without offence, please say what you may in the right way, but more importantly be ready to accept others' opinions similarly.

Hatem said...

Mulhema, I know that speaking about Iraq was off topic, and I knew that many people will not get my point; I also admit that it’s not your fault, it’s mine! I expected also that I would be insulted for my opinion, but I wrote what was inside me.
Speaking about Iraq here was just the example that came to my mind to tell secretdubai that she picks, most of the times, only the negative part of the UAE from the news and re-posts it (with some salt and pepper added sometimes). I wanted to say that there is evil everywhere (much more than here), but as long as we are not affected, we don’t care… so why only the bad things here? And if it’s a must to be here, then where are the good things? The newspapers are full of both of them, but it depends on what you are looking for… and there is a huge difference between criticism and sarcasm (to comment on your word: it’s our misfortune). If it’s funny for some people, then it’s definitely not for others. I don’t see it a good thing to hurt someone’s feelings in order to make others laugh, even if this person is bad. We are all bad, aren’t we??…
I am not Iraqi and I don’t know any of them, so I am not doing this for some personal reasons; I am not Emirati and I am not defending the place because I am expecting some reward from someone, and again, I don’t have anything against the Westerns who don’t hate us because of our race.
P.S. if my text looks truncated, this is because I deleted some lines after writing them. I guess no need to re-open the subject.
If I made anyone upset, I am sorry!

Anonymous said...


As a UAE national with PhD in law I have to admit that Sheikh Mohamed has failed to put in place a transparent judiciary and has concentrated more on self PR by anouncing unrealistic projects and reading clever lines which secures his own ego problem. His family members treat the society like animals… they steal from foreign businessmen, threaten them, and some times using the famous state security even arrests them to reach their commercial goals.
it s sad that sheikh mohammed’ s brother in law sheikh hasher maktoum has stolen a multi billin dollar bussiness from a foreign investor just because he is related to sheikh mohammed. We have no human rights here, the judiciary is as corrupt as real estate, finance, immigration…. dubai is crashing

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