A society worth admiration is measured in more than steel.
A 23-year-old British woman who reported a rape while vacationing in Dubai has become the double-victim of misogynists. Instead of seeking to find the thug who raped her, the Dubai police have arrested her and charged her with having ambiguously defined illicit sex:
The young woman was attacked in the toilet of a hotel where she had had been drinking with her fiancé to celebrate their engagement during a holiday in Dubai over New Year’s Eve.
When she reported the rape to police however, she and her 44-year-old boyfriend were jailed themselves for having sex outside marriage, which remains illegal under the emirate’s strict laws on decency. The couple were also charged with drinking illegally outside licensed premises.
According to reports, Dubai police were more interested in questioning the woman about her drinking and sexual preferences than investigating her attack. It is claimed that standard procedure in alleged rape cases was not followed, although legal sources in Dubai dispute this.
It is often the case under ignorant establishment, and not just in the Middle East, that a raped woman is the one accused of the crime usually under the reasoning that she was not taken precaution and was being immodest in dress that she brought on the rape. The brute man is excused from personal responsibility.
And this is not Dubai’s first mistreatment of a victim of one of the worst violations against a human being. Roughly a year ago, a French teenager violently raped by three men was accused of being a homosexual using the rape as a cover and because homosexuality is a crime in the United Arab Emirates it was he who was charged with a crime, and had to leave Dubai to avoid arrest.
In neighboring Saudi Arabia, a young girl repeatedly raped by a thuggish gang was the one charged with the crime and when he protested the cruel decision, her sentence was made harsher (which included lashes). Only an international media campaign led to a royal pardon, but many such cases continue in the Middle East under ignorant clerics and they unfortunately do not have Western attention to seek recourse to and receive some measure of justice.
If Dubai wants to join the modern world, it needs to do more than build an empty World’s Tallest Building. No one will respect and few will visit a society with such a cruel image as to blame the victims – if not moved by universal justice at the very least its rulers should be moved by monetary/tourism consideration. Reforming the legal code and judiciary would not be a bad place to start.