We learned recently that you had to be careful how you say goodbye in Dubai (here) after a couple was arrested for kissing on the streets. It appears that you cannot even opt for texting your desires without ending up in the Dubai hoosegow. Two Emirates airlines cabin crew have been ordered jailed for three months over sexually explicit text messages. The Indian flight attendant and her cabin services supervisor were convicted of “coercion to commit sin.”
The couple was originally sentenced to six months for texting the messages.
Dubai has been turning sharply toward Sharia-based codes of conduct — jailing Westerners for everything from kissing in public to sharing hotel rooms as unmarried lovers. Now it appears that, denied physical contact, you cannot even fantasize on your Blackberry. It is not clear how authorities discovered the sexual texting.
I love the sheer lunacy of the crime of coercion to commit sin. You start with the premise that the state must punish sin under a strict Sharia code. You then treat verbalized or written enticements as coercion even though both individuals were arrested. There is no mention of a third party on the text message. When there is coercion, doesn’t one party has to be the coerced victim? I assume that two people cannot coerce each other. We usually call that consent rather than coercion.
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