James Kottak, the drummer for the rock band Scorpions, has been sentenced to one month in jail in the United Arab Emirates for conduct offensive to Islam. This reportedly included raising his middle finger and insulting the faith.
Kottak, 51, was arrested on April 3rd on a flight from Russia to Bahrain. The band was scheduled to perform at a Formula One race. Kottak was arrested in the transit hall and admitted that he had been drinking but denied other charges. He reportedly made comments about “uneducated Muslims” and flashed his middle finger. Witnesses accused him of cursing all Muslims and Islam.
It is a chilling example of how the blasphemy laws in these countries are applied. Such comments would be treated as entirely protected in the United States. For many years, I have been writing about the threat of an international blasphemy standard and the continuing rollback on free speech in the West. For recent columns, click here and here and here.
Much of this writing has focused on the effort of the Obama Administration to reach an accommodation with allies like Egypt to develop a standard for criminalizing anti-religious speech. We have been following the rise of anti-blasphemy laws around the world, including the increase in prosecutions in the West and the support of the Obama Administration for the prosecution of some anti-religious speech under the controversial Brandenburg standard.
This is a typical example of the application of such a standard. Kottak’s comments can simply be defined as causing imminent violence or social unrest to justify a blasphemy prosecution.
63 thoughts on “United Arab Emirates Sentences American Musician To One Month In Jail For Insulting Islam”
No, the Scorpions were a German band.
I apologize for my comment of 12:35. It was made in jest, but humor is subjective. If slohrs was offended, my apologies.
Shirley you can click your heels and go back to Kantsas but do not tell them the troot about culshah.
We can call slohrs “Talking Points Memo.” Maybe you can click your heels and go back to Kansas.
It is all really very simple when visiting foreign lands:
“if you are in Rome, live in the Roman way; if you are elsewhere, live as they do there”
Old news. All these arguments have been discussed to their logical conclusion in “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” –the original series that is, not the too topical movie version from ’05 or so.
Surely, you are joking?
No I’m not, and don’t call me Shirley. 😉
The most difficult translation problem of all, is, in my experience, translating meanings accurately into words, and the inverse function, translating words accurately into meanings.
Dr. Harris – try translating humor. 😉
The most difficult language to translate into English is English.
“Americans and British are one people separated only by a common language.” – Winston Churchill
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