Quite often people I know in conversation trot out the classic ‘What about the UAE, isn’t that an example of an Islamic nation that works and is decent?’
At one point I thought it was. The odd vicious and brutal torture by a prince of a grain merchant seemed … isolated incidents and not really a cause to strike them off the happy place list.
Here is an article from The Daily Mail UK about some fairly classic Islamic jurisprudence being carried out in the UAE at the moment…..
Eeyore for Vlad:
The daughter of a British engineer has been jailed in the United Arab Emirates after being accused of sleeping with her boss.
Roxanne Hillier is serving a three-month sentence following her arrest at a dive shop where she worked in Sharjah.
The 22-year-old was asleep in a room above the store when police broke down the door and arrested her.
Jailed: Roxanne Hillier was arrested in the dive shop where she worked after police broke down the door
It was claimed she was having an affair with the shop owner, an Emirati, who was downstairs at the time.
Miss Hillier was also accused of being alone in the same room with him.
Although the 22-year-old endured ‘humiliating’ medical tests to prove no sexual contact had taken place, she was convicted over the alleged affair last week.
The dive shop boss received a six-month sentence even though he also denied the relationship.
Miss Hillier’s case is the latest in a string to highlight the United Arab Emirates strict laws on sexual relationships.
In separate cases, British women, Sally Antia, 44, and Marnie Pearce, 40, have both been jailed for adultery in Dubai.
Sharjah is arguably the most conservative state in the UAE.
Even being alone in a room with a man other than a relative – which Miss Hillier was also accused of – is considered a crime.
Her father Freddie said his daughter signed a confession, written in Arabic, which she did not understand.
She later retracted the statement, but the case went ahead.
Enlarge Strict: The Crystal Plaza shopping mall in Sharjah city
‘They were shouting at her in Arabic,’ he said. ‘She was scared and made the mistake of bowing to pressure. She thought that was going to get her off.
He added: ‘We believed it was aimed at the boss of the place.My daughter was caught in the crossfire.’
Miss Hillier, who has South African citizenship, moved to Sharjah in November last year, where she lived in an apartment in the town of Khorfakkan on the east coast.
She had only been staying at the diving shop while her house was renovated.
Her family, including her sister Maxine who works as a dive instructor in Abu Dhabi, have visited her in jail and said she was being treated well.
‘My wife and I feel very guilty that we have failed our kids,’ Mr Hillier said. ‘They went there to live their dream which has turned into a nightmare.
‘We encouraged her – these were their first jobs and it sounded great. Roxanne went for it and she was very happy there.
‘She said she loved her job, loved her clients but unfortunately in Sharjah to love seems to be a crime.’
Miss Hillier grew up in South Africa and Tanzania, where she qualified as a diving instructor.
Her case is due to go before an appeal court at the weekend.
Sharjah is the third largest emirate in the UAE. It has a population of over 800,000 and is the only one to have land on both the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
It is ruled by Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi.