I was recently in the UK, and pleased to hear the UK clamping down on sexual harassment in clubs and bars. I’ll admit that I was quite shocked to hear the interviews especially from the girls who had had tops pulled down, been groped, and had to think about wearing cycling shorts under skirts to stop wandering hands. The interviews though came from men and women alike. The one thing that stuck with me was the encouragement to report the incidents when they happened and how to deal with them as well.
My previous visit to the UK had me hearing about the steps being taken to stop bullying, stalking and other types of online harassment as well. Again, the things people have had to endure beggared belief at times, and it was great to hear finally the UK Police and courts having more powers to be able to deal with this as well as encouraging reporting of all incidents.
I have come back to Dubai, my home of 27 years now, and find all over the UK media the sorrowful story of a poor British man who has been unjustly jailed and held in the country with his passport confiscated. I have then endured the usual torrade of abuse directed at Dubai, and patiently waited for more on the story to come out. I have rarely seen one of these stories about the poor innocent Brits not turned out to have a whole dimension missed by the UK press, and yet again this appears to be the case. Whilst originally reported that the accused innocently touched a man in a busy bar, it has since come to light that he grabbed the man’s buttocks, insulted him whilst then signaling the famed single finger salute.
So in short, this ‘innocent Brit” sexually assaulted a man, whilst drunk in a bar, then bullied him and insulted him in a public way.
How then, whilst all this is having millions spent on prevention in the UK, can the UK press leap to his defence and deride the Dubai authorities, when this is exactly the type of behaviour that has become common place in the UK, and widely accepted, and yet being so publicly proclaimed as unacceptable and should be reported.
I now am very much in the “Fake News” camp, and for those who critique Dubai on its apparent double standards, take a good long look at yourselves in the UK. The UK has so many issues now from knife crime, with 50 deaths so far in London 2017 through to sexual assaults and bullying…hardly the utopia to criticize Dubai, a place that works hard to maintain the feeling of public safety and very clear lines between what is acceptable and unacceptable where public behaviour goes.