Monday, November 20, 2006

Middle Finger Crime

The getting-worse-by-the-day Emirates Toady reports on the case of a British gentleman in court for allegedly flashing his middle finger at a local. I couldn't believe this story. Apparently this is the fifth 'middle-finger crime' incident to hit the courts in Dubai this year. People have been jailed and one was even deported for doing something that most people would not give a second thought to.

The Toady explains, for the benefit of us decency-challenged readers: 'Showing the middle finger - a Western gesture of insult and rejection - is considered tantamount to slander in the UAE.' Actually I did not know that. How can it be slander? Slander is a groundless or downright wrong verbal accusation made against someone. If what you said can be proved to be true, then no offence has been committed. In the case of middle-finger-waving, what are they presuming the finger-waver is saying? Something bad, no doubt. But what if it was justified by the actions of the other person? Sadly, the Emirates Toady report is lacking in detail: it states that the accused was asked whether he had any witnesses to support his claim that he was not waving his finger, but merely gesturing at his head to indicate to the other party that thinking about what he was doing would be a good idea. There is no mention of whether the 18-year-old local in his car with tinted windows had any witnesses.

Grrr...what a waste of time and money.

Also in today's Toady, Managing Editor Eudore R Chand makes a bid to take over where KT's Galadari left off. He's written a leader in which he claims that road tolls will make all our lives better. He seriously seems to think that the dhs 4 toll on part of Sheikh Zayed Road and the Garhoud Bridge will actually make a big difference to driving on these roads. Maybe it will, but it will be at the expense of total and utter gridlock on alternative routes like Al Wasl and Beach Roads, Emirates Road and the Maktoum Bridge and Shindagah Tunnel. For those who cannot or will not pay the toll, life will become even more of a nightmare than it already is.

Oops, that wasn't very positive was it? I hope the RTA will think again about this plan: Dubai needs serious alternative public transport infrastructure up and running before using tolls to drive people off the roads.

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