Paul Oberjuerge header image 2

Insulting Islam: One Month in Jail for Rocker

April 30th, 2014 · No Comments · Drugs, The National, Travel, UAE

If you are going to transit through the Gulf, some words of advice.

Don’t get drunk in public.

Don’t insult anyone based on their religion.

The drummer of the German heavy metal band Scorpions, an American named James Kottak, ran afoul of both concepts, and is about to complete spending a month in a Dubai jail.

Here is the first news story, which came after he already had been in jail for several weeks.

He was arrested while transiting through Dubai, from Moscow, on his way to Bahrain, where the Scorpions were going to play during the Bahrain Grand Prix. Well, I believe they did, just not with their regular drummer.

The National did a second story, about the thorny issue of drinking or being drunk while transiting through the UAE.

It is legal to drink on planes, and apparently the drummer had five glasses of wine on the plane in from Moscow.

Drinking illegally was one of the ancillary charges (in addition to insulting Islam) for which he was jailed.

The alcohol issue is a murky one here. It is legal to drink alcohol in many hotels in the UAE, without a license. And it is legal to drink on the plane that brought you in, as well as the plane taking you out.

Which led to an editorial in The National suggesting the statutes involved be updated and made clearer, to take into account, for example, transiting passengers.

Anyway, Kottak would have been in trouble because of the religious insults. Being drunk in the airport, even though the alcohol he consumed was given to him legally, made it worse.


0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment