Conflict & Justice

Brit faces jail for 'insulting Islam' in the UAE

uae-insult-islam.jpg

An Emirati man riding a camel passes by foreigners sunbathing on a beach in the Gulf emirate of Dubai.

Credit:

KARIM SAHIB

"When will we finish with the damn mosques?" a British engineer living in Abu Dhabi reportedly said during a meeting with co-workers. Now he's defending himself in an Abu Dhabi court. 

The National, a local English-language daily, said the engineer is leading a project to plant a garden around a local mosque. The newspaper says the project was moving slowly, so the defendant lost his temper: 

The judge asked him: "So your keenness on completion drove you to curse?"

The conservative UAE has a history of cracking down on the many foreigners who live there for indecent or "un-Islamic" behavior.

In 2010, a British woman was arrested in Dubai after reporting a rape, the Guardian reports. Later that same year, another British woman was arrested for wearing a bikini at a Dubai mall, according to the Telegraph

More from GlobalPost: 'Flash mob' storms airport in Dubai