SEOUL — WHEN A BRITISH COUPLE was arrested in July this year for having sex on a Dubai beach, it was perhaps not a symbol of the Islamic nation’s moral heavy-handedness. A recent New York Times piece by Michael Slackman, and an accompanying photo slideshow, paints the emirate as an honest place where people are left to their own devices — to go to the mosque, to drink beer, to dance, to hire prostitutes.
Two commenters (so far) on the the NYT’s Lede blog, which had a short post explaining the article, lauded this freedom as the reason Dubai has not given roots to terrorism, and credited the emirate for improving the image of Muslims.
Others were less than pleased:
Reporter Wayne Arnold says Singapore’s reforms have largely been driven by the same reasoning by which Dubai has chosen not to wield the stick of the Shari’a–because it wants to be a world player: