Eye-opening visit to Jumeirah Mosque
Man called police after son refused help
A father reported his son to police after failing to convince the 21-year-old to kick his heroin habit.
Prosecutors told Abu Dhabi Criminal Court that the dad told police the youth became hooked on drugs through peer pressure.
The court was told that the Emirati decided to turn his boy over to the police “because he wanted to protect him from the dangers of addiction and to save his social life and his job”, a prosecutor said.
“He said he had on several occasions tried to speak with his son to quit drugs but the young man refused.”
Official records stated that after getting information from the father, police went to the family’s home and arrested the young man, who works for an oil company.
Police found him in possession of heroin for consumption, it was claimed.
Prosecutors charged him with possession By Ismail Sebugwaawo and drug abuse. Medical tests revealed the man had consumed heroin.
In court, the Emirati admitted to using drugs, stressing that he started the habit a few years ago when he was 19.
“I am a drug addict, but I was fed up of using drugs and intended to quit the bad habit,” he testified.
“I told my father that I wanted to give up drugs but he instead reported me to police thinking that they might help me.”
The man told the judge he wants help to quit.
“I am asking for mercy,” he said. “Court should refer me to a rehab so I can be treated for addiction.” He admitted that he had made bad decisions. The trial was adjourned until September. ow does what happened in Orlando with the shootings fit in with the Muslim message of tolerance?”
That was the question an American tourist put to the tour guide at Jumeirah Mosque this week.
For a split second, the rest of the group held their breath wondering how this exchange will play out, especially given the jovial tone of the tour so far.
All eyes were on the female tour guide for her response.
She didn’t flinch before replying: “What happened in Orlando was not something that Muslims support.
“It’s similar to what happened in Norway when that man went on a killing spree a few years ago, that wasn’t something that Christians supported.”
That’s one example of the questions Muslims must face each day from ignorant people, and I’m including myself in that bracket.
Despite this, my first visit to a mosque since arriving in Dubai surpassed my expectations as I continue my quest to embrace the Holy Month.
The first news of the day was a little disappointing as the carpet was being relaid in the main mosque, which means access will be restricted, a sign perhaps of how busy the mosque has been throughout Ramadan.
Before entering the mosque there was a moment outside when I took off my shoes and leapt around like a bit of a fool because of the insane heat of the marbled ground.
The staff are quick to get us under control via a plastic mat that allows us to leave the marble ground in single file.
“You’ve heard about how Muslims go to heaven if they blow themselves up in a suicide bomb?” the guide says.
“There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, if we actually believed that would work don’t you think we would all be gone by now?”
It’s an answer that elicits more than a few laughs from the group and it goes some way to dispelling another lazy myth about Islam.
This is something of a beginner’s guide to what being a Muslim entails.
I’m told that the only real difference for the Mosque during the Holy Month of Ramadan is that it provides iftar and there is also tarawih, an extra set of prayers between iftar and suhoor. The whole experience is an education as my only previous interaction with Islam was a fiveminute phone call to the Muslim Centre in Belfast in my previous job when I reported on the appearance of anti-Muslim graffiti in a small town in Ireland.
It was no doubt the work of some bored 13-year-old who had watched too many episodes of 24.
“If the Muslim religion is all about tolerance, how do you explain Sharia Law?” asks another member of the group.
“There’s nowhere in Sharia Law that says it is okay to kill,” replies the guide.
Another fact that took me by surprise was that Muslims aren’t allowed to borrow money. I think back to all the times that I borrowed from friends until pay day and wonder about all the other little differences between cultures.
Then I hear the names of the prophets Adam, Moses, Abraham and Jesus and immediately think back to all those passages in the bible and how familiar those names are.
Maybe we’re not so different after all.