Eye-open­ing visit to Jumeirah Mosque

Man called po­lice af­ter son re­fused help

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @is­mailsebu is­mail@7days.ae

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.

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