UAE gets medieval on women, gays
FORGET about whether a company owned by the United Arab Emirates should be able to take over six American seaports because of homeland security concerns, this company couldn't even get a contract to manage a federal housing project because of its archaic, almost medieval position on rights of women, children, gays, workers and immigrants. Hell, because of its shabby history on human rights, it couldn't even manage a McDonald's.
Here's how the interview would go between a Department of Housing and Urban Development official (Miss Hud) and a UAE company executive:
Miss Hud: Now, it says here, Mr. Dubai, that your company would like to manage one of our low-income housing projects. Now, you understand that in this country, you have to treat everyone equally.
Mr. Dubai: Of course.
Miss Hud: So, you know that if a young woman applies for an apartment, you must rent it to her.
Mr. Dubai: Absolutely. First I check with her father or husband, and if he says OK, the apartment is hers.
Miss Hud: But the decision isn't up to the woman's husband or father.
Mr. Dubai: I see. Then I get permission from her brother.
Miss Hud: No, she doesn't need permission from a man.
Mr. Dubai: No? How strange.
Miss Hud: So, let's say a woman applies for a unit and she's pregnant. What do you do?
Mr. Dubai: Is she married?
Miss Hud: Not necessarily.
Mr. Dubai: Easy question. If she's not married, we flog her. After she has the baby.
Miss Hud: You flog her for being unmarried and pregnant?
Mr. Dubai: Of course. But we aren't savages. According to UAE law, when flogging a woman, the man who swings the whip uses only his forearm.
Miss Hud: Mr. Dubai, you can't flog women in America for being pregnant.
Mr. Dubai: You can't? How strange. What can you flog them for?
Miss Hud: You can't flog them for anything.
Mr. Dubai: Hah. Surely if the woman is, how you say, a harlot or prostitute, 200 lashes would be appropriate.
Miss Hud: No, Mr. Dubai. You can't flog women. Period.
Mr. Dubai: OK. No flog women. Got it. Next question.
Miss Hud: Say a gay man applied for an apartment.
Mr. Dubai: A man who say he make the sex with another man?
Miss Hud: Yes. You wouldn't flog him, right?
Mr. Dubai: Of course not. He go to prison.
Miss Hud: Prison!
Mr. Dubai: Oh, just for five years. We are cutting these fellows a break these days.
Miss Hud: You put men in prison for having sex with other men?
Mr. Dubai: Oh no. If we catch a man making sex with another man, they are put, more or less, to death. If they talk about it, it's only five years.
Miss Hud: Sir, we don't put people to death in America because of their sexual orientation.
Mr. Dubai: No? How strange.
Miss Hud: These housing projects have a lot of children. Their treatment is very important.
Mr. Dubai: Of course. First we find the little ones with good balance. Then we send them to our country to be camel jockeys.
Miss Hud: You can't use children to race camels.
Mr. Dubai: True. Not all children. Some work in factories. Only lucky ones get to race camels.
Miss Hud: Let's move on. As manager of a housing project, how will you deal with the unionized maintenance workers?
Mr. Dubai: No flogging, right?
Miss Hud: Right.
Mr. Dubai: Then we fire everybody and bring in workers from New Delhi. Pay them 47 cents an hour. Save lots of money for federal housing projects.
Miss Hud: Excuse me, Mr. Dubai, I have to take this phone call. Yes. Well, Mr. Dubai, that was my boss in Washington, D.C. Apparently you have friends in high places. Congratulations, you are now in charge of managing all of our federal housing projects. Now promise, only use of the forearm in flogging unmarried pregnant women, right?
Mr. Dubai: Right. Absolutely. So, do you have a note from your husband saying you are allowed to work here. No? How strange.
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