Religion in Society

Couple in UAE: 100 Lashes for "Unlawful Sex"

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Out-of-wedlock sex certainly has its consequences in the United Arab Emirates. A Filipina maid and her Bangladeshi lover will each receive 100 lashes for having sex.

The newspaper Gulf News said they were convicted of having "unlawful sex" in Sharjah, the third largest emirate in the UAE.

In addition to the lashing, the man will be jailed for a year for adultery and for entering the house belonging to the maid's sponsor without permission. Then he will be deported. The woman will be lashed and deported -- no prison.

Foreign workers in the UAE and most other Gulf states must be sponsored by an employer to work in the country. The couple had sex in the house of the woman's sponsor. The sponsor saw the man leaving and called police.

The two, who are both Muslim, reportedly admitted having sex. Muslim foreigners who commit adultery are lashed and deported, while non-Muslims are jailed and deported.

While the UAE strives to be an international financial hub for many westerners, critics say it is being held back by its insistence on enforcing strict Muslim laws. For example, unwed couples cannot hold hands or kiss in public, leading to high-profile arrests that damage the UAE's reputation as an open, relaxed society.