“Will the defendant please rise.”
James Kottak, drummer for the Scorpions, was released from a Dubai prison after serving 30 days in custody for public intoxication. His official charge: insulting Islam and drinking alcohol without a license.
Kottak allegedly consumed five glasses of wine on the flight between Moscow and Dubai. Upon arrival, he exited the wrong corridor and was arrested for public drunkenness. Witnesses say Kottak became angry, flipped off the arresting officer and lowered his trousers exposing a tattoo.
Witnesses also claim that Kottak made derogatory remarks about Muslims to which Kottak denied saying, “I did not curse Muslims or Islam. I would never do such a thing even if I was drunk.”
Kottak’s return to the band is questionable. The Scorpions posted the following statement in response to the incident:
“James Kottak boarded a plane out of Dubai and arrived in the US last night. He will have to find the time to sort out his problems.”
Sort out his problems? The problem of drinking wine in Russian airspace and not sobering up before greeting the UAE morality police? How un-metal.
Hair bands and their drummers are supposed to be bawdy and raucous. They are supposed to rebel against rigid social systems, shake up the establishment and take it to the mutaween; not wax apologetic for getting tipsy on a few glasses of Merlot.
The Scorpions appear to be at a crossroads: ditch the drummer and continue to play gigs in big oil, Islamic nation-states or keep Kottak and go back to performing power ballads at county fairs and air shows.
What would not make news in this country where underage pop stars race Lamborghinis down cosmopolitan streets and rappers brawl with their sister-in-law in hotel elevators gets 30 days in a country controlled by Sharia.
With Sharia, the definition of public intoxication is largely at the discretion of religious police. So if one gets caught drinking alcohol in access at a hotel bar and takes a cab, you still run the risk of being arrested for public intoxication, fined 5,000 Dirham (Dh) and face up to five years of prison.
Most likely James Kottak had to have been given a briefing on Dubai’s strict morality laws prior to the band’s arrival. True, sovereign states determine their own laws and visitors must abide by them. But it is this style of institutionalized morality that Sharia supremacists want enforced upon all of Western civilization. What free societies view as an act of foolishness, caliphs view as criminal.
There is a movement among Islamic supremacists to codify Sharia law into secular jurisprudence; making personal choice subject to the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Community activists posing as public morality and chastity police already enforce Sharia-controlled zones in France, Great Britain and Canada. Vigilantes patrol the streets threatening “hellfire” and violence to passersby found holding hands, consuming alcohol or dressing provocatively.
In this country Arizona, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee and Kansas have all taken measures to ban Sharia law in their states despite pressure from Islamic advocacy groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Center for American Progress.
Most Westerners share a tolerance for tipsiness and exercise common sense when dealing with legitimate threats to public safety. Sharia may view public intoxication as an affront to Islam, but society under the influence of Sharia has proven far more toxic.