Monday, March 16, 2009

Dubai Cracks Public Morality Whip; Will NYU President John Sexton Roll Over?

With questions still being raised -- and unaddressed -- regarding fiduciary shenanigans on the part of NYU President John Sexton as the construction of the school's Dubai campus continues, it's interesting to note some news.

According to this story published by the Daily Star in Lebanon:

Playing loud music, dancing, nudity, kissing and holding hands in public is considered inappropriate behavior under new guidelines laid down by the authorities of Dubai, a report said Saturday. Arabic-language daily Al-Emarat al-Youm said the Dubai Executive Council had urged residents of the city - which in days past has been termed "The Beirut of the Persian Gulf" - where foreigners make up more than 80 percent of the population, to respect the customs of the Muslim majority country and avoid inappropriate behavior.

The rules, which apply to all public places, include a ban on all forms of nudity, playing music loudly and dancing, exchange of kisses between men and women - and even on unmarried couples holding hands.

Any breach of the guidelines, by nationals or expatriates, carries a possible prison penalty, the paper said.

It's their nation, of course -- they can have whatever codes they wish to have. But since the UAE is supposedly paying for NYU's Dubai campus (though Sexton refuses to acknowledge any of the directions that money is going in, including his own pocket), the question is whether Sexton will continue to be the UAE's lapdog bitch if these rules, which aren't unspeakable (holding hands in public is a Western value, public sex is not), are actually a precursor to something scarier. Given how the man has lied to the Greenwich Village community repeatedly regarding preservation issues, I think we already have a good idea as to where he sticks his moral compass.

In other news, NYU's school daily, the Washington Square News, reports that George Mason University is terminating its UAE campus for various reasons, almost all economic.

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