A security officer working for a five-star hotel in Dubai has been charged with blasphemy after publicly insulting Christianity and its followers during a Christmas party held in December last year. In addition to the Emirati officer, two other hotel employees were brought to court for other charges related to the incident.
As reported by the Gulf News, the incident happened on December 25 during a party at the hotel. At the event, the security officer reportedly stepped on-stage and openly mocked Christianity. Aside from saying that Christians will go to hell, he also used offensive gestures while insulting the religion.
However, as he was speaking during the event, an Egyptian who also worked at the same hotel as a manager was recording the incident using his smartphone. He then forwarded to clip to the hotel's Sudanese manager, who then uploaded to video to his social media account.
After seeing the clip, the Emirati officer then filed a complaint against the two managers for violating his privacy. He also added that he was just joking and the video of him taken during the Christmas party had been altered by the managers before posting it online.
"He also alleged that he made an indecent gesture," a police officer said during a hearing held by the Dubai Criminal Court. "In his complaint the Emirati alleged that his Egyptian colleague recorded his words and action on his phone."
"He claimed that he was surprised later that the recording had been posted on the social media and had been edited sarcastically...that caused his embarrassment."
According to the officer, the Egyptian manager forwarded the video of the Emirati officer to the Sudanese manager using WhatsApp.
After looking into the matter, the Dubai Criminal Court ruled that the three individuals committed different offenses. For the Emirati, it was blasphemy. The two managers, however, were charged with violating the officer's privacy and spreading blasphemous content to the public.
Despite setting the charges, the court will still look into the matter and the three are scheduled to appear in another session on March 27, according to The National.