Dubai Police go after culprits Filed on May 26, 2008

DUBAI — The Dubai Police yesterday said its personnel have arrested several men and women for cross-gender dressing and harassment.

Those arrested have been referred to the Dubai Public Prosecution, said Major-General Khamis Mattar Al Mazina, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police. Addressing a Press conference to announce a one-week public awareness campaign called ‘Preserve our social values’ being held in collaboration with the Juvenile Association, Al Mazina said the campaign was to preserve social values, specifically to combat the growing phenomenon of cross-gender dressing by both men and women.

Lieutenant-General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, has instructed various police stations to intensify campaigns in markets and shopping malls and take legal action against those who dress like opposite sexes and harass people, he said.

Lt-Gen Dhahi Khalfan said: “We have noted an emerging trend of men dressed as women and vice-versa in the UAE markets and streets.” He affirmed that the police would take legal action against such people who damage the social values in the country. “Several men in women’s dresses and make-up have already been arrested from shopping malls and residential buildings,” he added.

He called upon the media and religious and educational institutions to spread awareness about this unnatural behaviour that violates Islamic values. He also called upon the Ministry of Social Affairs to study the reasons behind the trend and recommend solutions. “Co-education could be one of the reasons behind this,” he opined.

The campaign targets youth, parents and teachers.

Psychiatrist Dr Mohammed Murad said people who indulge in cross-dressing suffer from genetic disorders, but could also be influenced by odd behaviour witnessed around them. He attributed such changes in society to co-education, Internet explosion and technology.

Dr Nadia Al Badri, psychologist at the Ministry of Education, said the phenomenon is due to sexual discrimination, while housemaids also play a major role in determining the behavioural patterns in children.

The campaign will also be discussed during the Friday prayers on May 30 while slogans will be printed on Dewa bills, DNRD transaction documents and Union Cooperatives’ bags.

Mohammed Suhail from the Department of Islamic Affairs said that they would try to raise awareness among students who do not know the behaviour is prohibited in Islam.

Amira Agarib

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