James Kottak, the American drummer for popular German rock band the Scorpions, was recently arrested in Dubai for making anti-Islamic comments. Known for popular hit songs like Send Me An Angel, Rock You Like a Hurricane and New Generation, the band an its members are known around the globe.
What happened on April 3rd?
According to The National, a government newspaper in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stated that James was intoxicated at the airport and was waiting to board a plane to Bahrain. In his intoxicated state, he allegedly became belligerent and frequently complained of a bad smell in the airport. It is believed that he went on to insult Islam and mooned other passengers who were present at the airport terminal. A airline staff member also testified at the Kottak trial that he flipped off several passengers in the airport. In addition, a customer service employee at the Dubai International Airport reported that upon seeing Afghan and Pakistani passengers in the airport, Kottak covered his nose and insisted that he would not travel with them on the plane to Bahrain.
Some reports also claim that Kottak complained about ‘uneducated Muslims’ and behaved offensively in front of the other passengers who traveling to Bahrain.
Kottak was arrested on April 3rd while traveling to Bahrain from Russia. Upon arrest, he was charged with drinking without a license (a necessity in the UAE) and was fined an amount of 2,000 Dirhams (£320 or $550). Additionaly, Kottak was given a one month jail sentence in Dubai.
The Scorpions band had a scheduled gig at a Formula One race on April 5th, but James Kottak did not appear in the concert as he was under judicial custody.
Kottak’s confessions: His version
At the trial, Kottak admitted to being drunk at the premises but pleaded not guilty to the other allegations, especially the anti-Islamic sentiments he allegedly expressed. At the trial, Kottak reported that he and his friend had recently arrived from Moscow and were waiting for their bus when they accidentally ended up in the transit section of the airport.
Kottak added that he did not curse nor badmouth Islam or Muslims and vehemently denied that he would say anti-Islamic things, even if he was under the influence of alcohol. He added that he did not use foul language or flip the middle finger to the other passengers and merely lifted up his shirt to show his tattoo. Kottak’s lawyers and manager could not be reached for a comment. The rock band drummer continues to deny the anti-Islamic and offensive behavior charges, although he openly admitted to being drunk in a largely conservative society of the UAE.
Other celebrates with racist incidents
Several instances of racial or religious discrimination came to light after this incident when Donald Sterling made racist comments to his mistress and told her to avoid ‘associating with black people’ publicly. Other celebrities who were in the limelight for racial reasons include Mel Gibson, John Wayne, Paula Reed, Charlie Sheen, John Mayer and Paris Hilton.
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