In what I believe to be the first action of its kind, an Emirati lawyer has filed an official lawsuit against an Arab satellite television station broadcasting from outside the UAE's borders on the grounds that its broadcast of a video clip violated public decency standards. The lawyer who filed the suit, Issa Abdullah Bin Haydar, declined to tell al Arabiya which station had been the target of the suit (*ahem* LBC *cough* .. no really, I don't know....).
On one level, this fits perfectly into the "Nancy Ajram Culture Wars" which has been an increasingly prominent theme of this blog (ever since I finished my book...) - the battles over popular culture between Islamists and cultural conservatives, on the one hand, and the enormously popular video clips and the sexy young pop singers (of both genders).
At another level, it raises potentially hugely important questions about jurisdiction and legal powers with regard to the ever more powerful Arab satellite television stations. If a lawyer in the UAE can sue LBC (or whoever) because it aired a video with a naked girl in a bathtub, why couldn't Iraqis, say, sue al Jazeera in an Iraqi court for allegedly inciting violence, or Jordan sue al Jazeera in a Jordanian court for allegedly insulting the royal family (a crime in Jordan).
I find both levels fascinating: the cultural struggle over the portrayal of sexuality and youth culture more generally, and the legal/political struggle over the Arab media. I don't *only* keep blogging these things because I *ahem* "find Lebanese girls disarming", as a certain frequent commentor would have it!
UPDATE: everyone else, they don't have my high minded excuse!