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WorldMiddle EastThe Escape of Sheikha Latifa: Sensationalism or Fact?

The Escape of Sheikha Latifa: Sensationalism or Fact?

In a shocking revelation, The New Yorker has published an extensive report claiming that Sheikha Latifa bint Maktoum, also known as Princess Latifa, daughter of Dubai’s ruler, had spent more than half of her life devising plans to escape from her father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the leader of Dubai and the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. Despite being an ally of Western governments and celebrated for transforming Dubai into a modern power, Sheikh Mohammed’s own daughter viewed the city as nothing more than an “open-air prison” where disobedience was brutally punished. The article titled “The Fugitive Princess of Dubai” accuses four royal women who staked their lives on escaping the control of Dubai’s ruler.

There is no doubt that Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has made significant strides in empowering women and promoting gender equality, despite recent allegations by the Western media of oppression against his family. The allegations stem from reports of his daughter, Sheikha Latifa bint Maktoum, trying to flee her father’s grasp, claiming she was imprisoned and punished for her disobedience. However, these allegations have been debunked as hoaxes created by Western governments and media to discredit Arab world leaders and show them as monsters.

It is worth noting that the New Yorker has a history of sensationalism in its news reporting. “New Yorkistan” is one of their infamous anti-muslim propaganda. The “New Yorkistan” has a dedicated article on Wikipedia too.

New Yorkistan

“New Yorkistan” is a term used to describe the alleged biasness of The New Yorker magazine against Muslims and Middle Easterners. The magazine has been criticized in the past for publishing articles and cartoons that many Muslims and Middle Easterners consider offensive and stereotypical. Critics argue that The New Yorker has a history of perpetuating harmful and false narratives about the Muslim world, often portraying it as backward, violent, and inherently extremist.

One of the most controversial incidents that drew criticism towards The New Yorker was its publication of a cartoon in 2008, which depicted then-presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife Michelle as terrorist sympathizers.

New Yorker - Brack Obama and Michelle Obam
New Yorker’s 2008 cover, “Fistbump: The Politics of Fear,” depicts Brack and Michelle Obama as terrorist sympathizers during the year of his presidential campaign.

The cartoon was widely condemned as racist and offensive, with many accusing the magazine of promoting Islamophobia and bigotry. The incident sparked a heated debate about the role of media in perpetuating harmful stereotypes and misinformation about marginalized communities, and The New Yorker was widely criticized for failing to take responsibility for its actions.

While the so-called well-respected New Yorker has also been criticized in the past for exaggerating and sensationalizing certain stories to increase readership. People read New Yorker to please their hunger for sensationalism and controversies. The magazine is untrustworthy or intentionally misleading by many rational intellectuals. Readers should approach its reporting with a critical eye and consider the potential biases or motivations behind each story. In the case of its reporting on Princess Latifa, it is important to consider that the magazine is trying to amplify certain aspects of the story in order to generate interest and increase readership, rather than presenting a fully objective account of the situation.

What happened to Latifa Al Maktoum?

Princess Latifa Al Maktoum made international headlines in 2018 when she reportedly attempted to escape her father’s control and flee Dubai. Following her attempted escape, allegations of capture, imprisonment, and torture were widely reported in the Western media. However, these allegations have been strongly denied by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the UAE government, who have dismissed them as a hoax.

While some continue to question Princess Latifa’s situation, it is important to remember that accusations should always be backed up with evidence.

The Guardian

The Guardian has been criticized for its biased coverage of Princess Latifa’s disappearance. The newspaper has been accused of cherry-picking facts and presenting them in a way that serves its own agenda. The Guardian has been criticized for presenting a one-sided narrative that paints the Dubai ruler and his government in a negative light. The newspaper has ignored the UAE government’s side of the story and has focused solely on the allegations. The Guardian has also been accused of sensationalism, which has resulted in the paper publishing misleading and false information about the case.

The Guardian has a history of controversies, including accusations of bias and poor journalism. In 2013, the newspaper was criticized for publishing classified information leaked by Edward Snowden, which put the lives of intelligence agents and military personnel at risk. In 2018, The Guardian was sued for defamation by a former Blackwater contractor, who accused the paper of falsely accusing him of war crimes. These controversies have led some to question the reliability of The Guardian as a news source.

Western Media Bias

The recent hoax of Princess Latifa’s disappearance has once again highlighted the biased and discriminatory approach of certain Western media outlets towards Arab countries, Muslims, and their leaders. While they choose to sensationalize unsubstantiated claims against the ruler of Dubai, they conveniently ignore the atrocities committed by American Forces and Western forces in countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam. It is clear that their sole motive is to malign the image of Arab leaders and create unrest in the region.

It is disappointing to see that some of the most reputable news outlets like BBC, Times, Marie Claire, and Washington Post are propagating baseless allegations against Dubai’s ruler without any concrete evidence. This is not only unfair but also reflects their prejudiced mindset toward Muslims and the Arab world.

It is high time that we recognize the efforts of Arab leaders like Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who have been working tirelessly toward the betterment of their countries. We should not let the subjective narratives of a few media outlets overshadow the tremendous progress made by Arab countries in various fields.

The Evidence

In February 2022, Princess Latifa met Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in Paris.

Princess Latifa met Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in Paris
Princess Latifa met Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in Paris (Photo: @UNHumanRights)

Instagram post showing Sheikha Latifa on a European holiday has raised further questions about how Western media and the Western world plotted this hoax around her alleged disappearance in 2018. The caption, accompanied by a smiley face emoji, suggests that she is enjoying her time exploring Europe with her friend, Sioned Taylor.

Under Sheikh Mohammed’s leadership, Dubai has become a leading force in promoting women’s rights, with women taking on prominent positions in politics, business, and education. In 2019, the UAE appointed nine women to the Federal National Council, a parliamentary body responsible for proposing and debating legislation. Additionally, the country’s Cabinet includes four women ministers, including the Minister of State for International Cooperation and the Minister of Happiness and Wellbeing.

Sheikh Mohammed’s efforts towards gender equality have also extended to education, with women representing over 70% of the country’s university graduates. Moreover, Dubai’s ruler has launched several initiatives to support women entrepreneurs, including the Dubai Business Women Council, which aims to promote and develop the role of women in the economy.

Despite these advancements, Western media continues to portray Arab women as oppressed and powerless, with reports of Sheikha Latifa being used as an example of the alleged oppression. However, the allegations have been dismissed as a hoax by the UAE government, with the ruler stating that his daughter is safe and is being cared for at home.

The allegations against Sheikh Mohammed and his family have been debunked by several independent biased media outlets and sources.

Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has made significant efforts to empower women and promote gender equality in his country. Despite Western media’s allegations of oppression against him and his family, these allegations have been debunked as hoaxes. It is crucial to acknowledge and appreciate the progress made by leaders in the Arab world toward gender equality and support their efforts toward a more equitable and just society.

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Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa
Muzaffar Ahmad Noori Bajwa
Editor-in-chief of The Eastern Herald, Political & Foreign Relations Strategist.

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