x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Comic Con parking needed superhuman skills

Readers' letters also discuss roadside prayers, casting spells and raising the price of cigarettes.

The parking situation at Comic Con required prodigious patience, one reader says. Sarah Dea / The National
The parking situation at Comic Con required prodigious patience, one reader says. Sarah Dea / The National

The article entitled Dangers in stopping for prayer (April 21) may have been well intended, but any true Muslim certainly realises the greater danger in not stopping for prayer.

My thanks and respect go to the Abu Dhabi police, who have demonstrated respect for worshippers, in realising that stopping to pray is not the same as unexcused stops that disrupt traffic. My respect also goes to Col Jamal Al Ameri, of the Abu Dhabi Police Traffic department, who stated police have no problem with people who stop to pray, and he offered advice to keep their vehicles well off the motorway and to use their hazard lights while stopped.

My admiration goes out to the Muslim who stated that he had no fear of being hit by cars, and my respect is great for the Hindu man who stated he does not mind waiting for his fellow Muslims to stop to pray. My concern is for Dr Abdulilah Zineddin, a road-safety expert, who stated that praying on the road is "an accident waiting to happen". Dare I ask him for the statistics?

Might I suggest to him that he observes prayer at all necessary times, instead of looking for the excuses that people should not stop to pray; and then, perhaps, his viewpoint will change. Might I also suggest periodic prayer stations along the roads - something as simple as small designated stop areas.

Salee' Amina Mohammed, Abu Dhabi

Ignoring safety measures is risky

So this person blames accidents on new drivers and women (Taxi driver says faith, not a seat belt, will save him in crash, April 15). Really?

He once was a new driver, how many people did he kill?

Yajnesh Rao, Dubai

No such thing as casting spells

If this woman could really cast spells, don't you think that she would have used her "powers" on the police who arrested her and on the judge? (Sri Lankan woman could face death if found guilty of casting spell on Saudi girl, April 20 ).

Come on, people, there is no such thing as a spell. Your daughter is acting strangely because she's 12, not because of anything else.

Name withheld by request

Comic Con parking farcical

It would have taken a real super-hero find a parking spot at Comic Con in Dubai this weekend. (Our guide to the first Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC), April 17).

We were unable to get into the parking area because we were told it was "full". So we were directed to an area of sand to park on which was beyond a high kerb, hence only suitable for 4x4s and certainly not sports saloons (unless you don't value the underside of your car and wheels).

Ruth McKennell, Dubai

Cheaper cigarette brands will profit

While raising the prices might have an effect on underage smoking, the effect will still be limited (Cigarettes to double in price from August, April 18).

In fact, this may have a positive affect on cheaper brands, as it will raise the demand for them from those who can no longer afford the higher end cigarettes.

So what will most likely happen is a balancing out of sorts, where the more expensive brand sales will drop slightly, but cheaper brands will see stronger sales.

Ahmed Al Hashemi, Abu Dhabi


Evil action by 'ordinary' people

Hannah Arendt used the phrase "Banality of Evil" in the title of her 1963 book, Eichmann in Jerusalem. Her written contention was that evil is committed not by psychopaths and extremists but by ordinary men and women, sometimes children, trained to accept that the systematic brutality and the ultimate violation of human rights are normal, routine and acceptable within an organised military, political, religious or other grouping.

This fact is proved time and time again as thousands of civilians are killed each year by armies or militias embroiled in conflicts around the world.  Within these forces are always those who kill upon order.

These belligerents will dehumanise the enemy in order to kill them without hesitation.

In the recent past, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, Lebanon, Sudan, Rwanda and Chechnya amongst many other countries, organised armies and militias carry out massacres apparently legally under international law and using the pretext of "collateral damage" or "human shields" when non-combatants are also killed.

Sadly, Eichmann, the Nazi murderer, was one of many "ordinary" men who became a savage killer on the orders of another "ordinary" man who sported a uniform.

The counterparts of these people exist still today.

Douglas Reed, UK