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The big fat joke

The big fat joke

A Virgin Radio DJ has learned the hard way that religious-jokes don’t go down well in the UAE

October 26, 2008 12:35 by

Revin John, A Dubai-based, Virgin Radio DJ was fired last week for making an offensive joke on-air. The South African DJ, who moved to Dubai in the summer, was fired for ‘mocking religion and impersonating God’ on air, according to an official statement released by the Arabian Radio Network, the umbrella company.

The radio station received numerous complaints from listeners who were offended by the DJ’s comments. One caller, Mariam Zarouni, a chemical engineering student at the American University of Sharjah, called the group soon after hearing the joke broadcast: “When somebody crosses the line, then you have to defend your religion,” she said in an interview with Gulf News. “Honestly… how can he do this? We’re in a Muslim country. But even Christians would take offense to that. You can’t insult God.”

Obviously, what the DJ interprets as being insulting to God varies from the local interpretation. If Revin had known the offense his comments would have caused, it is unlikely he would have said them. Clearly, he lacks the local perspective, which, being a DJ in Dubai, should have been mandatory before being been allowed on air.

In fact, John’s dismissal raises an important issue: Rather than firing the DJ for not knowing any better (although judging by the joke, which Kipp will not repeat, he really should have), why not reprimand the host company, which bears the ultimate responsibility for educating its foreign recruits?

The bottom line is that Virgin Radio hired a DJ who doesn’t have local knowledge. The issue of accountability, however, has been overshadowed by the severity of the DJ’s blunder. 

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  1. mounir on October 27, 2008 7:33 am

    stay away from religion, and politics; and you will be fine. all humanity will be fine.

    revin should’ve known that.

  2. sheraz hussain on October 27, 2008 7:41 am

    All religions teach tolerance of what others practise.
    I guess John embodies what took place in South Africa and what is happening till today there. It all about the upbringing and education one has.

  3. Serene on October 27, 2008 8:09 am

    The gentleman is a mature working professional. Companies in Dubai do not need to spoon feed professionalism to those who claim years and years of experience. The presenter admittedly “did due dilligence” on the country and its culture – part of what anyone moving to any such job should.
    I dont understand how he missed the “dont critisize God” component; especially that such a rule, on various occasions, transcends borders – it is a collective no-no.

    I think people should start taking responsibility for what they do as he did – i congratulate him for that. and i dont believe any company should be accountable for such a mistake.

  4. Duncan on October 28, 2008 7:11 am

    Think you will find his name is Revin John not John Revin


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