American Drummer Jailed for 'Insulting Islam'

James Kottak was drunk in Dubai airport, authorities say

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 30, 2014 12:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – Drunk and sweary is no way to go through a Dubai airport, a Scorpions member has discovered. James Kottak, the German heavy metal band's American drummer, was sentenced to a month in prison in the emirate for allegedly ranting about "non-educated" Muslims, giving the middle finger to fellow passengers, and exposing his buttocks while in transit between Moscow and Bahrain, reports the National. Witnesses say Kottak appeared drunk and shouted that he wouldn't travel with a group of Pakistani and Afghan passengers.

Kottak, 51, admitted drinking five glasses of wine on the flight from Moscow but denied all other charges, the BBC reports. He told authorities that he hadn't exposed his rear, but just "lifted my shirt up to show the tattoo on my back" as a "spontaneous act." There is "no way that I would say such a phrase about Muslims, whether I was drunk or not," he told police, according to court records. "I confess to drinking alcohol but I refuse the other two charges, I did not do them." He is expected to be deported when he finishes his sentence.

Scorpions drummer James Kottak takes a selfie during a press conference.   (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
James Kottak, drummer of the German rock band Scorpions, gestures during a concert in La Paz, Bolivia.   (AP Photo/Juan Karita, File)
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