UAE bans Guy Fawkes masks… really
November 21, 2012
In the UAE it is now illegal to wear a Guy Fawkes mask, the iconic symbol of the international hacktivist collective known as Anonymous. The clear implication of the new law is that the UAE government fears the power of the mask, and the Anonymous collective the mask represents.
On November 17, Gulf News reported that government authorities made the Guy Fawkes mask illegal in anticipation of December 2, which is National Day in the UAE. Any person found wearing a Guy Fawkes masks risks being taken into custody for police questioning.
The report cites a Dubai Police official who stressed the negative connotations of the mask, saying:
“Using any symbol that insults the country or instigates unrest against its system is not allowed. We urge citizens to celebrate using other symbols such as national flags, slogans or photos that are more appropriate to the happy occasion of National Day.”
Anonymous, and the Guy Fawkes mask, became a prominent feature of the Arab Spring uprisings. As a result, the mask is now a symbol of rebellion against tyrannical governments and regimes across the region, and across the world.
It’s not the mask they should be afraid of; it’s the idea behind the mask!