Apple CEO Tim Cook is one of the most vocal critics of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which, as Ramesh Ponnuru writes today, the technology honcho doesn’t totally understand. Ponnuru notes, as others have done in recent days, that Cook’s beef with the law is based on his erroneous belief that it gives businesses license to resist a state nondiscrimination law. It doesn’t, but that’s quite beside the point since Indiana, as Ponnuru points out, has no such law for businesses to resist in the first place. Even if the RFRA were repealed, businesses in the Hoosier State could continue to refuse service to gays, not to mention short people, fat people, Martians, or whomever else they chose to snub.
But Cook’s outrage is curious for a wholly different reason. As a self-appointed champion of gay rights, he should explain the deal he brokered with Saudi Arabia to open apple stores there late last year:
The United Electronics Company, better known as eXtra, has announced the opening of Apple’s first new generation stores in Saudi Arabia.
The Apple outlets will be located in eXtra’s shops in Riyadh and Al Khobar, the retailer said in a statement.
The Apple store openings follow successful three-year collaboration between the two companies, the statement added.
Apple will continue to provide the kingdom with products and solutions along with expert guidance from staff. A wide range of Apple accessories will be available at eXtra’s outlets in Riyadh (Alworood) and Al Khobar (Al Rakka).
Yet, as the Washington Post noted last year in a report on countries where homosexuality is punishable by death, under Saudi Arabia’s “interpretation of sharia law, a married man engaging in sodomy or any non-Muslim who commits sodomy with a Muslim can be stoned to death. All sex outside of marriage is illegal.”
This is not merely a law on paper but one that has been carried out, as recently as 2013 when a Yemeni national was executed and crucified for raping another man.
Apparently, for Tim Cook, business is business — unless it somebody else’s, in which case he is free to pass judgment.
(h/t Weasel Zippers)
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