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Brotherhood bites the hand that feeds: Dhahi
Khaleej Times
January 11, 2013

Dubai Police chief Lieutenant-General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim

Dubai Police chief Lieutenant-General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim has again lashed out at the Muslim Brotherhood in an interview to an Arabic newspaper and said they used the countries in which they were granted refuge to target the hosts themselves.

He also warned of the Iranian threat and alleged that Tehran interfered in the internal affairs of the GCC countries. In an interview to the London-based Asharq Al Awasat daily, the police chief said the group had a network across the Emirates which they had nurtured for 40 years.

"The UAE welcomed members of the Muslim Brotherhood who fled their countries. Some came as Muslim scholars, others as teachers and professionals. Our citizens were not aware of their intentions; they regarded them as clerics and ordinary people who were fled despots in their own countries, and offered them a safe haven here in the GCC."

They were accorded a warm welcome, but the late Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the then Saudi Interior Minister realised the trouble they were fomenting in our society. "We welcomed them, but unfortunately we found them inciting our people against us," he said.

Many members of the Muslim Brotherhood rose to high positions in their professions. "They were also hired in the Islamic Affairs and Awqaf (endowments), but unfortunately they set up cells and indoctrinated their students to turn renegades and rise against the rulers and the people who had welcomed them," Dhahi told Asharq Al Awasat.

He claimed the group had a solid organisational structure across the country. "In each Emirate, there is a man in-charge of the organisational structure of the group, a media person, a person responsible for families of the members as well as for integrated planning. They have set up charity wings and centres for girls. These were being done to spread their message and establish their goals at the appointed time."

Dhahi said he had gone on social networks to take on the propaganda of the Brotherhood, after the societies in which they live began to believe them. "UAE society knows that I am truthful. They (the Muslims Brotherhood) had reached the limit of ridiculing the government and institutions in UAE."

"Members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been appointed to many posts in the GCC countries and are attempting to bring down the governments and their departments into disrepute," he said.

He said in the interview that these members were discovered after many of them were appointed to high posts. These members hired others to sensitive positions. "We found out what they were up to and intervened in the recruitment processes." All this happened before the Arab Spring, the Dhahi added.

Several of their leaders have been blacklisted by the UAE, but he did not specify a number. "They cannot be trusted, they are cunning and deceptive," he said. He revealed in the interview that the organisation had held a meeting last month and, on its agenda, was a discussion on how to get rid of the Salafists from gaining a foothold in Egyptian politics.

"There is no room for any Islamic parties in the UAE. We have not given anyone permission to establish any Islamic party, and basically there is no party in Islam," he stated.

On the role of the Al Islah Association, he said it was a front for the Brotherhood. "We found some unacceptable practices and it has been shut out of the country for 15 years now," he told Asharq Al Awasat.

In reply to a question on who poses more danger to the security of the Gulf region - Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood, he asked: ``Why do you want a comparison? Both are dangerous. The Brotherhood had a timeframe, they plotted to overthrow GCC governments within seven years.”

Iran claimed its nuclear programme was for peaceful purposes, but information gathered on the plan paints a different picture. “Besides, Iran interferes in the internal affairs of the GCC states, and incites sectarianism. Therefore, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood are alike, and both are looking to export revolutions,” he said in the interview.

On Tehran`s long-standing ties to the Assad regime in Syria and its repercussion on the region, he said: ``Iran has nothing in its hands at the moment.”

Asked whether Iranian intelligence cells were discovered in the UAE, he said there is no country free from intelligence agencies.

Asked whether Iranian intelligence cells were discovered in the UAE, he said there is no country free from intelligence agencies.

© Copyright 2013 Khaleej. All Rights Reserved.

Dubai police chief warns of Muslim Brotherhood “scheme” to counterfeit currency
BBC Monitoring Middle East
January 11, 2013

Unattributed report: “Dahi Khalfan warns of Muslim Brotherhood`s scheme to counterfeit Arab Gulf currency”

HE Lt-Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, commander in chief of Dubai Police, has confirmed the failure of the Muslim Brotherhood`s schemes in the Arab Gulf region. He warned that the organization may resort to counterfeiting one of the Arab Gulf currencies to overcome its financial crisis. He also predicted that the crisis is likely to deepen and that the group`s efforts will be wasted within a few months.

The above statements were tweeted by His Excellency Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan on his Twitter account, on which he also issued a key warning that the Muslim Brotherhood may resort to currency counterfeiting. He tweeted: “Warning: The Muslim Brotherhood may resort to counterfeiting GCC currencies (a scenario expected in the wake of financial crises and potential bankruptcies).”

Concerning the Muslim Brotherhood affiliates who have been arrested in the country, his excellency wrote: “I do not know why they are called `the Muslim Brotherhood in the UAE`? The reality is that they are merely an organization of [money] collectors for their masters (in the Muslim Brotherhood) who have `forever` been experts in money plundering!”

HE Dahi Khalfan had written the following on 6 January: “Dear Gentlemen, today I bring you glad tidings that the schemes of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Gulf have failed and have been swept away to the `dustbin of history`.” He added that members of the Muslim Brotherhood will find themselves “in hot water” and that, in 2013, “their efforts will be wasted and they will fall off the face of the earth”.

Source: Al-Bayan website, Dubai, in Arabic 11 Jan 13

© 2013 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Kuwaitis financed Brotherhood members held in UAE -Kuwaiti media
January 11, 2013

KUWAIT, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Islamists held in the United Arab Emirates accused of planning to topple the government were financed by Kuwaiti nationals, Kuwaiti media reported on Friday, lending support to UAE fears of an international plot against its rulers.

The UAE, a major oil exporter, has detained more than 60 Islamists in the past year who it says belong to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group founded in Egypt in 1928 and which is banned in the Gulf Arab state, and who it accuses of planning to establish an Islamic state and operating an armed wing.

The UAE has repeatedly said that the detainees were receiving financial support from individuals in other Gulf Arab states, but had stopped short of naming those countries.

Several newspapers on Friday quoted Kuwaiti parliamentarians as saying Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah informed them at a confidential meeting held on Thursday that Kuwaiti nationals had been providing financial support to Muslim Brotherhood members in the UAE.

“Yes, there was financing coming from Kuwait,” Sheikh Jaber told the parliamentarians in the session, according to the Arabic-language daily al-Watan.

Sheikh Jaber gave no further details, al-Watan reported, adding only: “We can`t announce the names before they have been referred to the courts.”

The pan-Arab Asharq al-Awsat carried a similar report, quoting two MPs as confirming the prime minister`s comments.

A government spokesman in Kuwait was not immediately available to comment, nor were UAE officials available on Friday, the first day of the weekend in most Gulf Arab states.

The Muslim Brotherhood is not banned in Kuwait, which has the most open political system in the Gulf.

Thanks to its state-sponsored cradle-to-grave welfare systems, the UAE has avoided the unrest that has unseated autocratic Arab rulers elsewhere in the past two years, but it has come down hard on any sign of political dissent.

Local Islamists became emboldened by their counterparts` successes in other parts of the region during the Arab Spring, such as in Egypt and Tunisia, and made unprecedented use of social media to air their views.

In July, Dubai police chief Dhahi Khalfan warned of an international plot to overthrow Gulf Arab governments, saying the region needed to be prepared to counter any threat from Muslim Brotherhood sympathisers as well as from Syria and Iran.

Last week, local newspapers reported that the UAE had rejected a request by Egypt to free 11 of its citizens held on suspicion of training Islamists in how to overthrow governments.

Egypt`s Muslim Brotherhood said the men had been wrongfully arrested.

(Reporting By Mahmoud Harbi, Writing by Raissa Kasolowsky in Abu Dhabi; Editing by Sami Aboudi and Mark Heinrich)

© 2013 Reuters Limited

The Muslim Brotherhood: Between democracy, ideology and distrust
By Eid Mohamed
Asharq Al-Awsat (English Edition)
January 11, 2013

In Egypt`s parliamentary elections of November 2005, the Muslim Brotherhood won 88 of 454 seats, making it the largest opposition bloc in the country. The Brotherhood`s agenda at the time was characterized by a new emphasis on democratic reform. This agenda included demands widely backed by all strains of pro-democracy activists: changing legislation that allowed the imprisonment of journalists, granting independence to Egypt`s judges and canceling a 25 year-old emergency law.Now that the Brotherhood has risen to power, the history of its moderation - how it came to be seen as a democratic actor - is being questioned. The Brotherhood must respond by re-affirming its democratic bona fides not just in rhetoric but in actual practice. At this critical stage, it is important that the organization de-emphasize its ideological and organizational advantage and recognize that in a fragile process of democratization, even the perception of authoritarianism - regardless of a popular mandate - can be very damaging indeed.

In the political vacuum created by the Egyptian revolution, individual groups have often approached democracy not simply as an ideal to uphold, but as a means to achieve and sustain their power. Islamists and liberals alike are - naturally - trying to use democratic participation as a means to secure political gains. Detractors of each camp, meanwhile, point to ways in which the other is in fact “undemocratic.” Despite the Brotherhood`s electoral success, some Arab and Western journalists and intellectuals maintain that it is not and can never be a democratic actor. Islamists, on the other hand, argue that their opponents` failure to respect the group`s repeated successes at the polls proves they are not true democrats. If democracy is to genuinely and successfully take hold in Egypt, both Islamists and their rivals need to go beyond rhetoric formed by ideological confrontation.

To be sure, today`s problems are not caused simply by President Mursi`s actions or by the controversy over the country`s constitution, which was signed into law last month. They are the result of a wider political culture of cynicism and distrust. The extent of distrust often masks the similarities between these factions; Egyptian liberals and Islamists both believe Islam and even Islamic law are compatible with democracy. They both claim to champion and cherish democracy, but not enough to actually practice it. As the two camps become further polarized, an “us versus them” mentality is becoming so ingrained that it has become a serious threat to the social fabric and political life of post-Mubarak Egypt.

Following the latest decrees expanding President Mursi`s powers, some have again started to characterize him and the Brotherhood not just as flawed democrats, but militants, terrorists, and fascists - the old stereotypes of political Islam. Even after canceling the November decree that sparked recent protests, some opposition groups still see all measures taken by Mursi as “illegitimate.” On the other hand, Mursi and the Brotherhood continue to claim that there are any number of conspiracies against them. It has become routine for the group`s officials to insinuate, without a shred of evidence, that an opposition figure has been bought, is biased, or has a foreign agenda.

The Brotherhood has historically acted in a positive manner as a peaceful, non-violent mainstream organization that has worked intensely within the framework of democracy. If it wishes to maintain this image, the group will need to project its honest, peaceful, cooperative impulses. It can do this through four main efforts: engaging in genuine self-criticism and acknowledging recent mistakes, maintaining a record of keeping its protests peaceful, emphasizing the importance of societal dialogue and stating that the Muslim Brotherhood will not impose its interpretation of Islam on society. The process of defining a constitutional democracy is about more than the imposition of one group`s will through securing a slim majority.

The opposition, on the other hand, may need to re-evaluate their preconceived notions of democracy and participation. If Mursi fails to stick to promises he made during his campaign, this can be used to call people not to vote Brotherhood in the future. But at the moment all must abide by the rules of the democratic game. Some argue that no matter how democratic Islamists become, liberals and secularists will always view them as aggressive and totalitarian. Regardless of how these groups view Islamists, they should resist their impulse to reject all cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups. As part of this effort the Egyptian opposition should accept the new constitution that was approved by a majority in last month`s referendum. Egyptians have backed a constitution that has managed to deeply polarize the country - there is a need now to seek ways to end that polarization and provide the stability needed to help an extremely fragile Egyptian economy.

As the experience of Egypt`s first revolutionary parliament showed - before it was dissolved last June - politics will force both liberals and Islamists to work with each other on issues of concern to both parties. It may be unclear at this stage whether these efforts at cooperation will diminish current levels of polarization. Both Islamists and liberals should take into consideration, however, that there are new actors such as labor unions, employers` associations, revolutionary groups and other civil society groups which gained a sense of empowerment after the revolution. Often, it is these groups that are most able to cross ideological lines and truly represent social interests. They constitute the real revolution in Egyptian society, and provide an example that politicians would do well to follow.

© Copyright 2013. Asharq Al-Awsat. All Rights Reserved.


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