Jan
06

RECOMENDED READING: “Egypt Tries to Resolve Tensions Between Muslim Brotherhood and U.A.E.”

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The New York Times is reporting on the continuing conflict between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. The report begins:

January 3, 2013 CAIRO — The Egyptian government on Thursday remained mired in a dispute between the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s leading Islamist movement, and the United Arab Emirates, which this week said that it had arrested several Egyptians accused of forming a Brotherhood cell, stealing state secrets and conspiring with Brotherhood leaders in Egypt. Related A high-level Egyptian delegation that included the country’s intelligence chief flew to the United Arab Emirates this week to discuss the case of the imprisoned Egyptians, and to quiet escalating hostilities marked by accusations of meddling in each other’s internal affairs. The crisis has posed a challenge to Egypt’s president, Mohamed Morsi, a former leader of the Brotherhood, who represents a country trying to refresh its regional relationships while his critics continue to associate him with the Islamist group and its much narrower agenda. Complicating efforts to defuse the tension, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman in Cairo on Thursday accused individuals in the emirates of a ‘conspiracy’ to support members of Egypt’s deposed government. The spokesman, Mohamed Ghozlan, said he was not accusing the government of being part of the conspiracy, but rather individuals including the chief of police in Dubai, one of the Brotherhood’s loudest critics, and Ahmed Shafiq, a former Egyptian minister and presidential candidate who has taken up residence in the emirates. Mr. Ghozlan’s comments highlighted an atmosphere of deepening mistrust between the Brotherhood and leaders in the United Arab Emirates since the Islamist group took power after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. The monarchies of the Persian Gulf have reacted with growing alarm to the revolutions in Egypt and other Arab countries, defending against the spread of the uprisings by spending money to placate citizens and cracking down on dissidents. Officials in the emirates, which had close relations with Mr. Mubarak’s government, have leveled steady criticism at the Brotherhood, accusing it of ‘exporting’ the revolution. Last year, the authorities there arrested 60 people whom they accused of belonging to a local Brotherhood-affiliated movement and of trying to establish an Islamic state.  On Tuesday, a newspaper in the emirates, Al Khaleej, reported that the authorities had arrested more than 10 members of an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood cell. Citing an ‘informed source,’ the paper said an investigation into the group’s activities ‘over years’ revealed that they had held secret meetings, collected classified information and created front organizations to raise money that they sent to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the paper said.

Read the rest here.

A post from last week reported that that the UAE had arrested 10 people described as the leadership of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in that country.

post from November 2012 reported on further comments by the Dubai police chief accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of creating unrest in the UAE. As noted in that post,  Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan also said that UAE Muslim Brotherhood members who had been arrested had met with Kuwaiti Brotherhood “mentors”  including Kuwaiti Brotherhood leader Tariq Al-Suwaidan. In March, a post reported that that Tariq Al-Suwaidan had added his voice to the conflict between the UAE and the Global Muslim Brotherhood by warning that if the UAE followed through on its threat to arrest Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, “it would be a disaster” for the UAE.

A post from October reported on comments by the United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister in which he said that Gulf Arab countries should work together to stop the Muslim Brotherhood from undermining governments in the area. A post from late September reported that the Muslim Brotherhood in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had denied setting up an armed wing with the goal of seizing power. A post from late September reported on the trial in Abu Dhabi of what are described as “activists belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood” and who reportedly admitted that they have engaged in financial actives and communicated with “the international organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood and other bodies.” A post from April reported that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had detained six members of the local Muslim Brotherhood whose citizenship had been revoked on the basis of belonging to groups that fund terrorists. Earlier posts reported on allegations by the Dubai police chief that the Muslim Brotherhood is using social media to attack the UAE and his threat to arrest Qaradawi who criticized the UAE for revoking the visas of Syrians demonstrating against the regime in Damascus. Other posts have discussed comments by Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood leader Tariq Al-Suwaidan who appeared to threaten the UAE with “disaster” if Qaradawi was arrested.

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