UAE Detains Local Muslim Brotherhood Members


U.K.-based media covering Arab Affairs are reporting that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have detained six members of the local Muslim Brotherhood whose citizenship had been revoked on the basis of belonging to groups that fund terrorists. According to an Alarabonline report:

The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday detained six Islamists whose citizenship had been revoked for alleged links to groups that fund terrorists, their lawyer said. The six men “were summoned by the interior ministry and told that they have two weeks to get new nationality and legalise” their presence in the country, Mohammed al-Roken said. “They refused because this would be an impossible task and because they will always consider themselves UAE nationals,” Roken added. The lawyer said the men were currently being held in Shahama prison, near the capital Abu Dhabi. An immigration official quoted in Al-Khaleej newspaper said that the six were put in custody because they had “refused to legalise their status.” Colonel Ahmed al-Khader told the daily they had violated UAE law by failing to sign a document pledging to acquire new citizenship within a government-set time frame of two weeks. The UAE revoked the Islamists’ citizenship in December last year for allegedly threatening the Gulf state’s security and safety, a rare move for the emirate. At the time, the UAE said the six naturalised citizens were being stripped of their nationality because they “had perpetrated… acts threatening the national security of the UAE through their connection with suspicious regional and international organisations and personalities.” They said some of the organisations were linked to entities mentioned in UN lists to combat terrorist financing. The six had originally carried the nationalities of other countries and were naturalised between 1976 and 1986. All of them have identified themselves as members of the UAE’s Reform and Social Guidance Association, which is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Some claimed to have signed a petition calling for political reforms which was launched by UAE intellectuals and activists in March 2011. The UAE, a federation of seven emirates led by oil-rich Abu Dhabi, has not seen any popular protests calling for reform like those that have swept other Arab countries, including nearby Bahrain and Oman.

For background on the Muslim Brotherhood in the UAE, go here.

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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