UAE’s Islamist opponents hide behind walls

ABU DHABI: A United Arab Emirates newspaper has commented on the links between individuals and organisations that have conducted systematic attacks on the policies and people of the UAE.

“The UAE conducts its domestic and foreign policy openly, not in secret, the English language daily ‘The National’ said today, following investigation it conducted and published yesterday, detailing the extensive links between some media organisations in the UK and the Muslim Brotherhood “The least we should expect is that our critics are similarly open about their motivations, sympathies and sources of funding.

The twin criticisms of the UAE often made by Islamist supporters hinge on the trial of 94 Emiratis accused of membership of Islah and the country s support for Egypt s post-Morsi government.

Take each in turn, the paper explained, the trial of the 94 went on for months, all conducted in public. The court went to extreme lengths to make sure that reporters were present and accommodated.

There was no political interference. All the while, journalists were free to move around the country and interview sympathisers as did Rori Donaghy, one of the activists mentioned in the investigation. No one obstructed his entry into the UAE nor his free movement around it. Contrast that with the behaviour of critics of the country, claiming to be interested purely in “human rights” while paying members of the public to picket the UAE s embassy in London.

“On Egypt, the support of the UAE has been public and clearly expressed. Nor is it done for solely nationalist reasons. The UAE has spent millions on Egypt s stability, aware of its responsibility to the Arab world s largest country. At a time of such chaos in the region, it is extraordinary to attack the UAE for seeking to minimise instability,” the paper added.

“And yet such are the views of Islamists that they believe their ideas failed ideas, as we detail in the following editorial are the only ones worthy of defending, and yet do not have the courage of their convictions to do so openly.

The UAE is not like that. We are an open society and a society of laws. We are also a society that defends its beliefs, whether, as with Islah, against those who seek to overthrow a legitimate and successful government, or those, such as the media figures named yesterday, who seek to turn the public opinion of a crucial ally against us.”