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The Muslim Brotherhood in the UAE Report

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Updated: Jun 27th, 2020

The Muslim Brotherhood is a group whose ideologies are deeply rooted in the teachings of Islam. The group was founded in Egypt in the year 1928 shortly after the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire (Wickham 54). The founder, Hassan al-Banna, had a different view regarding the organization’s purpose from the one that the group embraces today. The group has been linked with several instances of Islamic terrorism, violence, jihad, and liberation wars in numerous countries. For instance, in 2002, the group was linked with a suicide bombing in Grozny that led to the demise of five people. After its founding, the group’s motto was “Believers are but Brothers” (Wickham 58). However, as the group expanded and spread, the motto morphed into a slogan that encompassed the groups’ objectives and belief system. The group aims to establish a theocracy in Muslim countries by sponsoring terrorism and opposing any efforts to encourage religious tolerance in Muslim states.

Ideologies and beliefs

The group’s beliefs are based on the founder’s ideologies. He believed that it is the responsibility of Islam to control all states by implementing its laws. The founder wanted the group to take over the governance of the entire world. The group acts based on the founder’s beliefs. As a result, it opposes any Islamic nation that does not impose Islamic law on its people. One of the most prominent acts of the group is its opposition to Western influences on Islamic nations (Wickham 57). Also, it opposes extreme Sufism through violence and terrorism. Members participate in bonding activities such as prayers, social meetings, and sporting activities. The group’s motto is the foundation on which its beliefs, ideologies, and activities are expressed. For instance, jihad and terrorism are based on the belief that dying for the sake of Allah is the group’s highest responsibility and hope. Jihad is a core belief and goal of the group that aims to liberate Islamic states from Western influence and extreme Sufism. The group has spread to several countries in the Middle East, where it is considered as the source of Islamic terrorism.

For instance, it has deep roots in the United Arab Emirates. According to Dr. Ahmad al-Rabi, all cases of religious terrorism experienced in the UAE originate from the ideologies of the Muslim Brotherhood (Ibrahim par. 4). This statement is true, considering that the group was responsible for the rapid growth of al-Qaida. After the United States killed Osama bin Laden, the group condemned the act and waged several attacks in revenge. Another aim of the group is to take back Palestine from the control of the Israelis who seized from Muslims. The group’s leader has spoken in many instances and urged all Muslims to fight toward liberating Jerusalem from the occupation of Israelis (Ibrahim par. 6). According to a 1997 study commissioned by the Harvard International Review, the Muslim Brotherhood’s goals include the introduction of Sharia law in all Islamic states and the liberation of Islamic states from western imperialism (Wickham 64).

Muslim Brotherhood in the UAE

The Muslim Brotherhood is represented in the UAE by an Islamist group known as Al Islah (Shehab par. 2). The group’s presence in the UAE dates back to the 1960s when its members from Egypt fled into the region for refuge from the tyrannical rule of Gamal Abdul Nasser. The group was officially launched in 1974 after the approval of Dubai’s ruler. In several instances, Al Islah has participated in activities similar to those of the Muslim Brotherhood (Jones and Cullinanne par. 8). The group has shown its power by attacking the UAE for religious tolerance in the region (Shehab par. 4). The group aims to seize power and establish a religious government that will rule the region based on Islamic law. Also, the group has been in the frontline in the fight against women’s rights. They have presented several claims that support the limitation of women’s rights and several social issues that go against Islamic precepts. The group’s efforts have been thwarted by the present UAE government that opposes its activities and brands it as a terrorist group (Ibrahim par. 8). The UAE is a strategic target for the group because of its economic stability and the presence of Islam as the dominant religion.

Al Islah is a threat to the stability of the UAE concerning security and the economy. The group has been accused of recruiting young Emiratis and retired army officers in efforts to create a military faction that will eventually take power from the UAE government (Jones and Cullinanne par. 7). However, the group’s members have denied these allegations and claimed that they are furnished against them to serve as a gateway to destroy them. In 2013, reports surfaced that the group was collaborating with members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to destabilize the UAE (Boghardt par. 3). After investigations into the allegations, 11 Egyptian expatriates were arrested and charged with trying to overthrow the UAE government. A trial involving 94 individuals linked to the group gave hints about the group’s determination to destabilize the region. The verdict of the trial led to the issuance of jail sentences to 56 suspects (Boghardt par. 6). Twenty-six were acquitted, and others sentenced to 15 years in prison for involvement in illegal activities aimed at destabilizing the government (Boghardt par. 7).

The Muslim Brotherhood has been branded a terrorist group in the UAE, and it is under the strict watch of the government for illegal activities. In January 2014, an Abu Dhabi court sentenced 20 Egyptians and 10 UAE citizens to imprisonment for participating in activities that were intended to compromise the country’s security. Today, the group is a threat to the stability of the UAE, especially after the events of the Arab uprisings. The Arab spring that took place in Egypt strengthened the group and furthered its ideologies of establishing religious governments in Islamic states. The UAE is concerned that Al Islah has the same motives that the Muslim Brotherhood has (Jones and Cullinanne par. 9). The trial revealed the government’s commitment to fight and eliminate the group’s influence in the UAE.

Conclusion

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in the year 1028 but later spread to other African countries and parts of the Middle East. The group is famous for its stringent ideologies that promote jihad, terrorism, and violence. Members believe that it is their responsibility to die for Allah. The group has been largely efficacious in implementing and spreading its ideologies. For an instant, the Arab Spring that occurred in Egypt was spearheaded by the group. The two main goals of the group include the introduction of Sharia law in all Islamic states and the liberation of Islamic states from foreign imperialism. The Muslim Brotherhood is present in the UAE through al Islah, one of its affiliate groups the group has threatened to destabilize the UAE government for allowing religious tolerance in the region. The trial of 94 members of the group was proof enough that the government was not ready to let the group’s influence spread and take root in the region.

Works Cited

Boghardt, Lori. . 2013. Web.

Ibrahim, Raymond. The Muslim Brotherhood: Origins, Efficacy and Reach. 2014. Web.

Jones, Bryony, and Cullinanne Susannah. 2014. Web.

Shehab, Amina. . 2013. Web.

Wickham, Carrie. The Muslim Brotherhood: Evolution of an Islamist Movement. New York: Princeton University press, 2013. Print.

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