FNC speaker condemns Kuwaiti Islamist’s UAE comments

Muslim Brotherhood member Mubarak Al Duwailah attacked the UAE and its leadership, singling out Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed on the Kuwaiti parliament official TV channel this week.
FNC speaker Mohammed Al Murr. Delores Johnson / The National
FNC speaker Mohammed Al Murr. Delores Johnson / The National

ABU DHABI // Senior Government officials have denounced offensive allegations made by a Kuwaiti Islamist and former member of parliament about the UAE.

Mubarak Al Duwailah, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, attacked the UAE and its leadership, singling out Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, on the Kuwaiti parliament official TV channel this week.

Officials from the foreign ministry, Arab Parliament and the Federal National Council have condemned the statements, made only a month after the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain returned their envoys to Qatar after an eight-month dispute signalling the end of an unprecedented Arabian Gulf stalemate.

Once Doha agreed to stop supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and no longer interfere in the internal affairs of other nations, the GCC states reaffirmed their strong ties at the GCC summit this month.

Officials, however, believe the comments were a sedition attempt by a lone Islamist.

“Such false allegations are unfounded and are clearly aimed at sparking divisions between the GCC peoples and states, and were being levelled at a time when the GCC states are engaging in wider close cooperation aimed at serving the interests of their peoples,” said Mohammed Al Murr, Speaker of the FNC, in an official statement. “This has been clearly manifested in the recent GCC Summit in Doha, Qatar.”

He called upon the Kuwaiti parliament to block further attempts at damaging relations between the UAE and Kuwait.

According to the Kuwaiti official news agency, Kuna, the Kuwaiti National Assembly on Wednesday came out with a statement detaching themselves from the comments. They strongly emphasised that comments made by guests on the show represented the guest’s views only. They went on to mention their admiration for Sheikh Mohammed and the UAE Government.

Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, wrote in a series of tweets that he utterly rejected the allegations, as an Emirati and as a federal minister.

“Malicious statements about the UAE and its symbols expressed the thoughts of a vile party that affects each and every UAE citizen and such abuses and suspicions target us all,” he said.

The “sectarian spirit” of the statements made by Mr Al Duwailah expressed the black hatred of the Muslim Brotherhood and its belief that this tolerant religion personally belonged to them, which Dr Gargash said they sculpted to their own purposes.

“Offence to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed is an offence to all Emirati nationals.”

He said it was not surprising that such comments would come from a “defeated, shunned group”, which the UAE had placed high on its list of terrorist organisations issued in October.

“Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, with his ethics, work and patriotism is a pride to the UAE and Arabs, and this is how we know him through his work and life and he remains a star shining high.”

The speaker of the Arab Parliament, Ahmed Al Jarwan, officially denounced the attacks.

Mr Al Jarwan, who is also an FNC member, said the statements were offensive to Emiratis and expatriates alike and reflected jealousy of successful Arab governments. He said such statements would not effect the UAE in the slightest.

“We in the UAE stand behind the leadership,” he said from Germany. He said that members of the Kuwaiti National Assembly had denounced the statements to him.

According to Al Ittihad, The National’s Arabic-language sister paper, Emiratis took to Twitter to defend Sheikh Mohammed. One tweet said: “Slander against HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is slander against the UAE, our government and our people.”

Another tweet said Mr Al Duwailah was asking Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, deputy chairman of police and general security in Dubai, for permission to come to Dubai, but the Kuwaiti had “forgotten that Dubai is Mohammed bin Zayed and Mohammed bin Zayed is Dubai”.

Lt Gen Tamim confirmed the request. He said Mr Al Duwailah wanted to know if he was blacklisted by state security so as to avoid any embarrassment at the airport with his family.

Emiratis on Twitter have called for the prosecution of Mr Al Duwailah and have put forward words of admiration for Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

According to Al Ittihad, Bu Hmaid, who tweets under the handle @uae_love40 said: “Al Duwailah should be held accountable. Mohammed bin Zayed rescued the Doha Summit and sought to unite Gulf countries and this is what spites Al Duwailah.”

Khaled Al Zaatar @khzaatar tweeted: “Now that the GCC crisis is resolved, the Brotherhood is looking to create tension between Kuwait and its neighbours, and to ultimately break up the GCC.”

Meanwhile in Kuwait, Khaled Al-Jarallah, the undersecretary of the Kuwaiti foreign ministry, told Al Ittihad that measures would be taken against Mr Al Duwailah.

We “will not be silent about these abuses against our brothers, and we will put an end to it”, he said. “We will do our part. We will start legal procedures to deter such abuses.”

He said relations between the two countries would not be affected.

The Emirati political scientist Dr Mohammed bin Huwaidin, head of UAE University’s political science department, said an official response was needed.

“He made statements on state television, which represented the Kuwaiti government,” he said. “So there must be an official government response to counter this.”

He said even though Kuwait enjoyed a certain level of freedom, it should not go to the extent of affecting inter-country relations.

“No one should be allowed, whether in the UAE or in Kuwait, to even scratch this relationship,” he said.

osalem@thenational.ae

Published: December 25, 2014 04:00 AM

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