The United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 21 September launched a new taskforce to help prevent violent extremism. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and UAE Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nayan committed to a continued partnership and support for Hedayah, the Abu Dhabi-based International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, during their meeting in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.

Courtesy UK Foreign Office  *** Local Caption ***  on23se-taskforce.jpg
The UAE and the UK have launched a taskforce to help prevent violent extremism. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation and Boris Johnson, British ForeigShow more

Britain must back region's fight against extremists, think tank reports



Greater cooperation with Gulf countries to counter violent extremism and tackle radicalisation of Muslims would improve British security one year on from a spate of mass casualty terrorist attacks, the Henry Jackson Society think tank says in a new report.

"Western countries such as the US and the UK are the Gulf countries' main allies and providers of training, intelligence, personnel and other resources to combat extremism," the report said. "The UK should seek to deepen its engagement with Gulf nations beyond intelligence cooperation."

Najah Al Otaibi, Henry Jackson Society researcher and author of the report, told The National that British involvement in centres that specialise in anti-extremist work and deradicalisation would also create a more effective local response to a problem that meant an estimated 5,500 residents joined terrorist outfits from the region in 2015 alone.

"There are lots of initiatives in the Gulf and UK expertise would be welcomed," she told The National. "The power of online radicalisation is such that it is not something only one country can fight but all countries can contribute together.

Welcoming the appointment of a new Commission for Counter-Extremism in Britain, Ms Al Otaibi said that its chairwoman, Sara Khan, was well placed to step up co-operation and to use the body as a platform to create international linkages.

"She is an excellent choice, someone who has a real understanding of the cultural and historic roots of radicalisation and how international cooperation can tackle the problem," Ms Al Otaibi said.

In particular the report highlights the work of two organisations in the UAE, Hedayah and the Sawab Centre, as well as several in Saudi Arabia that have strong potential to bolster efforts to counter violent extremism worldwide.

Hedayah has been a pioneer in the field since 2012, while Sawab has pursued a very effective online campaign against ISIL since 2015. The #Inherstory hashtag was cited as an model of a very successful social media intervention against the online reputation of the group.

Backing the modernisation programme of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is a key theme of the report. The country placed great emphasis on rehabilitation centres and international faith-based dialogue is now moving on to a new focus in its approach.

The signature reform programme Vision 2030 has stressed the need to include religious affairs within its overall ambitions. The Crown Prince himself has said Saudi Arabia will not "spend 30 years" destroying extremist ideologies but do so immediately.

It already operates the Al Sakinah Campaign which effectively targets extremist websites and other online activity. The Etidal global centre, launched by King Salman and US President Donald Trump in May, provides an opportunity for British influence to be brought to bear on an emerging institution.

"The UK has no influence when it comes to these institutions fighting extremism overseas but it could engage more with soft power tools by offering joint collaboration," Ms Al Otaibi added.

The report, Terror Overseas: Understanding the GCC Counter Extremism and Counter Extremism Trends, makes four core recommendations:

The UK must provide backing for modernisation projects taking place in the Gulf, such as the Saudi Arabian Vision 2030, encouraging the development of a moderate Islamic narrative which integrates liberal values – challenging the ideological origins of extremism in the region.

The West should consider funding civil society initiatives in Gulf states, going beyond surface-level intelligence sharing and tackling the fundamental problems which cause extremism and terrorism at their roots.

The UK should consider the creation of international centres of excellence to counter extremism. These would enhance anti-terrorism programmes and mean that the UK was being proactive rather than reactive in tackling radicalisation.

Technology companies must address the use of their platforms to spread extremist messages and engage on this with the Gulf States, establishing a joint effort to counter the increasingly sophisticated and pervasive reach of extremist recruitment.

Kandahar

Director: Ric Roman Waugh

Stars: Gerard Butler, Navid Negahban, Ali Fazal

Rating: 2.5/5

The Limehouse Golem
Director: Juan Carlos Medina
Cast: Olivia Cooke, Bill Nighy, Douglas Booth
Three stars

WHAT IS A BLACK HOLE?

1. Black holes are objects whose gravity is so strong not even light can escape their pull

2. They can be created when massive stars collapse under their own weight

3. Large black holes can also be formed when smaller ones collide and merge

4. The biggest black holes lurk at the centre of many galaxies, including our own

5. Astronomers believe that when the universe was very young, black holes affected how galaxies formed

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Other ways to buy used products in the UAE

UAE insurance firm Al Wathba National Insurance Company (AWNIC) last year launched an e-commerce website with a facility enabling users to buy car wrecks.

Bidders and potential buyers register on the online salvage car auction portal to view vehicles, review condition reports, or arrange physical surveys, and then start bidding for motors they plan to restore or harvest for parts.

Physical salvage car auctions are a common method for insurers around the world to move on heavily damaged vehicles, but AWNIC is one of the few UAE insurers to offer such services online.

For cars and less sizeable items such as bicycles and furniture, Dubizzle is arguably the best-known marketplace for pre-loved.

Founded in 2005, in recent years it has been joined by a plethora of Facebook community pages for shifting used goods, including Abu Dhabi Marketplace, Flea Market UAE and Arabian Ranches Souq Market while sites such as The Luxury Closet and Riot deal largely in second-hand fashion.

At the high-end of the pre-used spectrum, resellers such as Timepiece360.ae, WatchBox Middle East and Watches Market Dubai deal in authenticated second-hand luxury timepieces from brands such as Rolex, Hublot and Tag Heuer, with a warranty.

The specs

Engine: 6.5-litre V12 and three electric motors
Power: 1,015hp
Torque: 1,500Nm (estimate)
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Early 2024
Price: From Dh2 million (estimate)

MATCH INFO

France 3
Umtiti (8'), Griezmann (29' pen), Dembele (63')

Italy 1
Bonucci (36')

Company profile

Name: Maly Tech
Started: 2023
Founder: Mo Ibrahim
Based: Dubai International Financial Centre
Sector: FinTech
Funds raised: $1.6 million
Current number of staff: 15
Investment stage: Pre-seed, planning first seed round
Investors: GCC-based angel investors

UAE SQUAD

Muhammad Waseem (captain), Aayan Khan, Aryan Lakra, Ashwanth Valthapa, Asif Khan, Aryansh Sharma, CP Rizwaan, Hazrat Billal, Junaid Siddique, Karthik Meiyappan, Rohan Mustafa, Vriitya Aravind, Zahoor Khan and Zawar Farid.

The distance learning plan

Spring break will be from March 8 - 19

Public school pupils will undergo distance learning from March 22 - April 2. School hours will be 8.30am to 1.30pm

Staff will be trained in distance learning programmes from March 15 - 19

Teaching hours will be 8am to 2pm during distance learning

Pupils will return to school for normal lessons from April 5

Company name: Farmin

Date started: March 2019

Founder: Dr Ali Al Hammadi 

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: AgriTech

Initial investment: None to date

Partners/Incubators: UAE Space Agency/Krypto Labs 


Latest
Most Read
Top Videos