By Latheef Farook
The United Arab Emirates is leading the oil rich gulf countries in their campaign to crush the Muslim Brotherhood which they consider as the most dangerous threat to their tribal Bedouin family regimes. This medieval system of governments where sheikhs, monarchs and emirs wield absolute power over everything including the people is fundamentally opposed to the Islamic teachings. This is the reason why they are
afraid of Islam and Muslims who sympathize with Muslim Brotherhood which calls for the implementation of Islamic principles.
Thus the fear that the growing influence of Muslim Brotherhood among their ever growing educated and enlightened people threatens the very foundations of these regimes known for their widespread corruption, moral decadence and plundering of nations’ oil wealth besides their shameful collaboration with the US led European invaders of Muslims countries .
These regimes have been law unto themselves in keeping with their out dated medieval tribal traditions. People had to follow them like sheep following the shepherd. However the once illiterate, poverty stricken and backward people who were given one of the best education following the oil wealth are now enlightened and no longer willing to be voiceless lot anymore.
Today these regimes have become burden on the people. People across the Gulf seek change. They wanted to share power and wealth. They wanted to have some say in deciding their own destinies.
Most people bitterly detest the un Islamic and immoral activities around them such as the free flow of liquor, night clubs and the open prostitution which has become industry itself in some gulf states. They resent the large presence of non Muslims whose carefree lifestyles, including dress code, had serious negative influence on their traditional life .In short they resent today’s cosmopolitan and secular UAE society though they are also economic beneficiaries of the existing system.
Amongst them are many educated men and women who are attracted by the Muslim Brotherhood which they find uncorrupt and promises to restore their rights and dignity.
Over the years today the ruling families and the people remain poles apart. The regimes do not trust their own people and doing everything to suppress the people to protect their power, positions, privileges and the abundant wealth. They have turned to America, Britain and France where bulk of their looted wealth is hidden for protection and to ensure that they established close ties with Israel and abandoned Palestinians.
Though claiming as Muslims these ruling families, including Saudi ruling family claiming to be the custodian of Two Holy Mosques in Holy Makka and holy Madina, have descended to such low depth that they conspired with Israel, United States and Europe to topple the first ever elected Islamic government of Dr Mohamed Morse in Egypt.
Saudi Arabia invested five billion dollars to topple President Morsi’s government and openly backed the military junta’s massacre of Muslims. Saudi ruler Abdullah described these innocent victims as terrorists. The UAE which initiated the coup to topple Dr Morsi and Kuwait gave three billion dollars each to this conspiracy. Oppressed people throughout the Gulf bitterly oppose their regime’ treacherous conspiracy against Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
It is in this context that the ongoing cracking down on Muslim Brotherhood and its sympathizers in the UAE, as part of the Israeli-US-European crackdown against Islam and Muslims, need to be viewed.
Crackdown on pro Islamic elements is not something new in the UAE. For example in the early 1980s UAE’s Education Minister Saeed Salman was abruptly removed from office. Many well paced nationals told me that he was keen to impart modern education with sound religious background and recruited teachers from Egypt. So he paid the price.
This crackdown against Islam and Muslims continued in the UAE for years.
However it took an entirely new dimension in the aftermath of the American engineered 1990/1991 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait when one after the other almost all Gulf States which were under British influence were brought under American control. Today, for all practical purposes, Gulf States are dependent states of United States.
The regimes also find the non Muslim expatriate population as a safety buffer against their own people. The situation is such today that, for example in the English language media, it is a disqualification to be a Muslim as they are run mainly by non Muslims to suit their needs.
Hand in hand the authorities banned all gatherings to discuss Islam while no such restrictions were imposed on non Muslims. As a result, the scandalous state of affairs is such, that Muslims who live in fear reluctant to identify themselves as Muslims in this Muslim country.
For example on 16 February 2013 Dr Mahmoud al-Jaidah, assistant manager of medical services at Qatar Petroleum, who was in transit at Dubai airport on his way home to Qatar disappeared? Later it was found that he was detained in an undisclosed location in Abu Dhabi and was allowed to meet his family, blindfolded at an unknown location once a month.
His son Hassan has complained that there is no privacy at all during these meetings as security officials always were present around them. Hassan claims that his father is no radical or seeking to overthrow anyone. He is a victim of paranoid thinking.
According to agency reports 69 people, including a cousin of one of the UAE's ruling sheiks ,were convicted of links to an Islamist group, Al-Islah, suspected of ideological ties to the Brotherhood, and sentenced up to 15 years in prison .Some of those jailed launched a hunger strike alleging abuses behind bars.
According to yet another report a Dubai-based Egyptian journalist Anas Fouda was held in a secret UAE prison for a month on suspicion of Brotherhood ties. Fouda was deported and now lives in Qatar.
"I went through a kind of hell for no reason," said Fouda, who denies being an active Brotherhood supporter. "I am not the only one, he had stated.
"In Cairo, Sara Sonbol says UAE authorities in December blocked the airport departure of her father, Mohammad Ali Sonbol, a Muslim Brotherhood supporter working in Dubai for decades. Later, they arrested him."A force of maybe 10 people came and they took him ... We called the police (and they said) that they have no idea and it could be a national security thing," she said.
In fact the Muslim Brotherhood, portrayed as enemy of the state and ruthlessly suppressed has become a convenient “bogey man” for Gulf regimes to crush opposition to them from their own people.
"What's happening in the UAE is very sad indeed," said former Kuwaiti lawmaker Mohammad al-Dallal of the Islamic Constitution Movement who expressed hope that the UAE would put an end to this soon."
The Gulf states and Egypt’s military junta are now bonded together in their enmity towards Islam and Muslims.
During a conversation few years ago a UAE national friend of mine lamented that;
“We have forgotten the pre oil wealth days when we suffered in abject poverty when no one in the world took notice of us. All these comforts are due to wealth which is Allah’s blessing. However we have forgotten the very Creator who gave these comforts and dismissed his advice not to take as friends elements that are hell bent on destroying Islam and Muslims as they are friends among themselves as proved today by their wars against Islam and Muslims. Under the circumstance joining hands with these very same forces against Islam and Muslims and cracking down on innocent Muslims is nothing but declaration of war on Allah.
This is the plight of Muslims in the UAE and the rest of the Gulf claiming to be Muslim countries?
This happens at a time when the Zionist Jews and the Evangelical Christians together with the weapons industry and the corporate conglomerates which control have unleashed a ferocious war on Islam and Muslims, invading and destroying Muslim countries one after the other and killing innocent Muslim men, women, children and the aged and destroying Muslim societies, under the guise of fighting a war on terrorism.
From left: Binoy Kumar Wickrama Surendra, Latheef Farook, Nihal Ratnaike, Saranapala Pamunuwa and S. Thillainathan
The 16th Journalism Awards for Excellence 2014 ‘Awards Night’ will be held on July 28 at the Mount Lavinia Hotel. A record 250 entries were received this year under the annual Journalism Awards for Excellence Programme. Jointly organised by The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka (TEGOSL) and the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI), the industry driven awards programme received a record 250 entries from print media journalists for the 14 categories of awards (see box). The awards programme, first begun by The Editors’ Guild in 1998, aims at recognising and rewarding excellence in journalism.Read more
The Sri Lankan Muslim community based in UK, at an event held at the Sri Lankan Muslim Cultural Centre (SLMCC) in the London Borough of Harrow honoured veteran Sri Lanka journalist Latheef Farook for his services in highlighting burning Muslim issues in the island and creating awareness both within the community and the country as a whole.
Latheef Farook is now on a three week long lecture tour to brief the Muslims of the current political situation in the country especially the changes taking place since the 8 January 2015 presidential election which brought Mr Maithripala Sirisena to power defeating former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.He was invited by Harrow based SLMCC, which is considered a centre point for SL Muslims in UK.
The plaque and the certificate of appreciation were handed over to LatheefFarook at this special function by SLMCC Chair Mr Mubarak Junaideen.
Addressing the gathering during the function the coordinator of LatheefFarook’s visit Mr Lukman Harees who is also a social activist and a writer had this to state;
Latheef Farook began his journalistic career with the now defunct Independent Newspapers in 1966 before joining the Lake House where he worked with the Ceylon Daily News and the evening daily Ceylon Observer from 1971, covering local politics and foreign affairs besides finance and economic sectors.
Simultaneously, working as the Sri Lankan correspondent for Middle Eastern news agencies following the local response to developments in the Middle East he also concentrated on economic developments in the international scene, especially in the developing world.
In 1976, Ceylon Daily News nominated him for the United Nations sponsored Dag Hammarskjöld scholarship for Third World journalists. Read more
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